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Friday , 5 March 2021

Health Minister believes it’s safe to move forward on re-opening plan

The province of Alberta is heading toward moving forward with Step 2 of “The Path Forward” according to Minister of Health Tyler Shandro on Feb. 18.

“Now we’re still at risk, especially with the new variants, we have to continue to be careful. But Albertans have shown they have what it takes to bend the curve. And that’s why I believe it’s safe to move forward with our careful, staged re-opening,” said Shandro during Thursday’s daily COVID update.

“This is the time of year when it always starts to seem like spring will never come here in Alberta, but it always does. It won’t make COVID go away all by itself, but it will help. Until then, we need to stick at it. Please keep following the public health restrictions and do your best to help if a contact tracer does call you,” said Shandro.

According to Shandro, Alberta’s daily new cases have been below the Canadian average and continued to trend down in “the strongest and most sustained downward trend of the six provinces outside of the Maritimes.”

Locally on Thursday, St. Paul five new cases and one death, Bonnyville reported five new cases, Cold Lake one, and Smoky Lake five new cases.

Another positive trend according to Shandro has been the reduction in outbreaks at hospitals in the province. In November, most hospitals in the Edmonton and Calgary regions had active outbreaks.

“The last report that we received, is that there has been only one now at this time. And overall, there are active outbreaks right now at only eight hospitals across the province, including as I said one site in Calgary, and another one in Edmonton as well,” said Shandro.

According to the provincial outbreak list, outbreaks are not considered over until four weeks have passed since the last case was identified.

The list of outbreaks currently includes 15 acute care facilities across the province including four in the North Zone, but does not specify which are still experiencing transmission.

About Meredith Kerr

Meredith Kerr moved to St. Paul for a career in journalism and morning radio in 2014 expecting to stay for six months to a year. Since then, she has put down roots in the form of a husband, a mortgage, two babies, and a poorly behaved dog. She continues to work as a reporter until such time as she finishes her book and becomes fabulously wealthy from the royalties. Meredith also serves as a member at large on the St. Paul Library Board and volunteers as a Beaver leader for the 1st St. Paul Scout Group.