Alberta Scales Back COVID-19 Isolation and Testing Requirements

"COVID is not over … COVID will not be eliminated. We need to learn to live with it," said the province's chief medical officer of health

Alberta announced yesterday that it would change its regulations on isolation and contact racing reporting.

The Canadian province reports that 64.3% of eligible adults are fully vaccinated and nearly 76% have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, said in a statement that, “Our top priority is supporting the health of Albertans. COVID-19 is still with us but we are now in a place where we need to manage it through vaccinations and the proven public health measures used for other communicable viruses.”

Hinshaw told the media that the changes are being made, in part, to better manage public health resources.

Global News reports that “close contacts will no longer be notified of exposure by contact tracers nor will they be legally required to isolate — although it [is] still recommended” and that “will end asymptomatic testing.” 

More changes will go into effect in mid-August. At that time, the province will no longer mandate that people who test positive for the virus isolate, although it will remain strongly recommended. Isolation hotels will also close as quarantine supports come to close.

Tyler Shandro, Alberta’s Minister of Health, said in a statement, “As the majority of us are vaccinated against COVID-19, we are adapting to make sure that the health system is ready to care for all Albertans, whatever their illness. Please get vaccinated to help protect your health and the health of those around you.”

The announcement startled many Canadians who took to Twitter to denounce the province’s decision.

Naheed Dosnai, a faculty member at the University of Toronto, posted “Can someone pleeeeeease call the Canadian federal government to tell them to pleeeeeease step in & save Alberta?”

Alberta’s decision sparked speculation that other provinces might follow suit.

When asked about Ontario’s future plans regarding COVID-19 isolation practices, “Solicitor General Sylvia Jones didn’t specifically answer either way, instead confirming only that the province’s current indoor masking policy will remain in place for the time being,” per CBC

“We are going to continue with the pathway that keeps the vast majority of Ontarian citizens safe and hope that people do the right thing and get vaccinated as soon as they can,” she said,  noting that 80% of Ontarians aged 12 and older are at least partially vaccinated against COVID-19.

Currently, Canada’s national government plans to reopen its border to American visitors on August 9. All travelers older than 5 years old will need to have received a negative COVID-19 test. Anyone over the age of 12 must be fully vaccinated to enter the country.

On July 26, the government reported they had 228 new cases and 4,637 active cases. Roughly 50% of Canadians are fully vaccinated.

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3 responses to “Alberta Scales Back COVID-19 Isolation and Testing Requirements”

  1. mfoster says:

    I live in Alberta. This is great news but most people I talk to are taken back, and not sure what to think about our Provincial governments seemingly U-turn on Covid.
    Remember that our province was the one that jailed not only 1 but 3 pastors earlier this year for not following all covid measures. There was also an incident in the winter where 2 female City of Calgary Police woman tazzed a def teenager because he was playing hockey on and our door rink, that atrocity ( watch the video, its wild ) was in violation of the provincial lock downs; in which we were in place for basically all of 2021 till about 3 weeks ago, even though covid numbers were low most of the year.
    I hope Premier Jason Kenny and the rest of the United Conservatives party ( UCP) stick to there guns. This reversal in covid protocols may just be a way to try and retrieve those lost voting base. There pervious covid measures had spawned a massive separatist movement in Alberta as the UCP has completely alienated there base voters.
    Nearly all of the Federal seats in Western Canada are Conservative, not 1 Liberal seat ( JT’s party ) came from the west, A few NDP/ Greens ( Far left party) came from the bigger cities mostly in BC. Republican fervor is strong in the west, this might also be a way to undermine that movement as Jason Kenny has stated that he is a Federalist and separation form Canada is not something he will entertain. JT’s economic policies has devised the west ( Canadas economic engine) and covid was the last straw for most.
    Its been a Shit show up here.
    And Federally it remains a shit show.
    Something we share with our southern neighbors.
    Alberta’s new policies are a bright light.
    I feel I’ve been lied to to many times by the UCP to trust them.
    Only time will tell

  2. UppityG says:

    Now when I see a tweet of someone whining for more lockdowns, more mask mandates, more fascism I dismiss them and their Barbie Corvette purchased letters of title after their names as overgrown children who need to matriculate a few more courses in the School of Hard Knocks.

  3. Swiftmind says:

    Perhaps there is some hope for Candana after all. I am glad to see the officials in this province wake up and push for more reasonable measures.