Alberta reports 291 new COVID-19 cases and loosens restrictions

Mar 1 2021, 4:17 pm

Alberta’s top doctor announced another 291 new COVID-19 cases on Monday as provincial health officials announced they are lifting more public health restrictions.

Of the new cases, 35 have been identified as variants of concern, Dr. Deena Hinshaw said. An uptick in variant cases plus Alberta’s positivity rate hovering around 5% meant officials decided to lift only some COVID-19 restrictions Monday.

Alberta is moving into Step 2, but it’s keeping all restrictions the same except for indoor fitness and libraries. More low-impact activities such as pilates, rock climbing, and tai chi will be allowed again starting Monday. Libraries will also be able to reopen and admit enough people to reach 15% of fire code capacity.

“The risks are still out there. Please remember to keep each other safe,” Health Minister Tyler Shandro said.

Later on in Phase 2, the government may ease restrictions on retails stores, banquet halls, conference centres, and hotels.

There are currently 257 Albertans in hospital with COVID-19, including 48 in intensive care. To date, 1,888 Albertans have died of the virus.

All seniors turning 75 this year are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Thus far 31,000 seniors in the community have received their first dose and 123,000 more have reserved their appointments, Hinshaw said.

Megan DevlinMegan Devlin

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