As promised, I will be providing regular updates to keep you informed and will provide up-to-date information on vaccine rollout and COVID-19 cases each time.
We are taking a cautious approach to protect lives and livelihoods. Albertans are making progress, but we still have a long road ahead of us. Our health providers have done their part to keep the health system operating, now we must all do our part to keep driving hospitalizations downward.
Progress to date (as of February 6):
118,384 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Alberta. This is 2,677.2 doses per 100,000 population.
27,048 Albertans have been fully immunized with 2 doses.
57 adverse events following immunization (AEFI) have been reported to Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services.
Click here for the latest information on COVID-19 restrictions
On Friday, January 29th, Premier Kenney and Dr. Hinshaw outlined a path forward to a staged lifting of restrictions which was tied to hospitalization rates. This is a start to making data-driven decisions and I am pleased to see this shift; however, I have spoken with dozens of constituents and want to assure you that I am relaying your feedback to improve Alberta’s COVID-19 response.
Many have written in to express your concerns that gyms and restaurants remained open just an hour away in Dawson Creek, yet ours were closed. I hear you and I thank you, collectively, for taking the time to reach out and provide feedback and suggestions for a COVID-19 responsible path forward. The points below summarize what I am hearing from constituents and what I will be advocating for on your behalf:
- A resounding request to make decisions based on facts, not fear. I hear a wide perspective of views on the pandemic response from ‘lock everything down indefinitely’ to ‘open up completely.’ I know first-hand the gravity of sitting at the decision-making table and I believe step 1 to an effective COVID-19 response has to be decisions grounded in data, including the consideration of more than one data point and factoring in population size and density.
- Constituents are asking for common sense and simplicity to be the foundation of the government’s pandemic response. To that end, I am asking for the government to develop COVID-responsible criteria and invite community leaders to open their doors if they can meet the defined criteria at each stage. This would include faith leaders, business owners, municipal leaders, school boards, etc.
- I hear the frustration with measures that seem to contradict each other and violate common sense. For example, constituents have shared their frustration that they can’t see their grandkids unless they all meet at Wal-Mart. I hear you, and I am asking for COVID-responsible criteria for social engagement at each stage that would allow personal connection to friends and family in some form. Perhaps a bubble could be established or a cohort grouping could be allowed to alleviate the loneliness and isolation people are feeling?
I’ve said many times that there is no perfect solution to this imperfect reality and I implore you to consider information critically before you accept it as fact. I want you to know that I am listening and will continue to make myself available to you, my constituents. I continue to collect your ideas and feedback and bring it before the decision makers to improve our situation and I believe we all have a role to play in being part of the solution as we work through the ongoing challenges of a pandemic.
I will leave you with one final question: what kind of Canada do you want to live in? In the wake of multiple reports of citizens being treated poorly at Canadian airports, intimidated, frightened, and not provided reasonable access to information, I am calling on our Premier and our Prime Minister to coordinate and clarify protocols. This is unacceptable and I am committed to stand up for Albertans and demand better!
As always, please reach out to me directly at GrandePrairie@assembly.ab.ca if you’d like to connect.
In your service,
Tracy L. Allard, MLA for Grande Prairie