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Border screenings and smartphone apps: A look at Alberta's relaunch strategy


EDMONTON — Albertan Premier Jason Kenney has announced some details about what he calls the province's relaunch strategy.

The plan focuses on gradually boosting the economy while preventing a second wave of COVID-19.

During a televised address Tuesday, Kenney stressed the strategy can't come into effect until social distancing rules are relaxed. Current models suggest that won't be until the end of May.

Kenney says the strategy takes information from countries like Taiwan, Singapore and South Korea, which have had more success than other nations in terms of economic activity and viral spread.

Here are some preliminary details about the strategy:

Mass testing

Kenney says testing is the foundation of the strategy, and the plan is for Alberta to conduct as many as 20,000 COVID-19 tests a day. New tests will be used to identify positive cases and those with immunity in a more timely fashion.

Close contacts

Kenney says Alberta will have more precise tracing of close contacts of those who are infected.

Border screening

Kenney says he feels Canada waited too long to close its borders, especially to countries with high levels of infection. He says Alberta will deploy a "much more rigorous approach than the federal government has in screening and quarantining international arrivals."

Watching closely

The premier says Alberta will use technology to help enforce quarantine orders. He says that could include using smartphone apps when appropriate.


Kenney says Alberta plans to "encourage and facilitate the use of masks in crowded public spaces, like mass transit."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 8, 2020

The Canadian Press

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