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Alberta

Alberta carefully eases full Step 2 restrictions

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From the Province of Alberta

Alberta moves into full Step 2 of Path Forward

Albertans can now enjoy reduced public health restrictions while strong measures remain in place to protect hospitals and limit the spread of COVID-19.

Completing Step 2 of Alberta’s Path Forward, updated health measures are now in place for retail, hotels and community halls, performance groups, and youth sports, performance and recreation.

These changes are effective immediately. They are in addition to the Step 2 measures announced on March 1, as pressure eases on the health system and hospitalizations remain well below 450.

Indoor masking and distancing requirements will remain in place throughout this stepped approach, and some degree of restrictions will still apply to all activities within each step.

New under Step 2: Hospitalization benchmark – 450 and declining

Banquet halls, community halls, conference centres and hotels

  • These facilities can now open for all activities permitted under Step 1 and Step 2.
  • This includes hosting virtual meetings/conferences/events, permitted performance activities, wedding ceremonies with up to 10 individuals, and funeral services up to a maximum of 20 individuals.
  • Wedding receptions, funeral receptions or trade shows are not permitted.

Retail

  • All retail services and shopping malls must limit customer capacity to 25 per cent of fire code occupancy, not including staff. This is an increase from 15 per cent.
  • This includes individual stores and common areas.
  • Curbside pickup, delivery and online services are encouraged.

Performance activities

  • Individuals or groups can now rehearse and perform in preparation for filming or live streaming a performance, provided they adhere to public health guidance.
  • For adult performers and performance groups (over the age of 18), the following activities are permitted:
    • Individual performers or performance groups (up to a maximum of 10 individuals) can access facilities for rehearsals or filming/virtual broadcasting.
    • Larger indoor film and other performances will be allowed provided there is no audience and subject to an approved plan that follows strict new guidance, including regular lab-based PCR testing.
  • No in-person audiences are allowed for any type of performance.
  • Masks are required and three-metre physical distancing must be maintained at all times.
  • For children and youth, performance activities are permitted provided they follow the same requirements set out for youth sport, performance and recreation activities in Step 1:
    • Up to a maximum of 10 individuals with three-metre distancing between all participants.
    • No spectators or in-person audiences are allowed for any type of performance.
    • Masks are mandatory at all times.
    • Includes lessons and practices.
    • Includes youth development activities such as Scouts, Girl Guides and 4-H.
  • Performance activities include dancing, singing, theatre and playing instruments.

Youth sports and recreation

  • There is no change to the restrictions around youth sport and recreation.
  • The Step 1 restrictions around youth sports and recreation have been expanded to include members of college and university athletic programs:
    • Lessons, practices and physical conditioning activities are allowed.
    • Games are not allowed.
    • Maximum of 10 total individuals, including all coaches, trainers and participants.
    • Physical distancing must be maintained between participants at all time.
    • Participants must be masked at all times, except during the training activity.

Additional details on the current restrictions are outlined on alberta.ca.

Any decisions on Step 3 will be made on March 22, at the earliest, based on hospitalizations and the current spread of COVID-19. Metrics based on cases and growth, including variant cases, are being monitored and will also be used to guide any decisions around the need to pause further steps or potentially increase restrictions.

Alberta’s government is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by protecting lives and livelihoods with precise measures to bend the curve, sustain small businesses and protect Alberta’s health-care system.

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Alberta

Fire investigators can't pin cause of fire at Edmonton-area seniors complex

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ST. ALBERT, Alta. — Fire investigators say they have been unable to figure out what caused a fire at an Edmonton-area retirement and long-term care complex last week.

Residents were forced to leave when the fire at the Citadel Mews West Continuing Care Facility in St. Albert broke out on May 6.

It destroyed part of the complex and three residents suffered smoke inhalation.

Investigators say the fire started on a ground-floor patio.

They say it spread from patio furniture to the underside of the deck above and from there up the siding into the building’s attic.

A damage estimate has yet to be made and investigators are still trying to determine what caused the blaze.

“This was a large and devastating fire where thankfully no one was seriously hurt,” St. Albert acting fire Chief Scott Wilde said Friday in a news release.

“If you live in a multi-family building, be aware of your building’s fire safety plan and practise your escape.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 14, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Alberta health agency obtains restraining order against Calgary mayoral candidate

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CALGARY — Alberta Health Services says it has obtained a restraining order against a Calgary mayoral candidate who the agency says has threatened health workers.

AHS says Kevin Johnston must stay at least 100 metres away from health officers and must not publish any threats or hate speech directed at them.

Johnston is running in this fall’s municipal election and has been a vocal supporter of anti-lockdown protests.

He appears regularly online where he promotes far-right ideology.

AHS says Johnston has been aggressive and threatening towards two particular health workers as well as to the general AHS workforce.

The agency says it wants to protect staff and ensure they feel supported.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 14, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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may, 2021

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