We're not in the clear just yet. On Monday, June 8, the Government of Alberta announced that Edmonton has 106 active cases of COVID-19. Just a week prior on June 2, it was reported that there were only 45 active cases of COVID-19 in Edmonton. Therefore, causes have more than double in just a week and health officials say it's linked to social gatherings.
Edmonton took part in stage 1 of Alberta's reopening plan on May 14. The move allowed restaurants, retailers, and hair salons to open their doors again to the public while being subject to new health mandates.
While these businesses have been welcoming back their customers, it appears that social distancing has been a problem in recent weeks.
Interim city manager Adam Laughlin said on May 26 that the city would consider shutting down some places again if people kept breaking the rules.
After that warning, some places like skate parks and sports courts were temporarily closed just four days later because people were still breaking rules.
On June 1, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the Chief Medical Officer of Health in Alberta, said that spike in Edmonton cases could be traced back to two private family gatherings.
"We're monitoring an increase in the active cases in the Edmonton zone," she said in the press conference.
She also said that people in those gatherings got tested for COVID-19 as soon as they felt symptoms.
In the latest press update, she was asked about the two family gatherings in Edmonton and whether they can be linked to the new cases that have been detected in the city in the past week.
She noted that distancing measures and mask-wearing was "not consistently applied" in those two social events.
Dr. Hinshaw also told the public, "I think it's quite natural for people to start feeling like maybe they can ease up on these measures. We've all been waiting a long time to see our friends and family."
She went on to remind Edmontonians that it only takes one event to spread the disease all over again. She said that one person who has the disease and doesn't even know it can spread it to others.
"What we're starting to see is outward spread from the individuals who attended the social event," she said.
But the top doctor said that she doesn't want to point fingers at those "unlucky ones" at that particular event.
"I'm quite confident there were many other gatherings where people did not consistently follow distancing and masking," she said.
On May 5, 10 days before the city reopened, Edmonton reported just one new case of COVID-19.
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney thought that Edmonton was doing so well with its handling of the pandemic that he suggested that NHL playoffs take place in the city.