Provincial leaders will make the announcement this afternoon, on whether Alberta will move to Step 3 in the province's "Path Forward" in easing COVID-19 restrictions.
Outlined in the provincial plan to move forward safely is a hospitalization benchmark of 300 and declining. The Weekend's numbers saw an increase of 555 active cases across the province with 282 hospitalizations. So, with hospitalizations meeting the criteria, is the province ready to move to the next step?
Well, Alberta's top doctor says it's not that cut and dry. Dr. Hinshaw stated last week that the number of COVID-19 variants will be critical in the consideration of moving into Step 3.
Over the weekend Alberta reported 184 new cases of COVID-19 variants and the highest single-day increase in variant cases recorded in the province to date.
There are now 908 active COVID-19 variant cases across the province, which accounts for 15.2 per cent of the 5,971 provincial active case count.
Cochrane is currently reporting 22 active cases of the virus, and according to the Alberta Health Services (AHS) School status map Elizabeth Barrett Elementary, Fireside School and Cochrane High School are under an 'Alert Status' with two - four cases and Bow Valley High School is listed under 'Outbreak Status' with ten or more cases.
In the broader Springbank area, Springbank Middle School is currently listed under 'Outbreak Status' with five - nine cases and The Edge School is also listed under 'Outbreak Status' with ten or more cases.
If the province does move to Step 3, that would mean a potential easing in the following areas:
- Indoor social gatherings, with restrictions
- Places of worship
- Further easing of youth sport and recreation activities
- Adult team sports
- Indoor seated events (movie theatres and auditoria)
- Casinos, racing centres and bingo halls
- Museums, art galleries, zoos, interpretive centres
Provincial leaders will provide an update this afternoon.