That’s the overwhelming message Edify readers have for Premier Jason Kenney and Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw.
Over the past week, we asked our readers the simple question: Do they feel Alberta should be issuing a lock-down order as COVID cases and hospitalizations rise, or do they feel that the current plan — to make targeted orders and recommendations — is good enough?
Only 14 per cent, less than one in seven, feel that the province is currently on the right track. That means that 86 per cent of the nearly 500 respondents want some sort of lock-down; 38 per cent say that Alberta should enter a short, sharp and strict two-week lock-down, while even more, at 48 per cent, believe our lock-down should last until there is a marked reduction in the number of COVID-19 cases. Basically, nearly half of the people who responded to the poll think we need to take “the do whatever it takes” path.
On Sunday, Alberta reported 1,584 new COVID-19 positives, the highest daily total … ever.
On Friday, Hinshaw said that Alberta Health Services has additional intensive-care beds ready in Edmonton, and has capacity to add more in Calgary. But the worry is that, if more ICU beds are needed for COVID patients, there would be fewer resources for Albertans suffering from other ailments.
“Demand for COVID is high, and the system is taxed,” she said.
As well, as COVID hospitalizations rise, the system can’t handle elective surgeries or follow-up appointments, as urgent care continues to take priority.
And, while Alberta has 12,195 active cases, the numbers indicate that there are many more positives out there, who simply haven’t been identified yet.
“There are still more people and more cases out there that we don’t know about,” Hinshaw said.
She said that if new, restrictive health measures are brought in, it takes at least a week to see the results. So, if a lock-down is brought back, it wouldn’t cause an immediate reduction in case numbers.