The provincial government has announced new measures to combat the spread of the Omicron variant.

According to Premier Jason Kenney, Omicron accounted for 1 per cent of the province's COVID cases between Dec. 3-9 and now represents over 50 per cent, making it Alberta's dominant strain.

The following measures take effect on Christmas Eve:

  • Restaurants participating in the Restrictions Exemption Program (REP) are limited to 10 people per table, and recreational activities like dancing and billiards are prohibited. These establishments must stop serving alcohol at 11 p.m., and must close by 12:30 a.m.
  • Large venues that seat more than 1000 people are now limited to 50 percent capacity.
  • Venues that hold between 500 and 1000 people have a 500-person cap.
  • No food or drink consumption will be permitted in audience settings for those venues, and venues with a capacity of under 500 will not be impacted.

The province is also taking measures to prevent the spread of Omicron, identify cases faster, and prepare Alberta's hospitals for a potential fifth wave.

Earlier today, the province announced expanded eligibility for booster doses, with all Albertans age 18 and over now able to book their third shot. They also decreased the amount of time between second and third doses, which is now just five months.

Alberta Health Services currently has 228 ICU beds, and steps are being taken to increase to 380.

Today's numbers

In the last 24 hours, 786 new COVID cases were identified after 7300 tests.

Alberta now has an 11 per cent positivity rate.

COVID hospitalizations currently sit at 329, with 69 Albertans being treated in intensive care.

Two additional deaths have been confirmed, bringing the total to 3,294