Alberta reports 269 new COVID-19 cases as some restrictions lift

Feb 8 2021, 3:01 pm

Alberta’s top doctor announced 269 new COVID-19 cases Monday as the province lifted several public health restrictions.

Restaurants can now reopen their dining rooms, children can go back to playing sports together, and some restrictions on adult indoor fitness are loosening.

“The decisions about how we put activities in different steps are based on the risk of that activity as well as looking at the overall balance of the benefits of that activity and the risk of COVID-19,” Dr. Deena Hinshaw said, explaining why children’s activities are being allowed earlier than initially planned.

Hinshaw also said 25 more cases of variant strains of COVID-19 were discovered over the weekend, bringing the province’s total variant case count to 96. Of those, 46 are not linked to travel.

“We are screening most if not all positive tests for variants of concern,” Hinshaw said. “On days like today, our capacity to screen for variants exceeds number of new cases identified.”

She added she’s concerned about the variants but that it’s still possible to bring spread under control by sticking to public health guidelines.

Another five people died of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, bringing Alberta’s death toll to 1,710.

The province’s number of COVID-19-related hospitalizations is also decreasing. There were 432 people in hospital as of Monday afternoon, including 76 in the ICU.