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On Wednesday, July 28, Dr. Deena Hinshaw provided an Alberta COVID-19 update to the public for the first time in over a month.

The health official noted that 194 new COVID-19 cases have been reported over the past 24 hours. "Cases have risen recently, almost entirely in those who have not been fully vaccinated," she said.

She went on to say that "we are making changes to bring COVID-19 measures in line with how we handle other respiratory illnesses." She said that the first changes will happen tomorrow.

Update on COVID-19 – July 28 at 3:30 pm www.youtube.com


What's changing?

The first change is that "quarantine will no longer be universally, legally required for close contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases." In addition, routine, asymptomatic testing for close contacts will also be stopping. Hinshaw said that anyone experiencing symptoms should still isolate from others and can still get tested.

Further, contact tracers will no longer be calling close contacts. Positive cases can notify their close contacts themselves, when possible.

Come August 16, "provincial mask mandates on transit, taxis, and ride-shares will be lifted," said the top doctor. Masks may still be required at vaccination sites, hospitals and continuing care facilities.

Also starting August 16, "isolation will no longer be universally, legally required if you test positive for COVID-19, although it may be required in some high-risk settings. It will, however, continue to be recommended in all settings," said Hinshaw. Though, staying home when sick is still strongly recommended.

"We will no longer recommend that all those with mild symptoms seek testing, but rather should stay home until they are feeling better. Testing will be available to Albertans where it is needed to make treatment decisions."

After August 31, testing for COVID-19 will be available for patients whose symptoms are severe enough to need care in hospitals or physician's clinics."

While cases are climbing in Alberta, more health measures have been amended. Some of these mandates will be different in high-risk settings such as continuing care facilities.

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