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Saturday , 28 May 2022
Michael Menzies Photo.

Alberta to lift almost all remaining health restrictions

The Government of Alberta says as COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to decline and pressure on the health-care system decreases, step two of the province’s path back to normal will begin on March 1.

Since step one began on Feb. 8, COVID-19 positivity rates in the province have continued to decline. Hospitalizations in intensive and non-intensive care have also steadily declined and are at the lowest levels since Jan. 22.

Effective March 1, Alberta will begin step two, which will include the end of limits on social gatherings, capacity limits for large venues, remaining school requirements, screening of youth for activities, the mandatory work-from-home order and public masking requirements except in high-risk settings.

“Over the last three weeks, cases and hospitalizations have continued to drop as we have started lifting restrictions,” Jason Kenney, Premier said.This promising trend puts Alberta in a position to safely remove the majority of remaining public health measures. This is a good day for Albertans as we get another step closer to getting back to normal.”

Step two

Effective March 1:

  • Remaining provincial school requirements (including cohorting) will be removed.
  • Screening prior to youth activities will no longer be required.
  • Capacity limits will be lifted for all venues.
  • Limits on social gatherings will be removed.
  • The provincial mask mandate will be lifted in most settings. However, masking will still be required in high-risk settings, including on public transit, at Alberta Health Services-operated and contracted facilities and all continuing care settings.
  • Restrictions on interactive activities, liquor service and operating hours will be lifted
  • Mandatory work-from-home requirements will be removed.

Step three

To be determined based on hospitalization rates continuing to trend downwards.

  • COVID-19-specific measures in continuing care and acute care settings and on public transit will be removed.
  • Mandatory isolation becomes a recommendation only.

“I am pleased to see that the stress on our health-care system continues to lessen,” Jason Copping, Minister of Health said. “Not only does this allow us to ease more public health measures, it also reduces the pressure and strain on our dedicated health-care workers who have worked tirelessly through the pandemic to provide expert care to Albertans.”

Under step two, masking requirements in high-risk settings will continue, including at AHS facilities, continuing care centres and on public transit. Isolation remains mandatory for anyone with COVID-19 symptoms or a positive test result. These public health protections will remain in place until step three, which will occur at a later date provided hospitalizations continue to decline.

Additional details on all restrictions and measures in place are available at alberta.ca/CovidMeasures.

About Arthur C. Green

Arthur C. Green is an award winning journalist and is from Whitbourne Newfoundland. Green graduated from the CNA Journalism Program. Arthur also studied Business Marketing and Political Science at Memorial University in Essex England and St. John's Newfoundland. Green has worked for such organizations as CBC, CBC Radio, NTV, Saltwire, Great West Media, CKLB Radio, River Radio, Vista Radio, and Postmedia. He also loves Jiggs Dinner and can fillet a Codfish.