Alberta Minister of Health Adriana LaGrange is urging families to remain vigilant about the spread of respiratory illnesses this fall as COVID hospitalizations rise, student absences remain high, and an E. coli outbreak continues to affect young children. However, critics argue that the province is not doing enough to prevent another “triple-demic,” similar to what was experienced last fall.
During the previous triple-demic, hundreds of students and teachers fell ill from COVID-19, the flu, or respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), leading to strain on school and hospital resources. Advocates are calling on the province to take more preventative measures to ensure history does not repeat itself.
Health Minister LaGrange acknowledges the anxiety parents feel about sending their children back to school and emphasizes the importance of creating a safe and healthy environment. She highlights the need for proper hygiene practices, such as handwashing and staying home when sick, as well as respecting those who choose to wear masks. These practices play a pivotal role in safeguarding the public and curbing the spread of infectious diseases.
However, advocacy group Fresh Air Schools argues that the province needs to provide clearer guidelines and policies to prevent the spread of serious illnesses. They emphasize that simply stating it is okay to wear masks is not enough and that stronger encouragement is needed. Health Canada’s recommendation to wear masks this fall is seen as a positive step, but advocates believe the province should actively encourage masking as a preventive measure.
In addition to concerns about respiratory illnesses, Health Minister LaGrange provided updated data on COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. Between August 28 and September 8, there were a total of 559 cases, 92 hospitalizations, three ICU admissions, and five deaths due to COVID-19. As of September 8, there were 417 people in hospital, including seven in the ICU.
To prevent a “triple-demic” and protect the health of Albertans, advocates are calling for clearer guidelines, stronger encouragement of preventive measures like masking, and increased awareness of the current COVID-19 situation in the province.
– Alberta Minister of Health Adriana LaGrange
– Fresh Air Schools advocacy group