Alberta’s “open for summer” plan was a mistake, says Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw, who apologized for her role in lulling people into the false belief the pandemic may be over.
Hinshaw made the comments Monday night in a video talk with Alberta doctors as a fourth wave of coronavirus sweeps the province.
The wave of the Delta variant has led to large daily new case numbers and a record number of people in hospital ICUs. Monday, there were18,395 active cases across Alberta, the highest in the country.
“We have a crisis, that’s clear. I think everyone’s well aware of that,” said Hinshaw.
“I feel very responsible for the narrative that has made it more complicated to try to put additional public health measures in place, because whether or not it was my intention, what was heard at the end of July was, ‘COVID’s over, we can walk away and ignore it.’
“That has had repercussions … and I deeply regret how that has played out.”
On July 1, Premier Jason Kenney dropped all COVID-19 restrictions and promised Alberta would have the “best summer ever.”
“I think that trajectory was set when we removed all the public health restrictions at the beginning of July,” Hinshaw said.
“If you look at the experiences of all of the different provinces across the country, those that have kept in some base level restrictions to manage the interactions and close contacts are the ones that are not seeing the significant impact. And those of us that removed them are the ones that saw the significant very steep rise in some of these acute care impacts.”
Alberta Health Services cancelled all elective surgeries in Calgary this week.
Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
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