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Alberta’s top doctor takes stand during civil trial regarding response to COVID-19

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Dr. Deena Hinshaw maintains public health restrictions were necessary to protect the health-care system during the COVID-19 pandemic.She took the stand at a civil trial on Monday.Several churches and individuals in Alberta filed a constitutional challenge against the province in December 2020, accusing the government of violating Albertans’ rights by imposing public health orders and restrictions at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The applicants claim the restrictions were unlawful and violated the province’s bill of rights and Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms.Hinshaw took the stand as the trial continued, spending much of the day being questioned by defence lawyer Leighton Grey.

About 60% of PCR-positive COVID-19 cases in Alberta are Omicron subvariant BA.2 Throughout the hearing, Hinshaw said the COVID-19 response team was acting based on the information it had at the time.

She said the team looked at experiences in Italy, New York and other “comparable jurisdictions” when drafting the public health restrictions and recommendations.Hinshaw said mandatory measures significantly reduced cases in Alberta compared to voluntary measures.

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