During today’s COVID-19 update Premier Jason Kenney revealed COVID-19 is all over the province, equally in urban and rural areas. He also noted that the province is launching a new vaccination map that will show rates of vaccination. 

He said, “Thankfully, our case numbers have stabilized and our transmission is slowing down, but we still have a ways to go.” 

“COVID-19 is a very real situation that we're all facing together. And I've always believed that when presented with the facts people overwhelmingly will do the right thing to protect themselves and their fellow Albertans, especially the most vulnerable.”

Drive-ins can actually take place Dr. Deena Hinshaw clarified. People have to attend with members of their household in the same vehicle, or two close contacts for people who live alone. 

Kenney responded to statements comparing the vaccination programs in the United States and Canada. 

“I know it's easy to look to the U.S. and wonder why we're not in the same place. Of course, the U.S. is much further ahead of Canada in terms of widespread immunity with their vaccine program, but that has also come that the higher levels of immunity were also because of higher levels of infection, and that came at a steep price.” 

He also spoke about rates of the virus in rural versus urban places. 

“There's also been a belief that COVID-19 is a big city problem and not a rural one, but this couldn't be further from the truth,” said Kenney. 

“Throughout the pandemic, people living in rural areas of the province have been more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 than people living in large urban areas. Since February of this year. Hospitalization rates are 25 per cent higher and ICU rates are 30 per cent higher in rural areas than in urban ones,” the Premier said. 

He revealed some rural areas are showing rates that are higher than in Calgary or two times higher than in Edmonton. 

“The point is simply this is not an urban versus rural issue, it's clear that COVID-19 is everywhere in the province and people's lives matter just as much, no matter where they live, where they come from.”