Albertans have mixed feelings after province’s COVID-19 emergency alert use

The Government of Alberta sent out a province-wide emergency alert on Friday.

The message told people about new COVID-19 restrictions in effect for hot spot regions and reminded them to follow the rules, get vaccinated and go outdoors to safely socialize while distancing to help stop the spread of the virus.

Read more: Alberta introduces targeted restrictions in ‘hot spots’ as active COVID-19 cases reach all-time high

The message was categorized as a ‘critical’ public health alert, one that’s used when people’s lives are in “imminent life-threatening danger”, according to Alberta Emergency Alert’s website.

Reaction to the alert from Albertans has been mixed.

“I thought the world was coming to an end or it was something a lot more serious than it actually was. It was the first alert we got with COVID,” said Calgarian Dora Jalouli.

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“I expected it to be more… to be totally honest,” said Kerry Bosinski. “But when I saw the alert I wasn’t surprised because the numbers are so high.”

“Should we be getting more alerts more often? Yes. That was the first one since the pandemic started so that’s not keeping Albertans very informed,” Bonsinski added.

Premier Jason Kenney said Thursday at a press conference he planned to use the alert system to inform people who have in his words “tuned out” and “moved on”.

Read more: Alberta to use emergency alert system to notify citizens of COVID-19 measures

“We do intend to use our emergency alert system… to send out a message to every Albertan’s cell phone in the coming days,” Kenney said on Thursday. “We’re going to put it in a very loud and visual way in front of everybody, hopefully to regain their attention.”

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