Calgary

Nearly 30,000 pandemic health violations reported to Alberta Health Services since April

Close to 30,000 complaints about COVID-19 public health order violations have been lodged in Alberta since April 1, provincial officials say.

Mass gatherings, people not following isolation requirements among the concerns

A woman wears a face mask as she walks along a street as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press)

Close to 30,000 complaints about COVID-19 public health order violations have been lodged in Alberta since April 1, provincial officials say.

Between April 1 and Sept. 14, Alberta Health Services (AHS) received 29,078 complaints or service requests related to COVID-19, with 19,225 received through its online portal.

Sixty-two enforcement orders — including closures — have been issued since April.

Through the portal, there have been 5,062 complaints concerning a business or public place that is not following restrictions.

AHS has also received through its portal 435 complaints about mass gatherings and 117 about people who were not following isolation requirements.

Close to 5,000 of the COVID-related complaints and service requests have come in since the end of July.

AHS has also received complaints about mass gatherings and people who were not following isolation requirements.

"This is mind boggling that this many complaints would have come in," said Rick Lundy, the founder of Open Arms Patient Advocacy, who also runs the Huntington Hills Community Association, including its recreation centre.

"We take this very seriously. And everybody needs to."

As a facility manager, Lundy says following COVID-19 guidelines has to be a top priority.

"We have meetings all the time just on COVID.… We hired a COVID specialist to come in and ensure that everyone's following the rules as well as ensure that all the different areas of the facility are cleaned after useage."

Lundy says Alberta's public health guidelines are clear, but they can change quickly, so  business owners need to stay on top of them.

In Calgary, the city's community standards section says it has received more than 600 reports through the 311 telephone line related to people not wearing face coverings in a public place or businesses not displaying signage.

Two tickets for failing to wear a face covering where required have been issued "after attempts to gain compliance through education were unsuccessful," the city said. 

According to an RCMP spokesperson for Alberta, there were 21 tickets issued under the Alberta Public Health Act and two charges laid under the Federal Quarantine Act between April 6 and Aug. 6.

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