With Stage 2 of Alberta’s Relaunch Strategy coming into effect sooner than expected, many Albertans are likely curious as to what Stage 3 looks like, and when it will come into effect.
According to the Province’s website, the final stage of the Relaunch Strategy will see businesses and services fully reopened, large gatherings permitted, arts and culture festivals, vocal concerts, and major sporting events allowed with restrictions, nightclubs reopened, industry conferences resumed, and no restrictions on non-essential travel.
However, even with Stage 3, physical distancing restrictions will remain in place until a vaccine has been created and distributed.
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In order for Stage 3 to be enacted, Alberta will have to see continuously low rates of new coronavirus cases, hospitalizations, and ICU admissions.
Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw has previously addressed the possibility of Alberta having to dial back reopenings in the face of increased coronavirus rates.
She stated that Alberta’s health officials will be taking both absolute thresholds and contextual indicators into consideration.
The former being if hospitalizations see a rise of more than 5%, or if ICU capacity in any particular area is occupied greater than 50%.
However, given that these are both considered lagging indicators — where the increase in rates would come potentially weeks after initial exposure — they are also keeping an eye on contextual indicators like the number of cases spread by community transmission, reproduction numbers, and the number of cases in a particular region.
The current timeline for enacting Stage 3 is to be determined, according to the province’s website, though it is also noted that “Stage 2’s success will determine when Alberta progresses to Stage 3.”