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Alberta to lift remaining health restrictions
Alberta will take the final step in its plan to ease public health measures as the province moves past the Omicron BA.2 wave and COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to decline.
The rate of new hospitalizations has been declining since its peak on April 26, when there were 20.7 new COVID-19 admissions per day per million population. As of June 9, the weekly average of new hospitalizations rate was 6.6 per day per million population.
PCR test positivity and wastewater surveillance also show a continuing trend of declining COVID-19 transmission.
Effective June 14 at 11:59 p.m., Alberta will move to Step 3, which includes lifting mandatory masking on public transit and ending mandatory isolation, in common with British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. Isolation will remain recommended for those with symptoms or a positive COVID-19 test.
Work is underway to prepare for the fall and winter respiratory virus season. This includes maintaining surveillance and testing programs and preparing to expand acute care surge capacity.
“We need to live with COVID-19 while accepting that it will continue to be present. We’ll continue to work to keep Albertans safe by ensuring access to vaccines, antivirals and rapid tests, through ongoing COVID-19 surveillance, and by enhancing health-care system capacity.”
— Jason Copping, Minister of Health
“Learning to live with COVID-19 does not mean forgetting about it. As we bring COVID-19 management in line with other respiratory diseases, it will continue to be vital that we receive our primary vaccine series and any additional booster doses we are eligible for, and continue good habits like washing our hands regularly and avoiding being around others if we feel sick.”
— Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health
Step 3 – measures remain in effect until June 14 at 11:59 p.m. As of 12 a.m. on June 15:
• Mandatory isolation becomes a recommendation only.
• Mandatory masking on public transit is lifted.
Masking and any other measures to protect patients in Alberta Health Services (AHS) and contracted health facilities will remain in place through AHS policy as required for infection prevention and control.
CMOH orders in continuing care will be rescinded by June 30 but some measures in continuing care settings will remain in place through standards and policy. This includes maintaining practices like isolation of symptomatic residents, outbreak protocols and masking.
Vaccines are fundamental to Alberta’s ability to live with COVID-19. Albertans are encouraged to receive all doses they are eligible for.
Vaccines are readily available across the province on a walk-in basis. Appointments are also available through the Alberta Vaccine Booking System or by calling 811 or a participating pharmacy.
Alberta continues to provide rapid tests at no cost. To find a location, visit alberta.ca/CovidRapidTests. An Alberta Health Care card is not required to pick up a rapid test kit.