It's been over ten days since Alberta's relaunch and Edmonton locals are already in the doghouse. Interim city manager Adam Laughlin told a radio show on Tuesday, May 26 that 91 social gathering-related warnings were handed out during the recent weekend. He said that the city will close up facilities again if people keep breaking rules regarding physical distancing in Edmonton.
In an interview on The Ryan Jespersen Show, Laughlin noted that outdoor amenities, in particular, were hotspots where people were gathering and breaking physical distancing rules.
The outdoor locations include basketball and sports courts, skate parks, and larger parks. He said that larger gatherings than allowed were happening at these locations.
Alberta is allowing a gathering limit of 50 people outdoors. Physical distancing measures still have to be followed at these gatherings.
This means that people who don't live in the same household have to stay at least six feet apart.
"We had some issues this weekend. We issued 91 warnings," said Laughlin.
"If we continue to see some compliance issues, we may have to take another step, which is either fining or reclosing," he said.
Edmonton has a real-time dashboard that keeps updating the public on all COVID-19-related topics, including the number of warnings and fines issued by date.
On May 23 and May 24, Edmonton Peace Officers actually seem to have issued a total of 119 warnings related to physical distancing and mass gatherings.
The dashboard provides a breakdown of locations over these dates. 36 warnings were issued to people at parks or playgrounds. 50 warnings were dished out at public outdoor amenities.
At another level of escalation, a number of tickets have been issued. The Edmonton Police Service issued five tickets on May 21, and the peace officers handed out two tickets on May 21 and May 22.
Edmonton law enforcement was not messing around when they said that they were going to fine people for breaking the rules.
But Laughlin did say on the radio show that Edmontonians were generally good with compliance over the weekend.
He also told the public that there needs to be a balance going forward as businesses open their doors again.
Edmonton's parks weren't the only outdoor spaces that shocked people over the weekend.
Toronto's Trinity Bellwoods Park was packed to the brim with people who did not appear to be social distancing.
It seems that public health officers have to be at the top of their game as things open up again.