After a declining number in new COVID-19 cases, Health Minister Tyler Shandro announced Jan. 14 that Alberta will ease some restrictions, starting Jan. 18.
As of that date, outdoor social gatherings of up to 10 people will be allowed as long as everyone wears masks and keeps at least two metres apart. Indoor gatherings are still not allowed.
“By easing some measures like outdoor gathering limits, we hope to support Albertans’ mental health, while still following other restrictions that are helping us reduce case numbers,” Shandro said.
Personal wellness services like salons, barbershops, aesthetics, reflexology, tattoo and piercing shop will reopen Jan. 18 on an appointment-only basis. The capacity for funeral ceremony services will be increased to 20 people.
“This is our opportunity to give Albertans a little bit more freedom and the ability to do a few more activities in a safe way,” Shandro said.
The loosened restrictions come as the number of new cases in Alberta continues to be lower than a month ago. On Jan. 13, 967 new cases of the virus were reported, with a test positivity rate of 5.8 per cent.
Provincially, there have been a total of 114,585 cases of COVID-19 in Alberta as of Jan. 13. Of the total cases, 12,434 are considered active, 100,762 people have recovered, 806 patients are in hospital and 136 Albertans are in intensive care units. In total, 1,389 deaths have been reported in the province due to the virus.
In Airdrie, there have been a total of 1,671 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Of those, 162 are considered active, 1,496 people have recovered and 13 deaths have been reported.
As the first week of classroom learning comes to an end, there are currently no Airdrie schools with listed outbreaks posted on the Province’s COVID-19 school status map.
Outside of Airdrie, according to the COVID-19 regional status map, Rocky View County (RVC) is reporting 79 active cases, which is a decrease of seven compared to the day previous. On the east side of the county, Chestermere is now at 46 active cases, three fewer than the day previous, while on the west side of RVC, Cochrane is reporting 49 cases, one more than the day previous.
There are currently no schools listed on the Alberta government’s COVID-19 status map in RVC. No schools in Chestermere or Cochrane are listed, either.
In terms of the Alberta government’s vaccination program, according to alberta.ca, 66,593 doses of vaccine have been administered in Alberta as of Jan. 13. This equates to 1,514 doses per 100,000 population.