Alberta's relaunch is underway and we're getting a bigger peek at the new normal as each day passes. On Friday, May 15, the Government of Alberta announced that the outdoor gathering limit has been extended to 50 people. However, the indoor limit will still be restricted to 15 people in order to contain the spread of COVID-19 in Alberta.
Previously, both indoor and outdoor gatherings were limited to 15 people but as the province has officially flattened the curve and gotten its relaunch plan off the ground, it seems that Alberta is easing up on quite a few things.
First of all, all outdoor gatherings can now have 50 people as long as they follow the rules.
This means that you have to maintain a distance of six feet or two metres from one another unless you live together in the same household.
Indoor gatherings are still limited to 15 people; however, exemptions have been made for places of worship.
Attendees at indoor gatherings should also make sure they're following safe distancing rules.
However, the places that have been exempted can replace previous rules with "specific guidance they can implement as a best practice," as mentioned in the order published on the Government of Alberta website.
In terms of outdoor gatherings, everyone must follow hygiene practices and shouldn't be sharing any food or drinks with others.
Dr. Hinshaw also told the public in a press conference that you need to use their best judgement when determining whether a gathering can go ahead.
For example, if you're planning to have a backyard party with friends, only invite as many as you can while still maintaining the six-foot distance between everyone. So, 50 guests probably isn't a good idea unless you'll be on a football field.
Hinshaw also advised Albertans to wear a mask out in public when it's not possible to maintain physical distancing.
Alberta's top doctor also said to keep cleaning surfaces like door handles, faucets, and bathrooms if individuals from outside your household use them.
She also recommends having hand sanitizer on hand.
"Hold off on any gathering if you are uncertain you can follow public health orders and guidelines," she added.
On May 14, the province officially moved into Stage 1 of its relaunch plan. However, the city of Calgary and the town of Brooks were put on a different schedule as their number of COVID-19 cases remained high.
Officials warned residents that the relaunch strategy is highly dependent on their ability to keep infection numbers low.
They're also monitoring hospitalization and ICU admission rates to see the full extent of the disease in the province.