Alberta cuts isolation period to five days for fully vaccinated people

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Alberta’s Health Minister Jason Copping said the province is shortening the isolation period for individuals with two doses of the vaccine who test positive for COVID-19.


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Starting Monday, fully vaccinated Albertans with COVID-19 will be required to isolate for five days instead of the previous 10-day requirement, as long as their symptoms have fully resolved. If symptoms continue past then, isolation will need to continue until the individual is feeling better.

Anyone who is not vaccinated must still isolate for at least 10 days until symptoms resolve.

Copping said the province is making this move because evidence shows vaccinated people have shorter infectious periods, and he said it is needed to keep the economy moving. 

“We’re making these changes to help prevent disruptions in Alberta’s workforce, especially for those who deliver the services Albertans count on,” Copping said during Friday’s news conference.


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This change is in line with the approach Ontario and other provinces are taking and with the latest guidelines from the Centre for Disease Control, he said.

Exceptions will be made for workplaces where “disruption of service for 24 hours will be harmful to the public,” Copping said, meaning workers can be brought back before their isolation period has ended. Returning workers will be required to wear masks when in the same room as someone else.

“We are providing additional flexibility for certain employers who are providing essential services and they can’t replace an individual, who perhaps within that isolation period can’t provide the service, but they have other measures in place.”

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, said specific rules for additional precautions and what criteria those businesses will have to meet to bring people back to work earlier will be released on Monday.


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No new data on COVID-19 will be released Friday, Hinshaw said. Regular reporting is expected to resume on Jan. 4.

Alberta reported a new pandemic high of an estimated 4,000 cases of COVID-19 on Thursday as hospitalization rates continue to increase. The province reported 2,775 new cases on Wednesday, which at the time was the highest count recorded in Alberta.

Hinshaw was scheduled to give an update on Thursday but rescheduled it to attend a COVID-19 cabinet committee meeting around the spread of the Omicron variant.


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Hospitalization rates increased for a fifth day yesterday. The province reported 371 Albertans in hospital with COVID-19, up from 349. Admissions to intensive-care units dropped, however — there are 48 Albertans in ICU with the virus compared to 57 on Wednesday.

During an evening press conference, Education Minister Adriana LaGrange announced Thursday that students will not return to formal learning until Jan. 10.

She also announced that Grade 12 diploma exams will be cancelled and the province will provide 8.6 million rapid at-home tests and 16.5 million medical-grade masks to students and teachers across the education system.

More to come…

Twitter: @BrittGervaisAB



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