Fully vaccinated individuals (two COVID-19 doses) who test positive for COVID-19 will only have to isolate for five days compared to the previously required 10.
The province made the statement at a press conference last Friday, with the changes effective this past Monday.
Unvaccinated individuals who test positive will still be required to isolate for 10 days.
The change comes as the province says that vaccinated individuals have shorter infectious periods but if symptoms continue, they are to continue to isolate until they are well.
The following five days after isolation, mask-wearing is required when around others outside of their home, said the province.
“Anyone who has symptoms must isolate until those symptoms resolve; vaccinated or not, confirmed to have COVID or not,” said health minister Jason Copping.
The continued measures are helping health care facilities from becoming overrun, he said.
Albertans aged 18 and older are now eligible for a third vaccine dose, as long as it has been at least five months since their last one.
“The severity of the Omicron variant is not yet known, but it is clear that there is an increased risk of transmission,” said the province in a release.
Albertans are being encouraged to take the first mRNA vaccine (Pfizer and Moderna) available to them for their third dose.
“Third doses are especially important to protect against the Omicron variant,” said Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health. “Vaccines continue to be our best protection against COVID-19 and with the highly transmissible Omicron variant.”
On Dec. 17, the province made 500,000 rapid test kits available for free to Albertans at select Alberta Health Services (AHS) sites and pharmacies.
The province said that rapid tests would be made available at schools and for vulnerable populations.
On Dec. 24, additional public health measures were implemented.
Venues implementing the Restrictions Exemption Program (REP) could only have 50 per cent capacity at venues that seat more than 1,000 people; venues with a capacity for 500 to 1,000 have a limit of 500.
There is no impact on venues of under 500 people.
Restaurants, pubs, and bars can no longer have interactive activities such as darts, billiards, and dancing.
The maximum capacity at a table in a restaurant is now 10 people, and no interaction between tables is allowed.
Liquor service has to stop by 11 p.m. at restaurants, and they must close at 12:30 a.m.
Masking remains mandatory in all public spaces.
Cases and vaccinations in the South Peace as of the end of the day on Jan. 3.
In the County of Grande Prairie, there are currently 87 active COVID cases and 112 active cases in the city.
Vaccinations in the west county sit at 68.1 per cent in ages 12+, with at least one dose of the vaccination, and 64.6 per cent with two doses of the vaccination.
In the east county, vaccinations of those aged 12 and above with their first dose are at 73.3 per cent and 69.6 per cent for two doses.
In the city, 74.9 per cent of those aged 12 and above have their first dose, and 70.8 per cent have two doses.
Provincially 89.4 per cent have their people aged 12 and older have their first dose of the COVID vaccine, while 85.3 per cent have two doses.
Jesse Boily, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News