Alberta will lift its remaining COVID-19 restrictions just before midnight on June 14, ending mandatory self-isolation for those who test positive for the virus, while masks will no longer be required on public transit.
In a news release issued June 13, the Alberta government said it will move to end the measures tonight at 11:59 p.m. in line with British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba, though it said self-isolation is still recommended for those who have symptoms or have tested positive with the virus.
“We need to live with COVID-19 while accepting that it will continue to be present,” Health Minister Jason Copping said in the news release.
The government said recent public health indicators show few cases of new infections and hospitalizations.
The rate of new hospitalizations peaked on April 26 when there were 20.7 new admissions per day per million population but, by June 9, the weekly average of new hospitalizations declined to just 6.6 per day per million population.
The government said other indicators like PCR test positivity and wastewater surveillance also show “a continuing trend of declining COVID-19 transmission.”
The statement said the province is also bracing for the fall and winter respiratory virus season by maintaining surveillance and testing programs and preparing to expand acute care surge capacity.
“Learning to live with COVID-19 does not mean forgetting about it,” said Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s 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.”
While public health orders will be rescinded by June 30, some measures will remain in certain health care settings, including “isolations of symptomatic residents, outbreak protocols, and masking.”
Masking and public health measures will also continue to apply to patients in Alberta Health Services and its contracted health facilities.
According to the latest data provided on the Alberta government website, the province added 247 new cases on June 6, with 841 people hospitalized with the virus.