With the walkback from the province on lifting an array of pandemic restrictions, some may be wondering where we’re currently at.
Masking is no longer required by the province, except for people who work or are visiting any continuing care facility, any building operated by Alberta Health Services (AHS), and masks will still be required when using public transportation.
The province says that municipalities and businesses can choose to set their own masking requirements, such as requiring staff and or customers to wear masks in their place of business.
On Sept. 27, the province plans to lift the masking requirement on public transportation.
Testing for COVID-19 remains available to Albertans who have symptoms, while asymptomatic testing is no longer recommended.
Starting on Sept. 27, testing will no longer be recommended to individuals with mild symptoms, but the province recommends those who feel unwell and have symptoms stay home and limit their contacts until they are better.
Testing will remain available to people with symptoms through physicians’ offices and other primary care settings when needed and for patients with severe illness requiring urgent or emergency care and those in high-risk environments.
As of July 29, quarantine is no longer required for close contacts of positive cases unless directed to do so by public health officials.
Isolation is still required for people who have COVID-19 symptoms or test positive.
Come Sept. 27, the 10-day isolation period following a positive test result will no longer be mandatory but strongly recommended, says the province.
Many of the restrictions planned to be lifted come Sept. 27 were originally slated for Aug 16.
The public health modelling used to decide the restriction changes was meant to be available on Aug. 18, but the reports have taken longer than expected to produce due to ongoing changes in Alberta’s COVID response, said Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta Chief Medical Officer.
Hinshaw said that the province would carefully assess the spread of COVID-19 before further restrictions are lifted on Sept. 27.
Jesse Boily, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News