Province adds restrictions for youth sports and recreation in Calgary
CALGARY -- Starting Monday, youth sport and recreational activities in the city of Calgary must take place outside for the next two weeks, the province announced.
Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta's chief medical officer of health, announced the decision during her COVID-19 update on Thursday.
If any activity cannot continue in an outdoor environment for any reason, Hinshaw says they must go into a two-week-long hiatus.
The move is in conjunction with Alberta Education's order to move all Grade 7 to 12 classes to an online learning environment, which was made Wednesday afternoon.
Hinshaw says the goal of changing those activities will be to ensure they continue "in a lower risk setting."
"We know this may be disruptive to families," she said. "We are seeing a sharp rise in cases among younger Albertans in this third wave, along with all the other age groups."
She added she supports the education minister's decision to move students to online learning as well.
"Remember that social activities outside of school can easily spread the virus and put schools at risk."
According to the latest information, there are active alerts (two to four cases) or outbreaks (10 or more cases) in 478 schools in the province, or about 20 per cent of all schools in Alberta.
When it comes to whether or not Alberta will see further restrictions because of rising case numbers, Hinshaw said the pandemic has presented Alberta with a number of "complex" decisions.
"It does sometimes take time to work through those implications and considerations," she said. "It's very clear that our numbers are rising, our hospitalizations are rising, our ICU admissions are rising (and) it's having an impact on our ability to offer in-person learning in certain areas.
"All of us have a role to play in preventing transmission by reducing the number of in-person interactions that we have with people outside our household. While the the multiple considerations around restrictions are worked through, again that doesn't preclude us from taking action in the things that we do every day to stop transmission and to bring our numbers down."