Alberta doctors protest COVID-19 isolation rule changes

EDMONTON – Doctors across Alberta are protesting recent changes to pandemic protocols announced this week by the province.

Hundreds of people flocked to the Alberta Legislature in Edmnton and Calgary’s McDougall Centre in coordinating rallies Friday afternoon, calling on the government to change course.

Next month, isolation following a positive COVID-19 test will no longer be required, although strongly recommended, and quarantine support will no longer be available.

Meanwhile, quarantine for close contacts has already shifted from mandatory to recommended.

Province-imposed masking mandates will also be lifted in August.


Dr. Joe Vipond was on hand, leading the charge at Calgary’s rally, where people in attendance were visibly upset.

“No other jurisdiction in the world is doing it’s not even friggin [sic] Sweden and Sweden’s pretty bad. So, why? Why are we doing this now?” he said.

“Everything that I hear now coming out of Hinshaw’s mouth is gaslighting and outright lies. How can I trust my government?”

Vipond believes Premier Jason Kenney, Health Minister Tyler Shandro, and Dr. Deena Hinshaw should all resign.

Members of Save Our Students Alberta (SOS) were also on hand, voicing concerns over how the rule change will impact the coming school year.

“[Parents] are very, very concerned that there’s going to be no protections for their kids as we’re in a moment of change and transition with this variant,” said an SOS spokesperson.

“Listen to science. Look at leaders in our world and in our community and listen to our doctors. There’s not just one doctor, there are several doctors that need to be consulted and we’re looking to them now for leadership that we’re not finding in our current government.”

Removal of mandatory quarantines draws wide criticism

Doctors have been vocal online about their opposition to the move, some going as far as to call it anti-science and anti-public health.


Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro defended the decision, adding that while it may be hard for some to believe, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw’s call was based on current data.

The move to scale back measures that are preventing the spread of the highly infectious virus has drawn lots of criticism from people outside the medical community.

Some Albertans have said this feels like the province is moving too fast, especially with cases on the rise.

Calgary’s mayor, Naheed Nenshi, called the move the “height of insanity”.

The Official Opposition also shared concerns, agreeing with several doctors that the province is removing the measures too quickly.


Doctors in Calgary and Edmonton are planning to march again Saturday at noon.

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