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Alberta goes full Step 2 in relaxation of COVID-19 public health restrictions

Topline information:  

Alberta will move ahead with further reduced restrictions in Step 2. On Monday, 278 new cases were announced (5.4 per cent positive on 5500 tests). There are six new variant cases and six new deaths.  There are 254 people in hospital, 36 in ICU.

What you need to know:

  • Earlier this month, the province held back on some of the Step 2 changes, citing some concerns over the variant strain.
  • Banquet halls, community hall conference centres and hotels can open for activities; this includes: virtual meetings, performance activities, wedding ceremony with 10 people, funeral services with 20 people.
  • Wedding receptions, funeral receptions and trade shows still not allowed.
  • Retail stores can now have 25 per cent of fire code capacity (up from 15 per cent), not including staff
  • No changes around youth sports and activities, but post-secondary athletic programs can have lessons, practices and conditioning. Limit 10 people including coaches and participants. Public health measures (masks, distancing) still in place.
  • 91,000 Albertans are fully vaccinated with more than 297,000 doses administered.
  • The City of Calgary will review the announced changes and update their own operations.
  • Potential Step 3 changes could be made March 22.

More details can be found at the province’s website.

Quotables :

“While targeted measures are being eased, we all must remain vigilant and keep going the extra mile. COVID-19 remains a serious health threat, and variants of concern can spread more easily if given the chance. Until we have more vaccine for our population, it is essential that every Albertan continues to be the vaccine for each other.”

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health