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COVID-19: Alberta allowing close to 700 community peace officers to issue public health fines


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Madu said educating the public on the latest restrictions will be part of the enforcement officer’s jobs, but more enforcement is needed for those who are blatantly disobeying the rules.

City of Edmonton interim city manager Adam Laughlin said the city will be working with AHS to deploy teams dedicated to enforcing public health orders.

Administration will work with EPS and Alberta Health Services to activate enforcement teams dedicated to face covering and public health order monitoring. The teams will work seven days a week and will concentrate on public spaces, gatherings and worship centres,” said Laughlin.

He said peace officers have been conducting patrols and issuing warnings over the past two weeks — now, all of the 150 peace and transit peace officers in Edmonton will be able to issue fines.

At the Friday update, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said her office has been receiving numerous questions regarding the latest round of restrictions. She urged the public to be patient when they are going about their daily lives as lines at stores may be longer.

“I also encourage employees and operators to show patience for customers who may not know new measures are in effect, or who may need your help understanding what they need to do,” said Hinshaw.

She urged Albertans to do everything they can to limit their contacts this weekend, the first with the latest regulations. She suggested people spend time outside and meet with others virtually.

Hinshaw said she has received reports of enforcement workers being harassed or abused verbally as they try to do their jobs.

“I know that the restrictions currently placed on all of us are difficult, but they are not the fault of law enforcement or inspectors, who are simply enforcing the measures currently in place,” said Hinshaw.

On Friday, Hinshaw reported 1,227 new cases and 14,217 active cases of COVID-19 in Alberta. The Edmonton Zone continues to have the most cases in the province with 6,614. The Calgary Zone is the next closest with 5,164.

Hospitalizations increased by 32 patients to 415, including 86 people, two more than Thursday, in intensive care.

Alberta recorded nine deaths related to COVID-19 on Friday, four of which were in the Edmonton Zone.

Meanwhile, Edmonton Public Schools recorded cases at 11 schools in the city. Two cases were announced at Avalon School and single case was linked to Westminster School, Rio Terrace School, W.P. Wagner School, Thelma Chalifoux School, Tevie Miller School, Queen Elizabeth School, Mee-Yah-Noh School, Lillian Osborne School, Ross Sheppard School and Dunluce School.

Students in grades 7 to 12 across the province will be moving to online learning starting next week. Kindergarten to Grade 6 students will continue to learn in the classroom.

There are 60,375 active cases across Canada.

— With files from Dustin Cook

dshort@postmedia.com



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