Alberta's new COVID-19 cases dropped by more than 40 per cent in a week

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The number of new COVID-19 cases in Alberta has dropped by more than 40 per cent in the last week as hospitalizations continue to decline.

Alberta reported 263 new cases on Monday, down from 452 a week ago. A total of 439 people were in hospital with the virus across the province including 133 in intensive care — dropping from 569 and 161, respectively, the previous Monday.

Alberta’s new and active cases are both down by more than 60 per cent from May 17.

A week ago, active cases were 43 per cent higher across the province. By Monday, there were 7,646 active cases, including 2,017 in the Edmonton Zone.

Stage 1 begins Tuesday

The downward trend comes as Alberta is set to launch Stage 1 of its reopening plan on Tuesday.

Patios can reopen, and personal services like hair salons can open by appointment only. Outdoor social and recreation will be allowed with up to 10 people, and more people can attend funerals, weddings, places of worship and retail stores.

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The first step was to be triggered two weeks after 50 per cent of Albertans 12 and up had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and if hospitalizations drop below 800 and continue declining. The mandatory work-from-home order will be lifted, although it is still recommended, and post-secondary students can return to classes in person.

Alberta is on track to move to Stage 2 of the reopening plan by June 10.

This next step will allow for larger outdoor social gatherings, open gyms for solo activities, and indoor entertainment venues and libraries can open at one-third capacity. It increases the number of people allowed to socialize outdoors, attend weddings, funerals, places of worship, and shop at retail stores. Adult and youth sports can resume without restrictions, as can youth camps.

The government can trigger Stage 2 two weeks after 60 per cent have one vaccine, and when hospitalizations drop below 500.

Nearly all restrictions can be removed two weeks after 70 per cent of Albertans over the age of 12 have one dose of vaccine.

More to come…

lboothby@postmedia.com

@laurby

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