The State of Public Health Emergency in Alberta is finally over.
Alberta’s Minister of Health Tyler Shandro stated in a press conference on Monday that the province was allowing the State of Public Health Emergency to lapse, bringing it to an end after three months.
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“As we enter Stage 2 of the provincial relaunch, the state of emergency is no longer needed to protect Albertans,” Shandro said.
That doesn’t, however, mean that Albertans can bring down their guard when it comes to the threat of COVID-19.
“Now, I want to be clear — while the state of emergency is lapsing, it does not remove or impact the existing orders that Dr. Hinshaw has put in place,” he said, “nor does it impact her ability to issue additional orders as they may be needed in the days ahead.”
Any ministerial orders that amended legislation, under section 52.1, remains in place for 60 days unless the government decides to end them soon, Shandro stated, and the Province of Alberta plans to table additional legislation giving the power to respond to the pandemic as needed moving forward.
“COVID is still with us, and we all must remain vigilant — we must still be prepared to respond if we see a significant increase of cases throughout our province,” he said during the press conference.
Shandro also noted that a total of nine million free non-medical masks had been distributed to Albertans through McDonald’s, Tim Hortons, and A&W drive thrus, and an additional 2.3 million have been shipped to municipalities, First Nations, Metis settlements, seniors’ organizations, shelters, and addiction treatment facilities.
“We’re all still each others’ best defense against this virus.”