After nearly 15 months of a pandemic that has turned the planet upside down, Alberta‘s top public-health doctor is urging people to hang on a little longer, get through the May long weekend, and hope for more independence this summer.
Even though case numbers are decreasing, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province’s chief medical officer of health, said Thursday at a news conference that people should stay as close to home as possible this weekend.
Those planning a camping trip for the weekend should stay with members of the same household and make advance arrangements, such as stocking up on supplies at home, to limit interaction with others, she advised.
On Thursday, Alberta confirmed 812 new cases of COVID-19 and four more deaths. Six hundred and sixty-five patients are being treated in hospitals, with 177 of them in intensive care units.
According to Hinshaw, the 14-day quarantine period in Alberta for people who have received one or more doses of vaccine but have been in close touch with a confirmed COVID-19 case has been revised.
Albertans that have been completely vaccinated for at least two weeks and have not developed symptoms would no longer be required to quarantine if they are exposed to a confirmed positive event.
If signs appear, they must separate themselves and undergo a COVID-19 examination. If the result comes out negative, they won’t have to quarantine any longer.
The quarantine duration has been shortened to 10 days for people who have only received one dose of vaccine, as long as they do not show symptoms. In addition, if they get a negative result on a PCR test on day seven or later, the quarantine duration is considered over.
People returning from foreign travel are exempt from the changes. Those individuals must adhere to the federally mandated 14-day quarantine period.
On Thursday, there were 17,675 active cases across the province. Over the last 24 hours, laboratories performed about 9,000 experiments, with a positivity rate of about 9.3%.