Cabinet committee scheduled to discuss easing Alberta's COVID-19 restrictions

Clay Curtis
March 24, 2021

On Monday, Health Minister Tyler Shandro said the province made the decision not to move forward yet as the province sees and upward trend in hospitalizations.

Kenney said late last week that numbers suggested it might be safe to open up the economy a bit more since hospitalizations were under 300 and falling.

The province reported 465 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday and hospitalizations have risen to 290, an increase of 10.

He said other countries are getting more vaccines under deals negotiated with transnational drug manufacturers and noted that the province has administered more than 487,000 doses since mid-December. Since then, the government has allowed small outdoor gatherings and eased restrictions for restaurants, libraries, hotels and other businesses. "Ottawa didn't'", said Shandro.

Daily COVID-19 infections were below 300 in recent weeks but have been ticking up steadily and have been well above 400 for nearly the last week.

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Mr. Shandro said even as the province moves further into its reopening plan, the government would be monitoring COVID-19 data and could impose targeted restrictions if needed, for example if a particular activity is identified as driving infections.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw reported another 456 COVID-19 cases, including 110 of the B.1.17 variant, and a positivity rate of 6.1 per cent on Monday.

"Jason Kenney must put the safety of Albertans first and focus on containing the spread of these unsafe new variants", said Alberta NDP leader Rachel Notley.

Public-health experts had been urging the government to delay reopening plans and some have said the province should lock down to prevent a third wave. Two members of Mr. Kenney's caucus joined an anti-lockdown group.

Alberta is just emerging from a second round of health restrictions it implemented in mid-December.

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