Premier Jason Kenney declaring a State of Public Emergency under the Public Health Act in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Effective immediately and until further notice, any events expecting more than 50 people including worship gatherings and family events like weddings or funerals should be cancelled.

Kenney says the government is preparing for a significant peak at a particular time, saying the challenge is “to try to keep that peak below the maximum capacity of the health system. At the same time, we want to expand the maximum capacity at that peak point, and that’s where these powers could be useful.

Sit down restaurants will be allowed to stay open with a 50 person maximum or half their occupancy rate – whichever is lower – while bars and nightclubs where minors or prohibited will be restricted.

The government also says in an effort to limit the amount of time Albertans are spending in large crowds and crowded spaces, all Albertans are prohibited from attending public recreational facilities and private entertainment facilities, including gyms, swimming pools, arenas, science centres, museums, art galleries, community centres, children’s play centres, casinos, racing entertainment centres, and bingo halls.

At this time, not-for-profit community kitchens, soup kitchens and religious kitchens are exempt, but sanitization practices are expected to be in place and support will be in place for this practice.

The province’s Emergency Operations Centre is now at level four which is the highest level.