Since its peak on April 26, when there were 20.7 new COVID-19 admissions per day per million population, the rate of new COVID-19 hospitalizations in Alberta has been declining.
As of June 9, the weekly average of new hospitalizations rate was 6.6 per day per million population.
PCR test positivity and wastewater surveillance are also showing a continued trend of declining COVID-19 transmission.
Effective June 14 at 11:59 p.m. Alberta will move to Step 3, which includes lifting mandatory masking on public transit and ending mandatory isolation. This decision follows British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba which have already done the same.
Isolation will remain recommended for those with symptoms or a positive COVID-19 test.
“We need to live with COVID-19 while accepting that it will continue to be present. We’ll continue to work to keep Albertans safe by ensuring access to vaccines, antivirals, and rapid tests, through ongoing COVID-19 surveillance, and by enhancing health-care system capacity.” said Minister of Health Jason Copping.
Work is underway to prepare for the fall and winter respiratory virus season. This includes maintaining surveillance and testing programs and preparing to expand acute care surge capacity.
“Learning to live with COVID-19 does not mean forgetting about it," added chief medical officer of health Deena Hinshaw.
"As we bring COVID-19 management in line with other respiratory diseases, it will continue to be vital that we receive our primary vaccine series and any additional booster doses we are eligible for, and continue good habits like washing our hands regularly and avoiding being around others if we feel sick.”
Masking and any other measures to protect patients in Alberta Health Services (AHS) and contracted health facilities will remain in place through AHS policy as required for infection prevention and control.
CMOH orders in continuing care will be rescinded by June 30, but some measures in continuing care settings will remain in place through standards and policy. This includes maintaining practices like isolation of symptomatic residents, outbreak protocols, and masking.