‘Test, trace and isolate’: Sixth day of protests at Alberta legislature ahead of changing public health measures

EDMONTON — For the sixth straight day people gathered outside of the legislature to protest the upcoming changes to Alberta’s COVID-19 public health measures.

Starting Aug. 16 the provincial government plans to remove mandatory quarantine for people who test positive for the disease, it will only be recommended.

Albertans with COVID-19 symptoms will not be asked to get tested, but to stay at home until they feel better. Starting Aug. 30 COVID-19 tests will only be available to those who need to go to the hospital or see a physician.

At the same time masks will no longer be mandatory in public transit, rideshares and taxies.

“Test, trace and isolate,” said one speaker Wednesday evening, calling those measures the “most basic” the province could keep in place.

Some of the protestors were parents concerned about the government’s back-to-school plan. They’re worried COVID-19 is more harmful to kids than Premier Jason Kenney and Dr. Deena Hinshaw say.

In a press conference Tuesday, Kenney said the decision was based on science and data.

“People are understandably anxious about both the disease itself and the damaging effect of restrictions,” said Kenney.

Organizers say they’ll rally every day until Aug. 16 – the day the changes to public health measures are to take place – in an attempt to get the government to backtrack.

“I feel that if we keep doing this, we can get this government to change its course,” said Albert Nobbs, founder of Alberta Activist Collective.

Nobbs says protests have also been happening in other cities across the province including Grande Prairie, Red Deer and Calgary.

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