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Nenshi urges Alberta government to take ‘bold action’ amid ‘deeply troubling’ COVID-19 numbers

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Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi joins Bindu Suri on Monday, Nov. 23 to discuss several topics including his wish for bold action by the provincial government in the fight against COVID-19 – Nov 23, 2020

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi is calling on the provincial government to take “bold action” either Monday or Tuesday to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Despite reporting no additional deaths on Sunday, Alberta broke its record for the most COVID-19 cases reported in one day with 1,584 additional cases confirmed.

Read more: Despite no COVID-19 deaths reported Sunday, Alberta adds another record-breaking 1,584 cases

It’s the fourth straight day the province has announced a record-breaking number of new coronavirus infections.

Each time, the total was more than 1,000.

On Sunday evening, Nenshi took to Twitter to express his concern.

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“This weekend’s COVID-19 case counts, hospitalization/ICU numbers and severe outcomes are deeply troubling,” he tweeted. “Even more worrisome is the exponential rate of growth.

“We need bold action from the government of Alberta now, in addition to all the things that we need to do in our families.”

Speaking to Global News Morning Calgary on Monday, Nenshi said the situation in Alberta is “a big problem.”

“We don’t have any more time. There’s no more time to try to figure out a data-driven solution here. We need action from the provincial government today — tomorrow at the very latest.

“What’s troubling is not just the numbers – it’s the growth rate. And when you look at the growth rate you can see that we will be out of ICU capacity before we know it without some significant changes,” he added. “It’s clear that more needs to be done and quickly or the health system will be overwhelmed very fast.”

Read more: Calgary mayor says ‘smart restrictions’ vital to fight spiking COVID-19 cases

COVID-19 cases have been rising at an alarming rate in Alberta for the last several weeks. A month ago, there were 3,651 active cases of COVID-19 across the province — that number has since roughly tripled to 12,195 active cases.

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A week ago, Alberta recorded its highest single day for fatalities with 20 deaths.

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In total, 70 deaths were recorded from Nov. 15 to Nov. 21.

Targeted COVID-19 restrictions were put into place by the province on Nov. 13 for a two-week period ending Nov. 27 in an attempt to curb the rising case numbers and stop the health system from being overwhelmed.

Those restrictions include a ban on group fitness classes and team sports and a ban on liquor sales past 10 p.m. In addition, bars are forced to close by 11 p.m.

“Although you normally want to wait two weeks after you announce restrictions to see if they worked, you should see some effect by now – we’ve had 10 days – and there’s been no effect whatsoever from the restrictions that the province announced last week,” Nenshi said Monday.

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Read more: Alberta adds 1,549 new COVID-19 cases Monday, government expected to announce new restrictions Tuesday

Nenshi’s Edmonton counterpart has also called Alberta’s recent spike in COVID-19 cases “extremely concerning.”

“But they’re also exactly what the epidemiologists who have been commenting have been saying for more than a week now was going to happen without stronger measures,” Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson said.

“We are increasingly hearing a desire from businesses for some decisive measures that will allow us to do what we need to do to contain the virus so that we can reopen again with confidence after that. And I agree with that perspective.

“It sounds like the province is going to take some further steps today or tomorrow,” Iveson said Monday. “We’ll look forward to seeing what those are.”

Read more: New restrictions announced for Alberta as 860 COVID-19 cases, 10 deaths reported Thursday

The provincial COVID-19 death toll sits at 471.

On Sunday, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health said there were 319 Albertans in hospital, including 60 in intensive care.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw will host an in-person update on Monday afternoon to update the COVID-19 situation.

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“But as I’ve been saying to everybody, don’t wait for the Alberta government to tell you what to do…It’s also time now to collapse your bubble,” Nenshi concluded.

– With files from Allison Bench and The Canadian Press