You can now ride the bus in Grande Prairie without a mask.
Transit riders will no longer be required to don the face covering after the City of Grande Prairie announced it will follow the removal of all remaining health restrictions by the province.
As of Wednesday (June 15), all provincial COVID-19 restrictions have been removed.
The City of Grande Prairie has recorded seven new cases in the week before June 6*.
Removal of restrictions will also see the end of mandatory isolation for those with symptoms or a positive COVID-19 test.
The province says the rate of hospitalizations has been declining since April 26, and wastewater surveillance shows a trend of declining COVID-19 transmission.
“We need to live with COVID-19 while accepting that it will continue to be present,” said Jason Copping, minister of health.
“Learning to live with COVID-19 does not mean forgetting about it,” said Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health.
“As we bring COVID-19 management in line with other respiratory diseases, it will continue to be vital that we receive our primary vaccine series and any additional booster doses we are eligible for and continue good habits like washing our hands regularly and avoiding being around others if we feel sick.”
The province said work is underway to prepare for the fall and winter respiratory virus season.
Masking and other measures may continue in Alberta Health Services (AHS) and contracted health facilities to protect patients.
Continuing care facilities may also still see measures in place through standards and procedures, including isolation of symptomatic residents, outbreak protocols and masking.
“Vaccines are fundamental to Alberta’s ability to live with COVID-19,” said the province. “Albertans are encouraged to receive all doses they are eligible for.”
Rapid tests will also remain free to residents.
The county area has seen seven new cases in the week before June 6*, according to Alberta Health.
*most current information as of publication.
Jesse Boily, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News