Many of Alberta’s COVID-19 public health restrictions are lifted today as part of a three-step plan to reopen by the summer.
The province is entering the second stage, which required 60% of people 12 and older to have received at least one vaccine injection and fewer than 500 infected patients in hospitals.
Authorities say 67 percent of Albertans have received their first dose.
Entertainment venues, including cinemas, casinos and museums, are allowed to reopen at one-third of their capacity.
Restaurants can accommodate diners indoors rather than on the patios, and private social gatherings outside can accommodate up to 20 people.
There are no more restrictions on sports for young people and adults.
Up to 150 people are allowed at outdoor public events, and grandstands for sports and other entertainment can open to one-third of their capacity.
The masking and distancing requirements are still in place.
The final phase, which would lift the ban on indoor gatherings, is due to take place after 70% of eligible beneficiaries have received at least one dose of the vaccine and hospitalization rates continue to decline.
It would still include isolation requirements for confirmed cases of COVID-19 and some protective measures in continuing care facilities.
Alberta also extended second-dose eligibility to about 650,000 people who received their first dose in April and reported its lowest number of active COVID-19 cases since October.
There were approximately 3,810 active infections in the province. Of those, 178 cases were reported on Thursday.
A total of 306 people are hospitalized because of the virus, including 81 in intensive care.
Ontario to release new COVID-19 projections today ahead of economic reopening
Ontario is due to release new COVID-19 projections today on the eve of its economic reopening.
New modeling will be showcased during the afternoon pandemic update with the best doctor in the province.
Those numbers will come as the province prepares to enter the first stage of its plan to reopen on Friday, which will allow limited retail shopping and patio dining.
New COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations have decreased in recent weeks and the province is advancing the first step of its reopening plan a few days in advance.
More restrictions will be relaxed after 21 days if pandemic indicators improve and more people get vaccinated.
Despite the positive trends, officials say they are monitoring the spread of a more contagious variant of the virus.
Ontario Steps Up Second Doses Of Vaccine For Delta Hotspot Residents
Ontario is speeding up second doses of COVID-19 vaccine for residents who live in hot spots where the Delta variant of the virus is spreading.
The province says residents who live in seven hot spots and received their first dose on or before May 9 can now book a second accelerated injection starting Monday.
The government will also encourage residents of these areas who have not received their first doses to get vaccinated.
The hot spots that will be prioritized are Halton, Peel, Porcupine, Toronto, Waterloo, York and Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph.
Scientific evidence shows that people who have received a dose of the vaccine are less protected against the highly infectious Delta variant.
Health officials have also reported that Ontario has become one of the world leaders in terms of first-dose immunization rates.
Legault says he is confident that the Quebec-Ontario border will reopen in “a few days”
The border between Quebec and Ontario, closed since April to reduce the transmission of COVID-19, will likely reopen in a few days, Quebec Premier François Legault said Thursday.
“We are in discussions with the government of Ontario and I am convinced that in the coming days, we will be able to open the borders,” Legault told reporters in Quebec.
The Ontario government recently extended its ban on non-essential travel from Quebec and Manitoba until at least June 16.
As for the border between Canada and the United States, Legault said discussions with the federal government are ongoing.
Federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu said on Wednesday that fully vaccinated Canadian citizens and permanent residents who test negative for COVID-19 will likely soon be exempt from two weeks of quarantine upon their return to Canada.
Legault admitted Thursday that his government had struggled to implement its plan to speed up the schedule for second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Quebec reports 189 new cases of COVID-19 and two more deaths
Quebec is today reporting 189 new cases of COVID-19 and two other deaths attributed to the new coronavirus, none of which have occurred in the past 24 hours.
Health officials say hospitalizations fell by six, to 251 and 64 people were in intensive care, an increase of four.
Province says 84,936 doses of COVID-19 vaccine were administered on Wednesday; about 67.2% of Quebecers have received at least one dose.
Later today, Health Minister Christian Dubé will present his government’s plan to make up for surgeries delayed due to the pandemic.
He said he wanted to wait until the end of August to start reducing the backlog to give healthcare workers a summer break.
About 150,000 surgeries have been delayed in Quebec.
Ontario Reports 590 New COVID-19 Cases, 11 Deaths, Over 182,000 Vaccinations
Ontario is today reporting 590 new cases of COVID-19 and 11 more deaths related to the virus.
Health Minister Christine Elliott said there were 130 new cases in Peel Region, 114 in Toronto and 61 in Waterloo.
She says there are also 38 new cases in Hamilton and 32 in York Region.
Today’s data is based on over 31,400 tests performed.
The Ministry of Health says 516 people are hospitalized with the new coronavirus – 450 in intensive care and 291 on a ventilator.
Ontario says 182,350 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have been administered since Wednesday’s report for a total of more than 10.6 million.
Manitoba to set reopening plans as COVID-19 continues to put pressure on hospitals
Manitoba says it will ease public health restrictions as more people get vaccinated against COVID-19.
The government’s plan to reopen focuses on gatherings, travel, shopping and dining. Restrictions in these areas will be relaxed if vaccination targets are met by certain dates.
“The more of us who are vaccinated, the sooner we can regain our freedoms and enjoy what we have lost over the past year and a half,” Premier Brian Pallister said Thursday.
The first immunization goal is to have over 70 percent of Manitobans 12 years and older with a first dose and over 25 percent with a second dose by Canada Day.
If this happens, depending on the province, businesses and other facilities will be able to open at 25% of their capacity.
Companies will be allowed to open at half capacity if 75% of people have received a dose and 50% have had a second injection by the long weekend in August.
Manitoba is moving ahead on Saturday to allow small outdoor gatherings, but restrictions on businesses will remain in place.
Better doctor says B.C. on track to ease more restrictions next week
BC’s top doctor says she is confident more COVID-19 restrictions can be lifted next week as planned due to dramatic drop in cases and because the rate of person-to-person transmission has plummeted .
Dr Bonnie Henry says fewer infections reflect the potency of vaccines, with nearly 73% of eligible residents aged 12 and older having received their first injection.
However, only about eight percent of people 18 and older have received both doses of a vaccine as the province is pushing more people to sign up for a second injection.
British Columbia is expected to step up to the second of its four-step reopening plan next Tuesday, when, among other things, personal indoor and outdoor gatherings of up to 50 people will be allowed.
A return to travel to the province, high-intensity indoor group exercises and team sports are also part of the next step, and Henry says increased contact is expected to cause manageable clusters of the virus to increase.
British Columbia recorded 153 new cases and four additional deaths, for a total of 1,729 deaths.
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