Targeted COVID-19 restrictions easing under Step 2 (video)

Provincial Press Release March 1, 2021 @ 4:52pm published 4:55pm


Alberta will move cautiously to Step 2 of the four-step framework to ease restrictions while maintaining strong measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 provincewide.

Effective immediately, updated health measures are in place for indoor fitness and libraries as pressure eases on the health system and hospitalizations remain well below 450.

Health officials continue to closely monitor the spread of COVID-19. As a cautionary measure, changes to current restrictions for retail, children’s sports, and hotels, banquets, community halls and conference centres have been delayed until Step 3.

“We are taking a cautious approach, recognizing that active cases and hospitalizations have declined, but the threat of COVID-19 remains real. Thanks to the hard work of Albertans over the past few weeks, we’re taking this safe step forward. Albertans have proven their ability to make a difference, so let’s continue in our efforts to keep cases dropping so more restrictions can be eased over time, just as Alberta’s government will continue applying pressure on Ottawa to catch up on vaccine supply.” Jason Kenney, Premier

“I am pleased we are making progress while ensuring our health system continues to operate and provide Albertans with the care they seek and need. We are taking a steady approach to easing restrictions in order to maintain our downward trends. In the coming weeks, we must all do our part to keep each other safe and continue driving hospitalizations downward.” Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health

“We’ve made progress and it is more important than ever that we continue our collective efforts to abide by health measures and prevent cases from rising. Our everyday choices matter and we must remain vigilant and keep wearing masks, maintaining physical distance, and staying home when we feel ill.” Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health

Indoor masking and distancing requirements will remain in place throughout this stepped approach, and some degree of restrictions will still apply to all activities within each step. Step 2: Hospitalization benchmark – 450 and declining

Libraries

  • These facilities can now open but must limit capacity to 15 per cent of fire code occupancy, not including staff.

Indoor fitness (no change to outdoor fitness):

  • Unsupervised low intensity individual and group exercises are now allowed by appointment only.

  • Mandatory physical distance of three metres is required between participants, including coaches and trainers, at all times, and masks must be worn at all times by trainers and those participating in low-intensity activities.

  • All indoor fitness must be pre-registered – no drop-ins allowed.

  • Low-intensity exercises include weightlifting, low-intensity dance classes, yoga, barre and indoor climbing, as well as the low-intensity use of treadmills, ellipticals and related equipment.

  • High-intensity activities, including running, spin and high-intensity interval training, continue to be allowed only on a one-on-one with a trainer basis, or training with a household and one trainer.

Additional details on the current restrictions is outlined on alberta.ca.

A decision on Step 3 will be made after at least three weeks of evaluation to assess the spread of COVID-19. Metrics based on cases and growth, including variant cases, are being monitored and will also be used to guide any decisions around the need to pause further steps or potentially increase restrictions.

Alberta’s government is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by protecting lives and livelihoods with precise measures to bend the curve, sustain small businesses and protect Alberta’s health-care system.



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