Masks are no longer be required on Lethbridge Transit as of today (June 15). The province announced it is moving to step three of its COVID-19 reopening plan, which also includes removing mandatory isolation.
“We need to live with COVID-19 while accepting that it will continue to be present,” said Jason Copping, minister of health. “We’ll continue to work to keep Albertans safe by ensuring access to vaccines, antivirals and rapid tests, through ongoing COVID-19 surveillance and by enhancing health-care system capacity.”
Timothy Sanderson, general manager of Lethbridge Transit, said he expects ridership to increase with the removal of restrictions.
“We have been seeing a pretty good upward trend for ridership, especially over the past few months and are really anticipating that when school gets back in session in September, especially with all these restrictions lifted, that we should be at or even exceeding our pre COVID levels,” he said.
He added Lethbridge Transit is happy to be getting back to normal and he would like to thank customers and employees for their patience and compliance through the restrictions.
Mike Fox, director of community services for the city, said the lifting of restrictions essentially puts the city back to pre-COVID life. “We rely on the province for anything really related to health and so with the announcement, we believe in the province’s chief medical officer and the decisions they make, so we have been following suit all along,” he said.
Masking and any other measures in Alberta Health Services (AHS) and contracted health facilities will remain in place through AHS policy as required for infection prevention and control. Chief medical officer of health orders in continuing care will be rescinded by June 30, but some measures in continuing care settings will remain in place through standards and policy, according to the province. This includes maintaining practices like isolation of symptomatic residents, outbreak protocols and masking.
“Learning to live with COVID-19 does not mean forgetting about it,” said Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health. “As we bring COVID-19 management in line with other respiratory diseases, it will continue to be vital that we receive our primary vaccine series and any additional booster doses we are eligible for and continue good habits like washing our hands regularly and avoiding being around others if we feel sick.”