Alberta / covid 19

New plan will guide easing of health measures

News Release

New plan will guide easing of health measures

Easing of provincewide health measures will occur in steps based on COVID-19 hospitalization benchmarks.

These steps and benchmarks will provide a transparent approach to easing restrictions for businesses and individuals while protecting the health-care system. 

Each step has an associated benchmark of hospitalized COVID-19 patients, including intensive care patients. Changes to restrictions will be considered once a benchmark is reached.

The hospitalization benchmarks are:

  • Step 1 – 600 and declining
  • Step 2 – 450 and declining
  • Step 3 – 300 and declining
  • Step 4 – 150 and declining

With hospitalizations dipping below 600, Alberta will move to Step 1 on Feb. 8.

If after three weeks the hospitalization numbers are in the range of the next benchmark, decisions will be considered for moving to Step 2. The same three-week re-evaluation period will be used for all subsequent steps.

“This roadmap sets out a clear path for when and how Albertans will see some easing of heath measures. By outlining the benchmarks we must achieve to see more reopenings, we are offering hope and a path forward. But we have to proceed with caution. This stepped approach will only work if Albertans continue to follow existing health measures and make good choices to keep our numbers trending down. It’s up to each one of us to maintain our vigilance.”Jason Kenney, Premier

“Throughout the pandemic, we’ve emphasized the importance of maintaining our health-care capacity. These hospitalization benchmarks will help us chart a path forward to carefully restart businesses and activities that people depend on. We’re laying out a series of steps to ease selected measures starting with those that have the lowest risk, all subject to the need to protect our health system.”Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health

“By outlining a roadmap with clear targets, we want Albertans to see themselves as part of the solution. We must all continue to follow public health measures and reduce the spread of COVID-19 to see our downward trend continue. Only as we see hospitalizations fall low enough can we consider additional easing of restrictions.”Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health

Indoor masking and distancing requirements will remain in place throughout the entire stepped approach, and some degree of restrictions will still apply to all activities within each step.

The grouping and sequencing of steps is based on relative risk for COVID-19 transmission. Actions with the lowest relative risk will be those first considered for easing.

Early steps: In effect Jan. 18

  • Outdoor social gatherings allowed up to 10 people.
  • Personal and wellness services opened for appointments only.
  • Funeral service attendance was raised to 20 people.
  • In-person classes resumed for K-12 students (Jan. 11).

Step 1:  Hospitalization benchmark – 600

  • Potential easing of some restrictions related to:
    • Indoor and outdoor children’s sport and performance (school-related only)
    • Indoor personal fitness, one-on-one and by appointment only
    • Restaurants, cafes, and pubs

Step 2:  Hospitalization benchmark – 450

  • Potential easing of some restrictions related to:
    • Retail
    • Community halls, hotels, banquet halls and conference centres
    • Further easing of some restrictions eased in Step 1

Step 3: Hospitalization benchmark – 300

  • Potential easing of some restrictions related to:
    • Places of worship
    • Adult team sports
    • Museums, art galleries, zoos and interpretive centres
    • Indoor seated events, including movie theatres and auditoriums
    • Casinos, racing centres and bingo halls
    • Libraries
    • Further easing of some restrictions eased in Steps 1 and 2

Step 4: Hospitalization benchmark – 150

  • Potential easing of some restrictions related to:
    • Indoor entertainment centres and play centres
    • Tradeshows, conferences and exhibiting events
    • Performance activities (e.g., singing, dancing, wind instruments)
    • Outdoor sporting events (e.g., rodeo)
    • Wedding ceremonies and receptions
    • Funeral receptions
    • Workplaces – lifting work-from-home measures
    • Amusement parks
    • Indoor concerts and sporting events
    • Festivals, including arts and cultural festivals (indoor and outdoor)
    • Day camps and overnight camps
    • Further easing of some restrictions eased in Steps 1-3

Alberta’s government is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by protecting lives and livelihoods with precise measures to bend the curve, sustain small businesses and protect Alberta’s health-care system.

Related information

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