Alberta has announced it will drop its final remaining COVID-19 restrictions, citing declining hospitalizations and transmission of the virus.
Effective June 14 at 11:59 pm, Alberta will move to Step 3, which includes lifting mandatory masking on public transit and ending mandatory isolation.
The province says those steps are in line with British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
Isolation will remain recommended for those with symptoms or a positive COVID-19 test.
The province says the rate of new hospitalizations has been declining since its peak on April 26, when there were 20.7 new COVID-19 admissions per day per million population. As of June 9, the weekly average of new hospitalizations rate was 6.6 per day per million population.
PCR test positivity and wastewater surveillance also show a continuing trend of declining COVID-19 transmission.
“We need to live with COVID-19 while accepting that it will continue to be present. We’ll continue to work to keep Albertans safe by ensuring access to vaccines, antivirals and rapid tests, through ongoing COVID-19 surveillance, and by enhancing healthcare system capacity”, said Jason Copping, minister of health.
Masking and any other measures to protect patients in Alberta Health Services (AHS) and contracted health facilities will remain in place through AHS policy as required for infection prevention and control.
CMOH orders in continuing care will be rescinded by June 30 but some measures in continuing care settings will remain in place through standards and policy. This includes maintaining practices like isolation of symptomatic residents, outbreak protocols and masking.