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Editorial: Kenney may have to throw the switch

opinion editorial stock

These are tough times for Premier Jason Kenney as he has had to self-isolate and the province is facing continuing growing cases of COVID-19.

That includes Okotoks which as of Nov. 16 had 39 active cases of COVID-19 — well past the 15 mandated by Okotoks town council  to enforce masks in all public indoor facilities in the community.

The province had been hitting new cases of more than 900 for a few days until it dropped to just over 800 on Nov. 16. At present, there are 10,031 cases in the province and 264 cases in hospital.

The rising numbers caused Kenney to put in some restrictions to team sports, bars and others for the two-week period from Nov. 13-27.

In Okotoks, owners at In Cahoots Bar and Grill, the Alberta Dance Academy and Possak Hampshire Academy of Dance, are feeling the pinch and feel their industries are being unfairly treated.  They have followed the proper procedures, there is no indication they are behind spreading numbers and meanwhile, other businesses have been able to continue to stay open as before the new restrictions were put in place.

Meanwhile, some like Dr. Adam Vyse, who feels a lockdown of two weeks  is needed in Alberta — the circuit-breaker — to reduce the COVID-19 numbers and  provide much added relief to the health-care system.

Vyse, who has lived in the Foothills for a quarter of a century, has given his professional life to the community.

He knows the consequences of a lockdown to business owners — who are his friends and neighbours.

Kenney may want to put the circuit-breaker in now if he plans to throw the switch.

To be forced later on would ruin the busy December shopping season.

The reality is if numbers continue to grow, businesses will see fewer and fewer patrons as they opt not to shop for fear of COVID-19.

If Kenney is going to throw the switch, he can’t wait too long.