EDMONTON, AB – Alberta is loosening some of its strict COVID-19 health measures.

Health Minister Tyler Shandro was on hand at Thursday’s COVID press conference to give details on the changes.

Starting on Monday, Jan. 18, up to ten people will be allowed to gather outdoors as long as they’re wearing masks and keeping two-metres distance.

Personal and wellness services will also be allowed to reopen on Monday by appointment only including hair salons and barbershops, esthetics services, and piercing and tattoo businesses.

Shandro says appointments are expected to be one-on-one and public health guidelines must be followed.

The Health Minister also announced that as of Monday, funeral services can have up to 20 attendees, which is an increase from ten, though receptions are still prohibited.

As for new cases, 13 people in Lethbridge tested positive for COVID-19 over the past day out of 49 total in the South Zone.

The city now has 123 active cases.

New cases in Cardston County continue to rise as well with 14 people testing positive in the past 24 hours.

The number of active cases in that municipality has risen from 49 on Monday to 77 on Wednesday.

Province-wide there were 967 new cases for a provincial positivity rate of 5.8 percent.

There were 21 additional fatalities – at least one in every health zone – including a woman in her 90’s linked to a care home outbreak in Medicine Hat.

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