COVID restrictions in Alberta’s continuing care facilities are set to be lifted in two phases.
Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw made the announcement via press release on Tuesday.
The first phase will lift remaining visitor restrictions, current limits to dining and recreation activities and additional screening for residents who go off-site.
Outbreak protocols, single-site staffing and other measures will remain in place until further notice.
Health officials say there are only 6 active cases in continuing care facilities province-wide and since December there has been a 99-per cent decrease in the number of active cases among staff and residents. Vaccines are getting all the credit as 87 per cent of Albertans 70 and older are now fully vaccinated.
Effective immediately, or as soon as operators are able to make the necessary changes:
- Visitors will no longer be limited in number or conditions.
- Visitors will still need to be screened for symptoms or known exposure upon entering a facility and wear masks in all common areas.
- It is strongly recommended that visitors who have not yet been fully vaccinated, including children under age 12, wear their mask continuously and in all areas of the building.
- All limits to dining and recreation activities for residents are removed.
- Residents are no longer required to be screened upon re-entering the building or are required to quarantine if they have gone off-site. However, in specific circumstances, such as returning from an outbreak unit of a health-care facility, residents who are not fully vaccinated may be required to quarantine.
- Facility operators have until July 31 to fully implement the above changes.
The province says all other restrictions and rules will remain in place until Phase 2 which will be announced at a later date.