Hinshaw, Copping to hold live COVID update Thursday

Alberta’s top doctor will join the province’s health minister for a live COVID update on Thursday.

The update with Dr. Deena Hinshaw and Jason Copping comes just one day after the province moved into stage one of what Premier Jason Kenney has called the “path back to normal.”

On Wednesday, several groups, including teachers and business owners, expressed their concern while also raising some questions about the lifting of some mandates which includes the Restrictions Exemption Program (REP) coming to an end.

Some teachers have said they don’t feel comfortable going back to class Monday where students won’t be required to wear a mask anymore.

Kenney responded to those concerns on Twitter, saying teachers should “treat kids like kids, not ‘unsafe’ vectors of transmission.”

WATCH: CityNews’ Jasmine Vickaryous reports on the Alberta Teachers’ Association firing back at the province over the handling of COVID-19 mandates in schools.

This prompted a response from Alberta Teachers’ Association President Jason Schilling.

“To have the premier target two individuals in this way, specifically in his tweet, and to throw it back into the face of teachers, after just saying in a press conference that we need to come together, we need to work together, to overcome what is happening in COVID, this is despicable behaviour… it is unbecoming of a premier.”

Meanwhile, some restaurant owners have been left puzzled by how the province handled the lifting of the mandates as curfews, capacity limits and a ban on alcohol sales past 11 p.m. remain in place.

“It kind of seems a little bit backwards for us to go with the REP first and then lift all the other restrictions,” said Restaurant owner Leslie Echino.

“There are a lot of businesses that rely on that trade that happens between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m.”

Related article:

Restaurant owners don’t think Alberta’s COVID-19 changes go far enough

The Alberta Hospitality Association (AHA) says the government’s decision is a step in the right direction, but it’s far from hitting the mark.

“The hospitality industry wants an understanding as to why REP would be lifted before other restrictions such as table capacity, curfew and approved socializing and events throughout our operations,” AHA said in a statement.

“Removal of REP without loosening additional restrictions will continue to see operators enduring huge losses daily.”

Thursday’s live COVID-19 update is scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m. MT and can be viewed live on this site.

– With files from Tom Ross and Jeff Slack

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