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Open for summer plan a go

Posted on June 9, 2021 by Sunny South News

Dear Editor:

On May 26, Alberta’s government announced our “Open for Summer Plan.”This is a three-stage plan that lays out a clear path to safely removing all public health restrictions and getting Alberta back to normal.

Alberta’s “Open for Summer Plan” stages are based on reaching vaccine targets and declining rates of hospitalization.

Stage one can proceed two weeks after 50 per cent of Albertans aged 12+ are vaccinated with one dose, and hospitalization rates are below 800.

Stage two will commence two weeks after 60 per cent of Albertans 12+ are vaccinated with one dose, and hospitalizations are below 500.

And stage three will be launched two weeks after 70 per cent of Albertans 12+ have received at least one dose.

Thanks to the great efforts made by Albertans, we reached stage one on June 1. Stage one allows outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people, personal and wellness services to be open by appointment, restaurant outdoor patios are open for groups of four in the same household, outdoor sports and recreation up to 10 people and retail allowing up to 15 per cent of fire code occupancy.

The progress Alberta has made on vaccines is continuing to move our province in a positive direction. More than 60 per cent of Albertans 12+ have already been vaccinated with one dose, allowing our province to go into stage two, as early as June 10 if hospitalization rates are below 500.

Stage two will see the opening of movie theatres, libraries, museums, galleries and other indoor recreation centres open at one-third capacity.

Restaurants will be able to serve customers indoors and outdoors with a limit of six people per table, retail will be allowed to have onethird capacity, places of worship will be open at one-third capacity, indoor fitness will be open for solo and drop-in activities and indoor fitness classes, with social distancing, outdoor gatherings can have 20 people, and much more.

Once we reach stage three, Albertans can see all restrictions lifted, including the ban on indoor social gatherings. The only restriction remaining will be isolation requirements for confirmed cases and some protective measures in continuing care settings.

This is a very exciting time for Alberta. We are well on our way towards stage three, as vaccination rates are rising towards 70 per cent.

I want to express my gratitude to my constituents who (have) done their part to be safe, and looking out for your neighbours. The end to these restrictions are within sight, we just need to stay the course to limit the spread, and if you are able to, please get vaccinated. It is safe and is the best way to achieve herd immunity.

Joseph Schow, MLA Cardston-Siksika

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