Premier Jason Kenney announcing new measures to try to curb the rapid growth of COVID-19 in Alberta.

He made the announcement via teleconference from his home in Calgary, as he is currently in a two-week quarantine. Kenney says he was notified he was in close contact with a positive COVID-19 case on Monday. He’s been tested and is awaiting results.

Starting Friday, and for the next two weeks, all restaurants, bars, lounges and pubs in regions under enhanced status must cease liquor sales by 10pm and close by 11pm.

There will also be a two-week ban on indoor group fitness classes, team sport activities, or group performances in Edmonton and surrounding areas, Calgary and surrounding areas, Grande Prairie, Fort McMurray, Red Deer and Lethbridge.

Other health measures surrounding group gatherings like weddings, funerals and faith-based activities are also in effect for regions under an enhanced status and will be in place until further notice. They are as follows:

  • Maximum attendance of 50 at wedding or funeral ceremonies.
  • It is recommended all faith-based activities limit attendance to one-third capacity per service.
  • Residents should not hold social gatherings within their homes and should not plan social gatherings outside their community.
  • It is recommended employers in office settings implement measures to reduce the number of employees in the workplace at one time.
  • All existing guidance and legal orders remain in place in all areas.

The number of new COVID-19 cases rose by 860 on Nov. 11 and there were ten additional deaths.

At present time there are 225 people in hospital and 51 of them are in the ICU.

Here in the South Zone there were 110 new cases confirmed on Nov.10 and Nov. 11 and 30 of them were in Lethbridge.

With recent recoveries considered, the city now has 188 active cases.

One of the ten additional deaths was also reported in Lethbridge, the city’s sixth since the onset of the pandemic.

Lethbridge specific measures, as per the Government of Alberta website, are as follows:

Community-specific mandatory measures

  • Ban on indoor group fitness classes and team sport activities (Nov 13-27).
  • Ban on group performance activities: singing, dancing and theatre (Nov 13-27).

Mandatory measures

  • Restaurants, bars, lounges and pubs must stop liquor sales by 10pm and close by 11pm – applies to Class A, B or C licences (Nov 13-27).
  • 15-person limit on social and family gatherings – indoors and outdoors – where people are mixing and mingling.
  • 50-person limit on indoor and outdoor wedding ceremonies and funeral services.
  • Faith-based gatherings limited to 1/3 capacity at one time.

Voluntary measures

  • No social gatherings inside your home or outside of your community. Instead, socialize outdoors or in structured settings, like restaurants or other business that are subject to legal limits and take steps to prevent transmission.
  • Limit of 3 cohorts: your core household, your school, and one other sport or social cohort. Young children who attend child care can be part of 4 cohorts.
  • Wear a mask in all indoor work settings, except when alone in a workspace or an appropriate barrier is in place.
    Employers in office settings should implement measures to reduce the number of employees in the workplace at one time.

Also announced Thursday, a new online portal launched by Alberta Health Services that allows close contacts of a COVID-19 case to be notified via text message.

Effective immediately, Albertans who receive a positive test result can go online and enter in information, including phone numbers, of their known close contacts.

Once reviewed by the AHS contact tracing team, a text message notification will be delivered to those contacts.

The name of the positive case will not be disclosed in the message.

As announced earlier this month, all close contacts of cases in three priority groups (health care workers, children, and those who live or work within communal settings) will continue to be directly notified by AHS.