Alberta opens COVID-19 vaccine recalls to all adults, reduces attendance at major sites

Alberta is introducing new restrictions at large sites and making booster vaccines available to all adults, as the Omicron variant continues to spread rapidly.

Sites with a capacity of more than 1,000 customers will be capped at 50%, and businesses with a capacity between 500 and 1,000 will be capped at 500, the Government of Alberta has announced.

Customers will not be permitted to eat or drink while sitting or during intermission and will be required to wear masks at all times.

This will affect NHL games and the World Junior tournament in Edmonton and Red Deer, Health Minister Jason Copping said.

“With the increased risk of transmission from Omicron, it is important that the total number of people mixing in the premises is limited and that participants remain masked at all times,” he said.

“We have to avoid super-spreading events. “

Starting on Christmas Eve, restaurants and bars participating in the Restriction Waiver program must limit tables to 10 patrons, ban entertainment such as dancing, stop serving alcohol at 11 p.m., and close at 12 a.m. h 30

The province is also asking Albertans to cut their social contact by at least half during the holidays.

“I know this is hard news to hear just before Christmas and as the New Year approaches, but it is necessary given what we know and what we are still learning about the Omicron variant,” Premier Jason Kenney said.

Indoor gatherings remain limited to 10 people, not including minors, and outdoor gatherings are limited to 20 people.

VACCINE REMINDERS

As of now, the province has said that all adult Albertans who received their second COVID-19 vaccine more than five months ago can book a third injection online or by calling Alberta Health Services at 811.

“The most potent protection against this highly contagious variant is to receive a booster,” Kenney said in a written statement. “I urge all Albertans to protect themselves and the health care system with a recall as soon as they can.”

Albertans have been encouraged to take the first mRNA vaccine available to them, as Pfizer and Moderna products have both shown high levels of protection against COVID-19 and severe disease consequences.

While studies have suggested that Moderna shot carries a slightly higher risk of causing myocarditis in young people, especially men, officials have reminded the public that the risk is lower than suffering the disease from COVID. -19.

Pfizer will be offered to Albertans aged 18 to 29 as a precaution, Alberta Health said.

Of all Albertans, 78.7 percent have now received at least one dose of the vaccine and 72.6 percent of the general population has received a second dose.

More than 142,000 doses of the vaccine have now been given to children between the ages of five and 11.

“TAKE OMICRON VERY SERIOUS”

Also on Tuesday, Alberta reported 786 new cases, the highest since October 14.

The number of Omicron cases in the province also increased by 564 to 1,609, an increase from the number of cases of 50 just a week ago.

Hinshaw, who said he canceled his own Christmas plans, has repeatedly told reporters Albertans need to take Omicron “very seriously” and reduce their contact.

“Omicron is highly transmissible with data here and around the world showing the number of cases of these variants doubling every two to three days,” Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr Deena Hinshaw said. “Omicron is now our dominant strain and community transmission is increasing in the province. This means that if a person tests positive for COVID-19, they must assume they have the Omicron variant.

“Over the next few weeks we will see transmission reach heights that we have never seen before. We don’t know what that will do for the healthcare system.”

Hinshaw announced that Alberta Health is redirecting contact tracing to high-risk environments, such as continuing care facilities, and has asked all others who test positive for COVID-19 to notify their close contacts.

There are now 329 COVID-19 patients in hospitals, including 69 in intensive care units.

The next data update for Alberta is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.


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