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Alberta, B.C. implement new gathering limits in COVID-19 fight

Tuesday, October 27, 2020 @ 1:31 PM | By Ian Burns

Both British Columbia and Alberta have brought in new measures to help reduce COVID-19 transmission after weekend statistics showed rising case numbers in both provinces.

B.C. provincial health officer Bonnie Henry issued an order Oct. 26 which limits gatherings in private homes to no more than a person’s immediate household, plus six others. The order is provincewide and applies to all homes for all occasions.

Henry said enforcement will be stepped up to ensure people are following the order, especially in areas where increases in new cases are most notable. Businesses are also being asked to review their COVID-19 safety plans to ensure people are wearing masks in all indoor public spaces.

“Just as religious leaders throughout the province have so strongly supported our provincial response, so we are calling on community leaders to do the same in order to help your communities do the right thing as we work to address this global pandemic,” she said. “Now is the time for all of us to work together — while staying apart — to slow the spread of COVID-19, and always keeping our groups small and using our layers of protection is the best way for us to do that.”

The move comes as B.C. reported 817 new cases over a three-day period. British Columbia has 2,325 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, with 5,077 people who are under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases. The province says 10,734 people who tested positive have recovered.

And Alberta is also taking steps to stem the growing tide of new cases in the province. Effective Oct. 26, a mandatory 15-person limit is being put on all social gatherings in Edmonton and Calgary. The limit applies to gatherings such as dinner parties, banquets and wedding and funeral receptions. It does not currently change measures for structured events such as dining in restaurants, theatres, worship services or wedding and funeral ceremonies.

This temporary limit will be reassessed in one month. According to the province, to date 20,949 Albertans have recovered from COVID-19, with 4,477 active cases in the province. Currently, 118 people are in hospital, including 16 in intensive care.

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