June 12, 2020

COVID-19 UPDATE June 12, 2020

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COVID-19 UPDATE
June 12, 2020

Stage two of relaunch

Testing is showing us data that the number of COVID-19 cases in Alberta are lower than expected, meaning stage two of the relaunch is beginning today, June 12, one week sooner than expected.

This is thanks to you and all Albertans for continuing to practice physical distancing and respecting the guidelines in place. Because of your actions, we can enjoy additional activities in their daily lives while the province continues to open up the economy.

As the province enters stage two of relaunch, safety remains the top priority. More businesses, sport and recreation services can open if they are ready. Some larger gatherings for seated audience events will be permitted. In all cases, public health guidance must be followed.

What can open with restrictions

  • K-12 schools, for requested diploma exams and summer school, following guidance
  • Libraries
  • More surgeries
  • Wellness services such as massage, acupuncture and reflexology
  • Personal services (esthetics, cosmetic skin and body treatments, manicures, pedicures, waxing, facial treatment, artificial tanning)
  • Indoor recreation, fitness, and sports, including gyms and arenas
  • Movie theatres and theatres
  • Community halls
  • Team sports
  • Pools for leisure swimming
  • VLTs in restaurants and bars
  • Casinos and bingo halls (but not table games)
  • Instrumental concerts

The 50 per cent capacity limit for provincial campgrounds is also being lifted. Over the coming days, the online reservation system will be updated and sites will come online in phases. By July 1, all camping sites will be open for reservations. First-come, first-served sites may open sooner. Information on additional sites will be added to http://alberta.parks.ca when they become available.

Events and gatherings can be larger in stage two

Maximum 50 people:

  • Indoor social gatherings – including wedding and funeral receptions, and birthday parties

Maximum 100 people:

  • Outdoor events and indoor seated/audience events – including wedding and funeral ceremonies

No cap on the number of people (with public health measures and physical distancing in place):

  • Worship gatherings
  • Restaurants, cafés, lounges and bars
  • Casinos
  • Bingo halls

There is more flexibility for ‘cohort’ groups – small groups of people whose members do not always keep two metres apart:

  • A household can increase its close interactions with other households to a maximum of 15 people
  • Performers can have a cohort of up to 50 people (cast members or performers)
  • Sports teams can play in region-only cohorts of up to 50 players (mini leagues)
  • People could be part of a sports/performing and household cohort

Everyone is encouraged to follow public health guidelines and notify others in the cohort(s) if they have symptoms or test positive for COVID-19. If they do test positive or have symptoms, mandatory isolation is required.

Still not approved in stage two

  • Social gatherings that exceed above listed maximums
  • Regular in-school classes for kindergarten to Grade 12. Classes will resume September 2020
  • Vocal concerts (as singing carries a higher risk of transmission)
  • Major festivals and concerts, large conferences, trade shows and events (as these are non-seated social events and/or vocal concerts)
  • Nightclubs
  • Amusement parks
  • Hookah lounges (permitted for food and drink only)
  • Major sporting events and tournaments
  • Non-essential travel outside the province is not recommended. This recommendation will not be lifted until stage three of the relaunch strategy.

COVID-19 Status Map

  • This interactive map allows Albertans to check the current relaunch status of regions across the province. The map also provides information on:
    • The rate of active COVID-19 cases
    • Number of active cases
    • Enhanced public health measures in place
  • Check the relaunch status map is available here: https://www.alberta.ca/alberta-relaunch-strategy.aspx

Information for Businesses

Guidelines are available at http://alberta.ca/bizconnect.
Business and organizations with specific questions about the relaunch can email http://BizConnect@gov.ab.ca.For further information on the relaunch please visit http://alberta.ca/RelaunchStrategy
If you have any questions related to occupational health and safety you can go to https://www.alberta.ca/occupational-health-safety.aspx

Alberta Spotlight is online to help musicians reach you
Alberta Music, the National Music Centre, CKUA and Stagehand are partnering with support from the province to deliver Alberta Spotlight, a weekly online concert series featuring Alberta musicians. The funding will go directly to Alberta artists who will be performing. Many have lost income due to cancelled performances because of necessary public health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Artists will perform in their own homes and studios with concerts available online at http://ckua.com/albertaspotlight. Each concert will feature up to five artists and run weekly throughout the summer. Musicians can apply to perform through http://albertamusic.org. From folk to rap, Albertans will have a variety of music genres to enjoy throughout the series. Fans will also have the ability to tip performers.
 AB TraceTogether App
With the lifting of some restrictions as we move towards the potential of phase two of our government’s relaunch, I would urge you to download the AB TraceTogether App. Having the app installed on your phone will decrease the workload of AHS in terms of the process for identifying who you may have been in contact with if you contract the virus.  Rather than AHS having to call everyone and try to identify those you may not even realize you were in contact with, the application would send a push notification. 

This is a voluntary, secure contact tracing mobile application to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. As protection of personal privacy is crucial to Albertans and to our government this app will not track the user’s physical location and will not use GPS.  All TraceTogether data is stored only on the user’s phone, and is automatically deleted after 21 days.
 

Mental health and Addictions Support
Addiction Helpline at https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/findhealth/Service.aspx?id=1008399&serviceAtFacilityID=1047128
Mental Health Helpline at  https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/findhealth/Service.aspx?id=6810&serviceAtFacilityID=1047134
Kids Help Phone at https://kidshelpphone.ca/get-involved/contact-us
Community and Social Services Helpline at Alberta 211 https://www.ab.211.ca/

Government updates

Protecting the most vulnerable
Our government has promised to protect the most vulnerable. Legislation introduced to date includes:

Bill 16 – the Victims of Crime (Strengthening Public Safety) Amendment Act, 2020.  This expands the scope of the Victims of Crime Fund to include public safety initiatives that deter crime to prevent victimization while continuing to ensure victims of serious crime have the supports they need. 

Bill 17 – the Mental Health Amendment Act, 2020.  Bill 17 strengthens patient rights and ensures those rights are respected while patients receive needed care. Our government is committed to improving mental health and addiction care in our province to help more Albertans get on the path to health, wellness and long-term recovery.

Bill 19 – the Tobacco and Smoking Reduction Amendment Act, 2020.  This bill makes changes to further protect Albertans from the harms of tobacco and second-hand smoke, and to address the surge in vaping, particularly among youth.

Child care consultations
Our government is launching consultations to ensure parents and early childhood educators have their say on reducing red tape and improving quality and safety in child care. Consultation will inform the drafting of updated regulations and legislation this fall.

The Child Care Licensing Regulation is set to expire on Jan. 31, 2021, and requires revision to modernize provisions and ensure safety and quality. This consultation will consider all existing categories of licensed child care, including out-of-school care, as well as approved family day homes and preschool.

There are more than 2,900 active licensed/approved programs in Alberta with more than 138,000 child care spaces in Alberta.  There are also more than 726,200 children age 12 and under in Alberta. About 105,300 of these children are enrolled in regulated child care spaces.

Now more than ever, child care is a priority for many Albertans and fulfils a commitment made last year to consult prior to updating the legislation and regulations. It will also allow the Government of Alberta to enshrine principles of quality child care within legislation, rather than through the previous system of accreditation.

The survey will be live on June 15 at Alberta.ca.

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