COVID-19 in Alberta: 390 new cases, hospitalizations continue to fall as province readies to reopen

EDMONTON — Alberta added fewer than 500 new cases of COVID-19 for a third straight day as the province reported 390 new infections Tuesday. 

Six more Albertans, ranging in age from their 40s to 80s, were also reported to have died Wednesday. There have now been 2,198 deaths due to COVID-19 in Alberta since the start of the pandemic.

Active cases fell for a 16th straight day, down to 10,953, about where the active case count was in early April.

There are 548 COVID-19 patients in hospitals, including 157 in intensive care units. Both of those numbers have fallen over the past week. 

The province reported a 7.02 per cent test positivity Wednesday based on 5,979 tests. 

Nearly half of Albertans, 2.2 million or 49.7 per cent of the population, have now received at least a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Close to 358,000 are now fully immunized. 

Earlier Wednesday, Alberta announced its latest reopening plan that includes the gradual lifting of public health restrictions.

The first stage will begin June 1, two weeks after Alberta marked the milestone of immunizing half of its eligible population 12 and over with at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

The second part of this trigger is for Alberta to have fewer than 800 total hospitalizations. 

Stage 2 will see gathering limits begin to decrease and indoor capacity expanded again in a number of public environments, including gyms, libraries and movie theatres. The work-from-home order will be lifted but remain a recommendation.

Outdoor gatherings – including events like concerts and festivals – will be capped at 150 people, except grandstands will be limited to one third of seating capacity.

All restrictions – except isolation requirements for positive cases and some protections in continuing care and hospital settings – will be lifted in Stage 3, when 70 per cent of the eligible province has received at least one dose.

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