While the rest of Alberta reopens, Calgary waits. Phase 1 of Alberta's relaunch strategy kicked off on Thursday, May 14. Meanwhile, Calgary was one of two places that were bumped back onto a slower schedule along with the town of Brooks. Now, this week's COVID-19 numbers will determine Calgary's fate. By looking at the week's numbers, the province will decide when Calgary restaurants can reopen next week along with the other businesses included in Phase 1. 

Just the day prior, it was announced by Premier Jason Kenney that Alberta would be beginning to reopen on Thursday, May 14. 

While most of the province implemented Phase 1 of the new strategy, Calgary and Brooks were excluded. 

According to the announcement by Kenney, the two cities are part of a slightly slower relaunch due to a larger number of COVID-19 cases coming from the areas.

Therefore, Calgary was unable to open certain things like restaurants, pubs, bars, and hair salons on the highly anticipated Thursday, May 14 date. 

Instead, the city is slated to open those non-essential businesses by Monday, May 25

While this is the tentative plan, nothing is set in stone and officials are set to make the final call on Friday, May 22, just days before the second potential launch date.

During an address on Tuesday, May 19, Dr. Deena Hinshaw sain that in order to reopen, numbers of COVID-19 cases will need to be analyzed.

Hinshaw noted that numbers in the province have held steady and “we are not seeing any increase so far in Calgary and Brooks.”

While the growth curve has flattened, she noted that the pandemic is still with us and we will need to continue to actively apply safety measures such as social distancing and hand washing to prevent the spread. 

Hinshaw noted that even once the province reopens, “we are not going back to the way our society was before the pandemic.” 

She said that since the incubation period of the disease is 14 days, this week's data is going to be critical in knowing if and when Calgary and Brooks can advise businesses to open up again. 

This means that over the next coming days until Friday, officials will be analyzing all data that is available to determine if it's safe to begin the second stage of Phase 1 for the two places that got left behind. 

Ultimately, the final decision is set to be made on Friday, May 22.

Even if the province does decide to go ahead with the second stage, the Calgary mayor has already said that businesses won't be forced to open. 

Rather, reopening should only be done if employers can keep both staff and customers safe. 

The latest data provided by the Government of Alberta reads that the province has 6,716 confirmed COVID-19 cases. Of those, over 4,600 are in the Calgary zone. 

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