Grande Prairie residents voice opposition, approve Alberta’s COVID policy change


Friesen says he thinks the government shouldn’t be able to legislate on things like isolation, wearing masks and COVID-19 testing.

“I don’t believe that the government has the right to legislate on things in our personal life, that our parents have to die alone in the hospital because we can’t see them and we can’t shake hands and we can’t talk to each other …. They have to protest and have a say.

Meanwhile, Melanie Golding, a teacher and resident of Grande Prairie, protested against the removal of such measures.

She says she hopes the government will recall its decision to cancel testing, isolation and contact tracing for COVID-19, which is expected to take effect in 10 days.

“If not for nothing, but for children in schools,” she said. “That’s the most important thing, kids don’t have a choice (to get vaccinated) and adults sort of put themselves in that position and someone has to stand up for them.”

Golding hopes that by standing outside Allard’s office, she will carry their message to the provincial government.

She is concerned that residents’ mental health will no longer be at risk this year if there are no requirements for COVID testing, tracing and isolation.

“We don’t want to silence anyone; we don’t want to put people’s mental health (at risk), but a lot of people’s mental health is going to be at risk this year with the unknown.

“If Dr Hinshaw recalled his plan, I think it would make people happy,” she adds.

As of August 16, 2021, changes made by the provincial government to COVID-19 restrictions include:

  • Provincial mandatory masking orders will be lifted. Some masking in acute care or continuing care facilities may still be necessary.
  • Isolation following a positive COVID-19 test result will no longer be required, but highly recommended.
  • People with symptoms of respiratory infection should stay home until symptoms resolve.
  • Staying at home when sick is an important way to take care of those around us without transmitting any infection.
  • Isolation hotels and quarantine support will no longer be available.
  • Testing will be available for Albertans with symptoms when needed to help guide patient care decisions.
  • These tests will be available in assessment centers until August 31; after that, testing will be done in primary care settings, including doctors’ offices. For people with serious illness requiring urgent or emergency care, testing will be available at acute care facilities and hospitals.

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