Alberta’s Step 2 in COVID-19 rule relaxation begins with caution

Libraries and fitness centres get relaxation on public health rules; three week evaluation for more changes

Alberta's Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw at a Feb. 16, 2021 COVID-19 media conference. ABGOV FLICKR

Topline information:

Alberta will dip its toes into Step 2 of the four-step framework for the relaxation of COVID-19 public health rules.

Cases – March 1: 291 new cases

  • 257 people in hospital; 48 in ICU
  • Two new deaths
  • Positivity rate of 4.9 per cent on 5,933 tests
  • 27 additional variant cases (457 total)

What you need to know:

  • The decision on next phases of the step process will be made after another three weeks of evaluation.
  • What held back some of the Step 2 areas was the growth in the number of variant cases in the province. Decisions on retail, children’s sports, hotels, banquet halls and community centres have been delayed.
  • Further details on restrictions are available on the Alberta government’s website.  
  • The City of Calgary said it would review the province’s changes and determine the impact on its own operations.

Quotables:

  • “We’ve made progress and it is more important than ever that we continue our collective efforts to abide by health measures and prevent cases from rising. Our everyday choices matter and we must remain vigilant and keep wearing masks, maintaining physical distance, and staying home when we feel ill.”

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health

  • “We are taking a cautious approach, recognizing that active cases and hospitalizations have declined, but the threat of COVID-19 remains real. “

Jason Kenney, Premier

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