LETHBRIDGE, AB – Lethbridge has set a new record for the number of active COVID-19 cases.
The latest update provided by the province shows that as of March 7, there were 278 active cases in the community.
Previously, Lethbridge topped out at 258 active cases on Dec. 7 during the height of the second wave of the pandemic.
There are currently six outbreaks in the city.
An additional three deaths in Lethbridge were also confirmed to Alberta Health Services in the past day involving two men, one in his 80’s and one in his 70’s, and a woman in her 50’s.
There have now been 23 COVID deaths in Lethbridge since the onset of the pandemic.
The Government of Alberta meanwhile, is moving fully into Step 2 of the Path Forward.
That means updated health measures are now in place for retail, hotels and community halls, performance groups, and youth sports, performance and recreation.
New under Step 2: Hospitalization benchmark – 450 and declining
Banquet halls, community halls, conference centres and hotels
- These facilities can now open for all activities permitted under Step 1 and Step 2.
- This includes hosting virtual meetings/conferences/events, permitted performance activities, wedding ceremonies with up to 10 individuals, and funeral services up to a maximum of 20 individuals.
- Wedding receptions, funeral receptions or trade shows are not permitted.
- All retail services and shopping malls must limit customer capacity to 25 per cent of fire code occupancy, not including staff. This is an increase from 15 per cent.
- This includes individual stores and common areas.
- Curbside pickup, delivery and online services are encouraged.
- Individuals or groups can now rehearse and perform in preparation for filming or live streaming a performance, provided they adhere to public health guidance.
- For adult performers and performance groups (over the age of 18), the following activities are permitted:
- Individual performers or performance groups (up to a maximum of 10 individuals) can access facilities for rehearsals or filming/virtual broadcasting.
- Larger indoor film and other performances will be allowed provided there is no audience and subject to an approved plan that follows strict new guidance, including regular lab-based PCR testing.
- No in-person audiences are allowed for any type of performance.
- Masks are required and three-metre physical distancing must be maintained at all times.
- For children and youth, performance activities are permitted provided they follow the same requirements set out for youth sport, performance and recreation activities in Step 1:
- Up to a maximum of 10 individuals with three-metre distancing between all participants.
- No spectators or in-person audiences are allowed for any type of performance.
- Masks are mandatory at all times.
- Includes lessons and practices.
- Includes youth development activities such as Scouts, Girl Guides and 4-H.
- Performance activities include dancing, singing, theatre and playing instruments.
Youth sports and recreation
- There is no change to the restrictions around youth sport and recreation.
- The Step 1 restrictions around youth sports and recreation have been expanded to include members of college and university athletic programs:
- Lessons, practices and physical conditioning activities are allowed.
- Games are not allowed.
- Maximum of 10 total individuals, including all coaches, trainers and participants.
- Physical distancing must be maintained between participants at all time.
- Participants must be masked at all times, except during the training activity.
The province says any decision on Step 3 will be determined on March 22 at the earliest.