Premier Jason Kenney announced stronger COVID-19 restrictions across much of the province on Friday as cases in Alberta remain high.

On Friday, Alberta Health confirmed an additional 609 cases of COVID-19 over the last 24 hours. There were 171 people in the hospital, with 33 of those in the ICU.

“I know some people look at those numbers and they say, ‘That’s a small fraction of our overall health care capacity.’ And they’re right, but Albertans need to understand that these numbers are set to grow with the growing case count,” Kenney said.

Kenney said effective immediately, in Calgary and Edmonton, people need to stop hosting social gatherings at home, but said the recommendation was voluntary not mandatory.
Also effectively immediately, any community (outside Edmonton and Calgary) that is under the watch status on the province’s COVID-19 map is now also subject to additional restrictions.

There is now a limit of no more than 15 people at social gatherings in those areas. This comes as Kenney reported Friday that 40 per cent of the cases in Edmonton and Calgary are transmitted in the household or through a social event.

Health measures, like handwashing, physical distancing, and face coverings, must be adhered to during these gatherings.

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