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Nenshi says lifting Alberta’s remaining COVID-19 health orders is the ‘height of insanity’

Click to play video: 'Alberta changes COVID-19 masking, isolation, testing rules' Alberta changes COVID-19 masking, isolation, testing rules
Dr. Ilan Schwartz with the University of Alberta joins Global News Morning Calgary live via Skype to discuss the province’s move to ease more COVID-19 health restrictions. – Jul 29, 2021

The mayor of Calgary says it’s the “height of insanity” that Alberta is moving ahead with removing almost all of its remaining COVID-19 public health orders, even as cases climb in the province.

Alberta has ended isolation requirements for close contacts of people who test positive and contact tracers will no longer notify them of their exposure. The province has also ended asymptomatic testing.

Read more: Alberta to adjust COVID-19 masking, isolation, testing rules over next month

Further measures are to be eliminated Aug. 16. People who test positive will no longer be required to isolate. Isolation hotels will close as quarantine supports end.

“It is inconceivable to me. It is the height of insanity to say we don’t even know what’s happening,” Nenshi said Thursday.

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“It is putting the health of Albertans at risk. To stop contact tracing, to stop testing people for the coronavirus and to become one of the first _ if not the first — jurisdictions in the world to say that people who have tested positive, who are infectious, can just go about their lives.”

Click to play video: 'Majority of Canadians worried about lingering COVID-19 threat, according to poll' Majority of Canadians worried about lingering COVID-19 threat, according to poll
Majority of Canadians worried about lingering COVID-19 threat, according to poll – Jul 29, 2021

Naheed Nenshi, who was making an announcement at the Calgary airport, said if he were in another jurisdiction he would be thinking hard whether to put travel restrictions on Albertans starting Aug. 16.

“I’m aware of no science that backs this up. It is clear for the last month or so on this file (that) our government has been grasping and struggling, just trying to get some good news out of something,” he said.

Read more: Amid pushback, Alberta health minister defends plan to ease COVID-19 isolation, masking, testing rules

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“To say we don’t want to know who has the coronavirus, we don’t want to track outbreaks. Even the most fervent of the anti-maskers wouldn’t say (to) unleash people who are actually infectious into the population.”

Click to play video: 'Is Alberta lifting pandemic protocols too soon?' Is Alberta lifting pandemic protocols too soon?
Is Alberta lifting pandemic protocols too soon? – Jul 29, 2021

Nenshi said he worries that the decision to lift the health orders is politically motivated and has nothing to do with science at all.

“The only possible explanation here is a political one. It might be that they’ve run out of money, but you know what? Don’t spend $1.5 billion on a pipeline you know isn’t going to get built if you’re running out of money.”

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