But some Edmonton parents worry the COVID-19 cases havent dipped low enough to safely resume learning in a classroom setting.
Alex Traxel holds his kids textbook and laptop outside his home in Sherwood Park, Tuesday Jan. 5, 2021. Traxel doesnt feel its safe to send his kids back to school and is hoping they can stay online until February. Photo by David BloomPhoto by David Bloom David Bloom /David Bloom/Postmedia
Alex Traxel from Sherwood Park is begrudgingly sending his three sons back for in-person learning next week. While he understands keeping kids home longer may be difficult to do for some parents, he wonders if waiting until February may give leave some time for cases to go down.
I dont think theres any good choices for parents right now. I think every choice is bad, he said. Were worse off today than we were [in November] I dont see what theyre seeing that tells them its safe to go back.
David Kahane from Edmonton says hes on the fence about whether to send his son back to school.
It feels like theres a real risk of infection if he goes back. And while the evidence seems to be that hes not likely to end up in intensive care because of that, his mom or I might well, he said.
Announcing a state of emergency in November, Premier Jason Kenney said teenagers were more likely to spread the virus than younger children and keeping them away from school would help reduce broader community transmission.
At the time, there were 13,349 active cases of COVID-19, just under 500 deaths, and 348 people in hospital, of which 66 were in ICU. There were 49,536 cases overall.
Since then, Albertas COVID-19 deaths, hospitalizations, and patients in ICU, and total cases all have more than doubled. As of Tuesday, there were 1,168 deaths, 919 hospitalizations of which 140 are in ICU, and 106,378 cases total. The number of active cases is similar at 13,411.