Alberta hits 60% vaccination target, eyes June 10 move to Stage 2 reopening

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With more than 60 per cent of Albertans vaccinated with their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, the province will watch hospitalization numbers as it eyes a move to Stage 2 of its reopening plan.  (AHS - image credit)
With more than 60 per cent of Albertans vaccinated with their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, the province will watch hospitalization numbers as it eyes a move to Stage 2 of its reopening plan. (AHS - image credit)

Alberta could move to Stage 2 of its reopening plan as early as June 10 after it was announced Friday more than 60 per cent of eligible Albertans had received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

The relaxation of public health orders would see theatres, cinemas, museums and galleries reopen at a third of their capacity, with restaurants permitted to seat up to six people indoors from different households.

Outdoor social gatherings of up to 20 people would be permitted while concerts and festivals could go ahead with up to 150 people under Stage 2.

The move on June 10 is conditional on the province being below 500 hospitalizations and declining.

Alberta reported 517 people in hospital on Friday, including 147 in intensive care units. The province reported 512 new cases but saw an overall drop of 790 total active cases, down to 9,227.

The province also reported seven new deaths from COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the total to 2,206.

Another 47,265 doses of vaccine were administered Thursday with 60.3 per cent of Albertans 12 and older having received their first shot.

Under Stage 2, indoor fitness can open for solo and drop-in activities so long as people abide by a three-metre distancing rule. Personal and wellness services, such as hair salons, can reopen for walk-in service, while retail and places of worship can expand their capacity to a third of fire code capacity.

Other restrictions eased under Stage 2 include:

  • Indoor and outdoor youth and adult sports resume with no restrictions

  • Day camps and play centres can resume, with restrictions

  • Post-secondary institutions can resume in-person learning

  • Outdoor fixed seating facilities, such as grandstands, can open at a third of capacity.

"The next two weeks will be a critical time for Alberta. The more we can drive our numbers down in the next few weeks by all following public health measures, and the more Albertans who are protected by immunization, the more successful we will be in our opening," said Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta's chief medical officer of health, in a statement.

Premier Jason Kenney announced Alberta's reopening plan this week, with the province slated to move into the first stage on Tuesday. Restaurant patios will be permitted to reopen and outdoor gatherings can be held with up to 10 people.

Here is how active cases breakdown by health zone:

  • Calgary zone: 3,809

  • Edmonton zone: 2,450

  • North zone: 1,392

  • Central zone: 1,066

  • South zone: 558

  • Unknown: 2

The province's positivity rate was just shy of 7 per cent on Thursday on 7,703 tests.

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