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Alberta church shut down, fenced off for ignoring COVID-19 health restrictions

BY The Canadian Press, Apr 7, 2021 2:29 PM - REPORT AN ERROR

File - Free Reformed Church is seen as people attend Sunday Service, in Chilliwack, B.C., on Sunday, February 21, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Metal fences have been put up around the GraceLife church just west of Edmonton and Alberta Health Services says it will stay closed until it complies with COVID-19 health rules.

The church has ignored public health warnings for months, and its pastor spent a month in jail.

Churches are allowed to be open at 15 per cent capacity, but officials say hundreds of people have attended GraceLife's services.

Several doctors say public-health restrictions introduced by government are not enough

Several doctors from Calgary and Edmonton say that with cases involving COVID-19 variants doubling every week, public-health restrictions introduced by the Alberta government are not enough to reduce the spread of the virus.

Dr. James Talbot, co-chair of the COVID-19 committee with the Edmonton Zone Medical Staff Association, says the restrictions on indoor restaurant dining and retail customer limits announced yesterday won't reduce the stress on hospitals and intensive care units.

Another expert with the University of Calgary says in order to get the curve bending downward, there needs to be another shutdown like the one imposed last spring.

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