Calgary and Brooks have been given the green light by Premier Jason Kenney to continue with Stage 1 of Alberta’s relaunch strategy amid the COVID-19 pandemic, alongside the rest of the province.“I want to say thank you to folks in Calgary and Brooks for showing a great responsibility,” Kenney said at a news conference on Friday morning.“On advice from the chief medical officer of health, we will be proceeding with the next phases of reopening businesses and services in the communities of Calgary and Brooks.”The next stage of relaunch will begin in the two cities on May 25, and will include the reopening of several services, including restaurants, bars, hair salons and barber shops.On May 14, the majority of the province moved forward with Stage 1 of the relaunch plan, while the cities of Calgary and Brooks were held back due to the high number of novel coronavirus cases in those regions. Story continues below advertisement
However, some retailers and other services in Calgary and Brooks reopened with the rest of the province, including daycares and museums. [ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]
The emergency cabinet committee held a meeting with Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, on Friday morning to discuss the outcome of the partial reopening in the cities, and whether they’re ready to move on to the next stage of Phase 1 along with the rest of the province.Kenney said that meeting highlighted that the results of reopening some retailers in the communities of Calgary and Brooks, so far, hasn’t caused an uptick in cases.“That’s exactly why we’re proceeding with Phase 1 in Calgary and Brooks,” he said.Health Minister Tyler Shandro also announced on Friday the reopening of more medical services across the province.He noted that in-patient surgeries requiring overnight stays in hospitals will now resume across the province, and as of June 3, Calgary’s south health campus and High River hospital will be able to resume their maternity services.“We’re confident our hospitals can restart more services,” Shandro said.
1:06Alberta resumes scheduled inpatient surgeries
Alberta resumes scheduled inpatient surgeries
Shandro added that as more businesses reopen in Calgary, Alberta Health Services will be extending its self-assessment tool. Effective May 25, any symptomatic individuals in the Calgary zone will be able to book their own testing appointment if they live within 50 kilometres of an assessment centre and if the self-assessment tool indicates a test is needed. Story continues below advertisement
Shandro also announced that voluntary testing will be available to residents and staff in long-term care and supportive living facilities — even if a person is not experiencing any symptoms.“Testing will be offered in phases beginning this week,” Shandro said.“We know that people who live in these facilities are at greater risk.”
Alberta is scheduled to move on to Stage 2 of its relaunch strategy in June, which would allow more businesses and services to reopen, including personal services, such as artificial tanning, manicures and massage and reflexology.On Friday, Kenney noted that, so far, the province is looking at moving forward with Stage 2 as originally planned.“I believe that we are on track, our target date is June 19,” Kenney said.“We’re keeping an eye on the numbers.“But if we continue with the current direction of the numbers… and if we continue to make progress in Calgary and the rest of the province, I think we’ll be moving forward with Phase 2 as planned.”
0:42Alberta ‘on-track’ for Phase 2 re-opening: Kenney
Alberta ‘on-track’ for Phase 2 re-opening: Kenney
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