‘We are far from getting out of this’: COVID-19 restrictions extended through at least Jan. 21

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“No one is ever excited about lockdowns, but businesses recognize the necessity of data-based decision-making, and most recognize that’s exactly what this is,” Crockatt said.

“By this point in the pandemic, businesses have gotten very, very good at maintaining essential services and maintaining them safely, and the reality is that most businesses recognize that the safety and health of Albertans is their number one priority.”

Crockatt said the business council is watching data on the uptake of supports for businesses after the closures were first announced to see whether additional government help may be needed.

Also Thursday, admission rates to Alberta’s hospitals and intensive-care units continued to drop. There are 871 Albertans in hospital, 139 of whom are in ICUs, metrics down from 911 and 141 the previous day, respectively.

Hospitalizations in Alberta peaked Dec. 30, when 954 were in hospital, with 145 ICU admissions — values about 10 times the peak in hospitalizations seen during Alberta’s first wave, according to chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw.

“High levels of community transmission impact all of us,” Hinshaw said. “That is why it is essential to keep our current measures in place.”

An additional 24 deaths from the novel coronavirus were also reported in Alberta Thursday, including nine in the Alberta Health Services Calgary zone.

Those deaths bring Alberta’s total to 1,217. Alberta logged its 600th COVID-19 death on Dec. 6, meaning about half of the province’s deaths from the pandemic were reported in the last month alone.

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