A couple of weeks back, the Alberta government announced that it would be lifting restrictions like mandatory quarantine and masks on public transit by next week. Well, facing a significant rise in new daily cases, that plan has been scrapped. Here’s the scoop.
As a quick reminder, here’s what Alberta was planning to do on August 16th, just so we’re on the same page:
- Provincial mandatory mask orders everywhere included public transit are lifted
- Isolation following a positive COVID-19 test no longer be required
- Isolation hotels and quarantine support no longer be available
- Public health focus shifts mainly to severe cases of COVID-19 only
Live at 9:30 – Watch Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health (@CMOH_Alberta) and Minister of Education (@AdrianaLagrange) provide an update on back to school guidance and the ongoing work to protect public health in schools: https://t.co/MBNWeIbTDE
— Alberta Government (@YourAlberta) August 13, 2021
Chief Medical Officer Dr. Deena Hinshaw announced the change in the plan during a Friday morning press conference. With hospitalizations some 62% above projected levels, and worrying data regarding the Delta variant coming out from regions with lower vaccination rates, the following August 16th changes will now be delayed until at least September 27th.
– Mandatory masking orders in publicly accessible transit, taxis and ride-shares.
– Mandatory isolation for 10 days for those with COVID-19 symptoms or a positive test result.
– Testing at assessment centres for any symptomatic individual.
Basically, the delay gives more time to increase the percentage of vaccinated Albertans, which Hinshaw says is “the number one most important thing adults and older children can do to protect themselves and younger children and others around them”.
Additionally, it allows for further monitoring of the effects of COVID variants on hospitalizations, especially in children. Should the data suggest that the province can safely proceed, then the proposed changes will take effect after September 26th.
Don’t just take our word for it, though! You can check out the official press release right here.