Alberta to see Stage 2 of Relaunch Strategy no earlier than mid-June
Note: While local parks, shops, and events are beginning to reopen, Alberta Health Services is reminding individuals to monitor their health for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. And if you’re not feeling well, they recommend staying home at this time. If you decide to go out, maintain the 6-feet physical distancing guidelines.
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney spoke to the future of the province’s Relaunch Strategy.
Having just announced that most of the province would move forward with Stage 1 as of May 14, Kenney addressed a question regarding when we could expect Stage 2 and Stage 3.
According to Kenney, “we are currently targeting no earlier than June 19 for Phase 2.”
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“Once again, our public health officers will need time to study the data from the effects of Stage one,” he said, “and if they do not see a significant increase in the rate of infection or hospitalizations and ICU admissions, I’m hoping to get advice from then that we can then proceed on June 19 to Phase 2.”
Stage 2 would likely include reopening personal services, massage and reflexology, K-12 schools, movie theatres, and additional elective surgeries.
As with Stage 0 and Stage 1, these reopenings would come with restrictions that follow the public health guidelines, and would not require relevant businesses to reopen precisely on the relaunch dates.
Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw 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 amount of cases in a particular region.