Some Edmonton docs oppose the provincial reopening plan

Links to the breadcrumb trail

Author of the article:

Ashley Joannou

Publication date:

May 26, 2021May 26, 20213 minutes read 64 comments Dr.  James Talbot, Co-Chair of the Edmonton Zone Medical Staff Association's COVID Strategic Committee. Dr. James Talbot, Co-Chair of the Edmonton Zone Medical Staff Association’s COVID Strategic Committee. Postmedia, file

Article content

Two Edmonton doctors are hoisting red flags over the speed Alberta plans to lift COVID-19 restrictions.

advertising

This ad hasn’t loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Jason Kenney announced three-tier reopening plans based on vaccination rates and hospital stays, which could lift almost all of the province’s COVID-19 restrictions by late June or early July.

Dr. James Talbot, a former Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health and co-chair of the Edmonton Zone Medical Staff Association’s (EZMSA) Pandemic Committee, described the province’s plan as “ruthless” and “unsafe” and predicted an increase in cases with such restrictions can be picked up quickly.

“(On) May 8, Alberta had the curious distinction of having the worst infection rate of any province in Canada or a state in the United States. So that was 18 days ago, ”he said in an interview on Wednesday.

advertising

This ad hasn’t loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

“And now we’re talking, in six weeks we’re going to take off the masks, we’re going to lift all kinds of internal restrictions and we’re going to allow super-spreader events like the Stampede.” So you don’t get much more reckless. “

The first phase of Alberta’s reopening plan goes into effect June 1, two weeks after the vaccination rate hits 50 percent and COVID-19 hospital admissions are below 800. 548 COVID-19 patients were in the hospital on Wednesday.

Terraces and salons are allowed to reopen, outdoor performances and leisure activities can be resumed.

The government expects to be in the second phase by mid-June, with 60 percent of eligible Albertans being vaccinated once and hospital stays below 500, with an upward trend.

advertising

This ad hasn’t loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

At that time, 150 people will be allowed to attend concerts, cinemas and other indoor entertainment rooms can be reopened to a third of the capacity, and indoor and outdoor sports can resume without restrictions.

All restrictions, including the ban on indoor social gatherings and the mask requirement, will be lifted in the third phase, when vaccinations reach 70 percent.

Talbot said he expected the government to lift less risky restrictions, such as: B. Allowed hairdressing appointments or people meeting their grandparents outside, but said no one on the EZMSA committee believed that everything would reopen in the third phase.

“If you want to expose all Albertans to the COVID virus by not requiring masking, by allowing people to be inside any number and holding events like the Stampede, then we would have expected at least … 70 percent with two doses, where You are starting to get full protection, ”he said.

advertising

This ad hasn’t loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

Dr. Shazma Mithani, an Edmonton emergency doctor, said she was disappointed with the government’s plan and called it “far too aggressive”.

“It is a delayed indicator of hospital stays. There was no mention or consideration of leading indicators like case numbers and R-value and percent positivity, ”she said.

“And we know that in the past on waves two and three, ignoring these indicators has got us into trouble.”

When asked about the speed of the plan on Wednesday, Kenney said the government is taking a cautious approach, waiting between stages, following the example of other countries and American states, and will be able to adopt a “focused approach” to follow up when there are local outbreaks.

advertising

This ad hasn’t loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

However, Talbot said the province should wait “at least” four weeks before they can see whether decisions will affect hospital stays. Ontario plans to wait at least three weeks between its phases.

Mithani said she would rather prefer a slower plan like Ontario’s, where level 3 – which still has some restrictions, especially indoors – is done after 70 to 80 percent of adults have been vaccinated once and 25 percent of adults twice.

Kenney said the health officials who created the plan looked at how many Albertans had two doses and how many had some form of immunity to an infection that was already infected.

“Simply maintaining these measures indefinitely as we approach population immunity while COVID numbers are falling very rapidly would be irresponsible in my opinion,” he said.

“I think at some point people will just start to ignore rules even more broadly.”

[email protected]

tweet.com / ashleyjoannou

Share this article on your social network

advertising

This ad hasn’t loaded yet, but your article continues below.

By clicking the registration button, you agree to receive the above newsletter from Postmedia Network Inc. You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link at the bottom of our emails. Postmedia Network Inc. | 365 Bloor Street East, Toronto, Ontario, M4W 3L4 | 416-383-2300

Remarks

Postmedia advocates a lively but civil discussion forum and encourages all readers to share their thoughts on our articles. It can take up to an hour for comments to be moderated before they appear on the site. We ask that you keep your comments relevant and respectful. We turned on email notifications – you will now receive an email when you’ve received a reply to your comment, there’s an update on a comment thread you’re following, or when a user you follow follows comments . Check out our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to customize your email settings.

Comments are closed.