(Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)

(Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)

Alberta lifting more health restrictions

Step two of the province’s path back to normal will begin on March 1

Effective March 1, Alberta will step into the second phase of lifting COVID health restrictions.

On Feb. 8 the government of Alberta moved the province into step one and since then, 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.

The beginning of step two will include the end of limits on social gatherings, capacity limits for large venues, remaining school requirements and screening of youth for activities.

The mandatory work-from-home order and public masking requirements will also be removed.

“Over the last three weeks, cases and hospitalizations have continued to drop as we have started lifting restrictions. 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,” said Jason Kenney.

“I am pleased to see that the stress on our health-care system continues to lessen. 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,” said Jason Copping, minister of health.

Masking requirements in high-risk settings will still continue under step two, 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.

The province will move forward with step three based on hospitalization rates continuing to trend downwards.

At that time, COVID-19-specific measures in continuing care and acute care settings and on public transit will be removed. Mandatory isolation would also become a recommendation only at that time.

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