Alberta reported 130 new coronavirus cases Thursday, marking the eighth straight day the province has reported more than 100 new cases.
The latest people to be diagnosed with COVID-19 bring Alberta’s active infection count to 1,415.
No one else died from the virus in the last 24 hours, leaving the province’s death toll at 242.
“We are all longing to go back to how things used to be. But COVID-19 is far from over,” Dr. Deena Hinshaw told reporters from Edmonton. “This is not the time to let our guard down.”
Hinshaw also announced two new changes to provincial health orders. One enables casinos to resume offering table games, and the other changes the framework at continuing care homes for requiring residents to quarantine.
Before, any resident who left their care home overnight would have to quarantine upon return. Now, quarantine requirements will be tied to how risky their outing was instead of how long it was.
Hinshaw said they were hearing complaints that someone could leave for an afternoon and attend a wedding without having to quarantine, whereas someone who went to a family cabin for the weekend alone would need to quarantine.
“We are increasing flexibility when risk is low, but not reducing overall protections in place,” she said.
The new rules will come into effect September 17.
- See also:
Hinshaw also acknowledged parents and students might be feeling anxious about heading back to the classroom next week, saying she’s feeling the same fears as she prepares to send her own kids back to elementary school.
“We are the first parents in several generations with children going to school during such a serious global pandemic,” she said.
She acknowledged families will need to plan carefully if someone becomes ill by trying to keep sick children or a sick parent away from other members. Those logistical challenges become even more difficult in single-parent families, she said.
“Staying home when sick is a good thing,” she said, urging people to break out of the mindset that continuing to work or attend school while sick shows toughness.
“[Staying home] shows we care about the health of our family and the health of those around us.”