On Monday, February 22, Dr. Deena Hinshaw provided an Alberta COVID-19 update to the public. \nThe health official announced 273 new COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours, 11 of which are new variants of concern. \nEditor's Choice: So Many People Are Actually Exempt From Canada's Quarantine Rules & This Is Why\n\n\n\n1.03 \n\n\nAlberta's reproductive number\n\n\nDr. Hinshaw explained that "any time the reproductive number is greater than 1, it means that our cases are rising."\nThe province is currently in Step 1 of the four-phase reopening plan based upon hospitalization numbers. \nWith 354 Albertans currently in the hospital with COVID-19, the province has reached the threshold to move into Step 2, but Dr. Hinshaw says they've opted to wait. \n\n"We are below the Step 2 threshold of hospitalizations, but we have seen growing cases in recent days," she said. \n"With that in mind, we will be taking the full three weeks to assess the data and assess the best way forward."\nShe said that "no decisions on moving to Step 2 will be made prior to March 1 at the earliest."