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Coronavirus daily briefing – March 27: Cases, closures and renter protection

Renters across Alberta will get protection during the coronavirus crisis as the province ramps up its response to COVID-19.

In Friday’s daily briefing, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, said the province added 56 cases of COVID-19, bringing the Alberta total to 542.

Of those 542 cases, it’s believed that 42 are from community transmission, while 23 people are being treated in hospital and 10 are in intensive care units.

Thirty-three people in Alberta have recovered from coronavirus.

“As you know, our approach since we learned of this virus has been to is very closely assess the situation in our province and respond accordingly to protect the health of Albertans,” said Dr. Hinshaw.

“This response already includes aggressive public health measures, and a higher rate of testing than any other province in Canada.”

Still, Dr. Hinshaw said the newest measures were necessary because of the increase in community transmission cases.

New measures imposed on Albertans during coronavirus

Businesses across the province will be closed, particularly those that involve close contact with others.

Hair salons, barbershops, nail salons, tattoo parlours – et al, personal care locations – have been closed. The province has a full list at this location.

Further, Albertans have been asked to limit gatherings to 15 people or less. That’s down from the 50-person mass gathering rule that was in place prior. Also, all access at all provincial parks and recreation areas is suspended.

“We understand the need to get outdoors, but now is not the time to visit our provincial parks and recreation areas without abiding by common-sense public health and safety measures,” said Jason Nixon, Minister of Environment and Parks.

Dr. Hinshaw said these measures weren’t implemented lightly.

“I know they will impact the lives of many people. These restrictions were chosen after detailed analysis of spread within our province, and consideration of what other jurisdictions have done,” she said.

Renters protected from coronavirus eviction        

Protection for renters was something the province had waffled on recently, wanting to balance the rental supply for landlords while ensuring that Albertans wouldn’t be booted from their homes.

In Friday’s briefing, Premier Jason Kenney said they would be ensuring that no one would be evicted come April 1. Here are the details:

“No one will be evicted,” said Premier Kenney.

“I repeat, no one will be evicted at the beginning of the next month for non payment of rent.”

Kenney did say that those wilfully damaging property or committing criminal action could still be evicted.

These measures would last until the public health state of emergency ended.