Dr. Hinshaw announced that there is a new rule regarding mask-wearing exemptions.

For those suffering from sensory processing disorders, developmental delay or cognitive impairment, mental illness disorders, facial trauma, or recent facial or jaw surgery, contact dermatitis or allergic reactions to mask components, or clinically acute respiratory distress a mask-wearing exemption will be allowed.

However, effective today, (Thursday, May 13) those individuals will be required to have a letter attesting to one of those ailments provided by a health professional.

Hinshaw says the change is not meant to punish but to ensure that anyone who is capable of wearing a mask complies with the important health measure to keep everyone safe especially during the third wave in the province.

The province recorded 1,558 with a positivity rate of 10.6 per cent on Thursday, May 13. 

Hospitalizations dropped by 15 cases in the past 24 hours for a total of 722. 

Intensive Care Unit admissions increased by eight for a record-high number of 177.

Sadly, another nine deaths have been recorded in the past 24 hours bringing the total in the province to 2,132.

Alberta has 24,586 active cases. 

Cochrane added three new cases for a total of 205 and Rocky View County added six for a total of 294 active COVID-19 cases. 

The province recorded 2,019,713 doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered on Wednesday, May 12. 

Dr. Hinshaw also spoke once again, about taking care of our mental health during the pandemic. "Help is available and there are safe ways to get the care you or your loved one needs. A list of resources and contact information is available on ahs.ca/helpintoughtimes."