The possibility of more eased COVID-19 restrictions in the province come Monday has some Alberta doctors sounding the alarm.
They say people should be more concerned about the third wave rather than entering the third phase of eased restrictions.
“We’ve been in a third wave for a week. Anybody who has not recognized that who continues to pretend it’s not happening is gaslighting you. This is happening, it’s obvious in the numbers and it’s not going to slow down until we get more policy,” Dr. Joe Vipond said.
“It’s irresponsible and dangerous to talk about reopening when the actual conversation we should be having is whether we should be going into full lockdown.”
Dr. Noel Gibney said he suspects the province wants to move forward with at least some aspects of Step 3, but with rising COVID-19 cases in Edmonton, Calgary and Lethbridge, he says now is not the time.
“Phase 3 would see the opening of a lot of areas that certainly could turn into superspreader events,” said Gibney, co-chair of the Edmonton Zone Medical Staff Association’s pandemic response committee.
Gibney said the new variant strain is rapidly increasing, doubling about every 11 days.
“Modeling studies suggest that it will replace the original strain as the dominant one in Alberta probably around the beginning of the second week of April,” Gibney said.
Vipond said we now know how to manage this virus, and every single illness and death is predictable.
“We know that the earlier you nip this in the bud, the sooner we actually get control with the virus, and we’re walking into dangerous territory,” Vipond said.
He said while many people have already received the vaccine, there are still millions of Albertans who have not and are still susceptible to the virus.
According to the province’s reopening strategy, hospitalizations must be declining and less than 300 to move into Step 3.
A decision is expected Monday.