Alberta will begin a careful and prudent plan to phase out public health measures, starting Feb. 8. The three-step approach will begin with lower-risk activities while maintaining protections for the health-care system, including continuing care facilities.
Effective Feb. 8 at 11:59 p.m.:
- Restrictions Exemption Program (REP) ends, along with most associated restrictions.
- Entertainment venues will continue to have some specific rules in place:
- Restrictions on sale of food and beverages and consumption while seated in audience settings will be removed.
- Restrictions on closing times, alcohol service, table capacity in restaurants and interactive activities will remain in force.
- For all businesses, venues and facilities – whether they were previously eligible for the REP or not – capacity limits are removed, except for:
- Facilities with capacity of 500 to 1,000, which will be limited to 500.
- Facilities with capacity of 1,000-plus, which will be limited to 50 per cent.
Effective at 11:59 p.m. on Feb. 13:
- Masks will no longer be required for all children and youth in schools.
- Masks will no longer be required in any setting for children aged 12 and under.
Effective March 1:
- Any remaining provincial school requirements (including cohorting) will be removed.
- Screening prior to youth activities will no longer be required.
- Capacity limits will be lifted for all venues.
- Limits on social gatherings will be removed.
- Provincial mask mandate will be removed.
- Mandatory work from home removed.
To be determined based on hospitalization rates continuing to trend downwards
- COVID-specific measures in continuing care will be removed.
- Mandatory isolation becomes a recommendation only.
Additional details on all restrictions and measures in place will be released prior to each step at alberta.ca/CovidMeasures.
Primary Care COVID Support Initiative
Effective January 11, 2022 North Zone patients can self-report their positive Rapid Swab results and connect with a nurse for an assessment if required. The nurse will connect back with the patients family physician to advise of the positive Rapid Swab and also update on any assessment provided. If the patient is unattached they will be assessed by a virtual nursing team who will refer up to a virtual Physician /NP if the patient requires further assessment/treatment.
Patients can call the North Zone Primary Care Covid Support line at 1-833-884-2193 or access their website (self-reporting and updated information) www.northzonepcns.ca.
Alberta Health Services has updated the online COVID-19 assessment tool to help Albertans determine whether they need a PCR test, what type of care to seek based on their symptoms and how to take care of symptoms at home with appropriate support.
Health Link 811 continues to experience high daily call volumes. It is recommended Albertans use the online COVID-19 assessment tool to check their symptoms or the symptoms of someone they may be caring for before they call Health Link.
Employers and organizations should not require individuals with mild symptoms to have a PCR test to be eligible for sick time off work. It is critical to support those who are sick to stay home with no testing requirements at this time of high transmission.
Effective immediately, PCR tests will be available only for the following individuals:
- Continuing care residents and health-care workers and staff in acute and continuing care settings, shelters and correctional facilities who meet one or more of the following criteria:
- need confirmation of a positive rapid test on screening
- have COVID-19 symptoms
- are part of an outbreak investigation where public health has requested lab-based PCR testing
- Symptomatic household members of a person who works in continuing care or acute care.
- Emergency department or hospital patients of all ages who meet one or more of the following criteria:
- inpatients who develop new COVID-19 symptoms while in hospital
- patients being admitted for symptoms consistent with COVID-19
- patients in the emergency department with respiratory illness where a test will change treatment plans
- Symptomatic community patients who would be eligible for Sotrovimab (monoclonal antibody) treatment if positive:
- Those who are not immunized and are:
- age 55 and over
- 18 years and over with one of the following health conditions: diabetes, obesity, chronic kidney disease, congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or moderate to severe asthma
- children aged 12 to 17, with referral by a pediatric I.D. specialist
- Those who are immunosuppressed (transplant, active cancer or systemic immune treatment), regardless if immunized or not.
- Those who are not immunized and are:
- People from isolated and remote First Nation, Inuit and Métis communities, and individuals travelling to these communities for work.
- Asymptomatic continuing care residents returning/readmitted from other health-care settings.
- Pediatric and adult asymptomatic transplant donors and recipients, prior to transplant.
- Pediatric and adult oncology patients, prior to commencing chemotherapy.
- Newborns born to COVID-19-positive parents.
- Returning international travellers who become symptomatic within 14 days after their arrival.
On September 15 Alberta declared a state of public health emergency. COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are continuing to rise. New measures to protect the health care system, stop the spread, and increase vaccination rates come into effect starting September 16. The new restrictions can be found here, along with masking best practices.
Athabasca’s Mayor, Council and Staff would like to send a message of encouragement and thanks to the members of our community, however no words can completely capture our gratitude. These have been challenging times for all, we each face unique trials in our lives as we move through these uncertain times together.
We would like to thank each of you for doing what you can, working from home, social distancing, and self-isolating. These steps are of great value and support community essential service workers who continue to provide services to our community. Thank you to our community’s essential service workers, healthcare workers, first responders, transportation services and our local supermarkets, for your continued service in these challenging times.
We encourage you to take comfort that Athabasca is a community that has overcome great obstacles in our history and we will continue to do so. In times of hardship the members of our community show up with acts of kindness and support for others in our community that is profoundly moving.
We thank you for making us all proud to call Athabasca home.
Our Sincerest Gratitude
Mayor, Council and Staff
The Town of Athabasca is a member of the TED COMMITTEE and the following information and resources has been assemble for those that require assistance.