On Tuesday, November 24, Jason Kenney announced a number of increased restrictions in Alberta to combat the spread of COVID-19. Among the new orders were some big changes to Alberta schools.
The premier announced that all students in grades seven through 12 will "end in-person schooling for the balance of 2020" beginning on November 30.
Students will go back to distance learning until December 18 when they will begin their winter break. "In-person learning for all students will be delayed a week after the holiday until January 11," said Kenney.
Teenagers are much more likely to transmit the virus than younger children. A longer period away for these older students will help to reduce broader community transmission.
The politician explained that keeping younger kids in schools will help parents continue to work and ensure child care services aren't overflowing.
He said the long winter break will help curb community transmission following the holidays.
The adjustment to schooling restrictions came alongside several other new measures on Tuesday.
The province officially declared a state of public health emergency and all indoor gatherings were banned, effective immediately.
Business operations and guidelines have also been adjusted along with celebrations and religious and spiritual gatherings.