Single Albertans can go to one gathering during the holidays: Kenney

EDMONTON — Single people will be allowed to go to one holiday gathering between Dec. 23 and Dec. 28, Premier Jason Kenney announced Tuesday.

The change to COVID-19 restrictions allows Albertans who live alone to visit another household just once during that period.

Households are allowed to only host one event with up to two people, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw explained.

“This approach strives to balance mental wellness for individuals living alone and the need to limit COVID-19 spread,” Hinshaw said.

The premier said: “It will make a world of difference for single Albertans who otherwise would not be able to visit their families over Christmas.

“Similarly, it will allow parents who would otherwise spend Christmas alone to welcome their children home for the holidays.”

MORE VACCINES ARRIVE

Kenney also announced Alberta received another 25,350 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine Tuesday.

Edmonton and Calgary will each get 6,825 doses, Red Deer will receive 1,950 doses, and the remaining 9,750 doses will be distributed to vaccine sites in Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie, Camrose, Edson, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Brooks, Drumheller, St. Paul and Pincher Creek.

Just over 3,000 health-care workers have been vaccinated since last week, Health Minister Tyler Shandro said. These doses will also go to frontline workers.

“The arrival of these doses provide a sense of hope and relief to all of us as we start this holiday season,” Kenney said.

NEW CASE COUNT

Alberta Health reported 1,021 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday after 14,199 tests the day before.

The province now has 18,311 active cases with 802 patients in hospital, including 152 in ICU.

Kenney also reported 11 more deaths cause by the disease, increasing its death toll to 871 since March.

MASSAGE THERAPY

The province shut down massage therapy when it introduced stricter COVID-19 restrictions on Dec. 8.

Two weeks later, after massage therapists raised concerns, Hinshaw made an exemption to allow them to see patients with a prescription from a physician or a referral from a health professional.

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