COVID-19: Alberta public health measures to end on July 1

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announces the majority of COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted on July 1, after 70 per cent of Albertans received their first COVID-19 vaccine dose.

Nearly all of Alberta’s provincial health measures designed to slow the spread of COVID-19 will be lifted on July 1, Premier Jason Kenney announced on Friday.

“It is a good afternoon. This is a happy day for Alberta,” Kenney said.

“Today I want to say, ‘We did it. You did it!’”

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The news comes after the province hit the threshold for Stage 3 of the Open for Summer plan on Thursday, when 70.2 per cent of eligible Albertans had received their first COVID-19 vaccine dose.

“That means that, on July 1 — on Canada Day — Alberta’s public health measures will be lifted and our lives will get back to normal,” Kenney said.

Under Stage 3, nearly all restrictions are lifted, including a ban on social gatherings.

Isolation requirements for positive COVID-19 cases and some protective measures in continuing care facilities would remain in place.

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Shandro said more information on what those measures will look like will be released before the province moves into the next stage, but said masking may still be involved.

“Here’s the bottom line: on Canada Day, virtually all remaining COVID-19 restrictions will be history,” Kenney said. “No more limits on weddings or funerals. No more bans on indoor social gatherings. No more limits for gyms, sports and fitness activities.

“No more capacity limits at restaurants or retail or for places of worship. No more advisories against non-essential travel, so long as you observe travel requirements in other jurisdictions.”

Kenney also urged Albertans to continue to use common sense once the province has moved into Stage 3.

“That means staying home if you’re sick, getting tested if you have symptoms and for those who test positive for COVID-19, they will still be legally required to isolate.”

Municipal mandates put in place in individual communities would still be in effect until lifted by local governments.

Since the province entered Stage 1 of the reopening plan, active cases have dropped by 61 per cent, hospitalizations due to COVID-19 are down 45 per cent and ICU admissions due to COVID-19 have fallen by 53 per cent.

Over the past seven days, there have been an average of 12 new COVID-19 hospitalizations and the positivity rate average is just below three per cent.

“We finally have the upper hand on this virus and can safely open up our province,” Kenney said.

On Friday, the province confirmed an additional 124 cases of COVID-19 and there were 2,336 active cases across the province.

There were 237 Albertans in hospital with COVID-19, with 58 of those cases receiving care in the ICU.

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Three more Albertans died from COVID-19 over the past 24 hours and all three had comorbidities.

A man in his 60s from the Central zone and a man in his 40s in the North zone have died. A man in his 60s who was linked to an outbreak at Foothills Medical Centre in the Calgary zone has also died.

Alberta’s COVID-19 death toll now stands at 2,283.

Alberta reported 1,049 active cases of COVID-19 in the Calgary zone, 486 in the Edmonton zone, 253 in the Central zone, 83 in the South zone and 465 in the North zone.

Over the past 24 hours, Alberta completed 5,574 COVID-19 tests and recorded a positivity rate of 2.13 per cent.

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To date, 231,132 Albertans have contracted COVID-19. Of those, 226,513 people have recovered.

As of Thursday, 3,654,750 doses of COVID-19 vaccine had been administered in Alberta.

The province also announced Friday that all Albertans over the age of 12 are now eligible to get their second dose of COVID-19 vaccine, meaning those who received their first dose in May can now book their second dose. Albertans are reminded to wait at least four weeks between doses.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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