Check against delivery
I am pleased to report today that more than 7,400 Albertans have now recovered from COVID-19.
We’ve conducted almost 7,200 new tests in the last 24 hours, and have identified 41 additional cases in the province.
Currently, 41 people are in hospital, 9 of whom are in intensive care.
We know that this virus can spread easily from one to many. One area each in Calgary and Edmonton are currently on the watch list, with more than 50 active cases per 100,000.
No additional measure are needed in either area at this time; however, we are watching closely those cases.
Also, today we are listing new outbreaks linked to four restaurants in Edmonton: the Greta Bar, Earls Tin Palace, the Pint and Local on Jasper Ave.
Alberta Health Services is working closely with operators to facilitate testing and ensure all necessary steps are taken to protect public health.
We are encouraging anyone who attended any of those locations in the last two weeks to get tested.
I want to reiterate that these restaurants and those who have been tested are doing the right thing by taking steps to contain this outbreak.
As I have said before, it is critical that we do not shame those who test positive but rather support them to isolate and work with public health to do contact tracing and follow up, as these restaurants have done.
Tomorrow is Canada Day and, rain or shine,
I know that many Albertans are looking forward to celebrating.
I encourage everyone to find creative ways to celebrate, including virtual events.
As announced earlier this morning, we have now expanded the gathering limits for audience-type outdoor community events for those who wish to gather in person.
Effective today, gatherings of up to 200 people are allowed for audience-type events like watching fireworks, festivals, rodeos and sporting events, and outdoor performances.
When Stage 2 of our relaunch began, we committed to reviewing the situation in Alberta every two weeks to assess whether our measures were appropriate, and if any changes could be made.
Today’s change is the first such recommendation that we brought forward to the government.
We are making this shift based on several factors, including an analysis of how the virus is spreading in Alberta and the reduced risk of gatherings held outdoors.
We believe that, if organizers and attendees take appropriate health measures, including distancing between household and cohorts, it is possible to conduct these events safely.
However, more people does not mean less care.
All public health measures are still in effect,
and I want to urge all Albertans gathering in groups to take these seriously.
Participants still have to stay two metres apart,
or wear a mask. They will have to wash or sanitize their hands frequently.
Seating for these audience-type outdoor events must maintain distance between families or cohorts.
No one who feels sick should attend any gatherings of any size. They should stay home and arrange for testing.
Only by observing these measures can we all help prevent the spread while staying socially connected this Canada Day and beyond.
There are no changes to the participation limits for indoor gatherings or private celebrations.
Indoor social gatherings still are limited to 50 people.
And indoor seated events remain at 100.
Outdoor private and social events like weddings, family reunions or funerals remain limited to 100 people.
If you are planning a private gathering in your backyard or your home for Canada Day, keep it within your cohort.
Or if you have guests outside your cohort, only invite as many people as your yard can hold while maintaining two metres distance between people from different households.
You also want to think about cleaning and sanitizing doorknobs, faucets and bathroom facilities partway through the gathering if people from outside your household are using them.
And you should have hand sanitizer available to your guests.
Hold off on any gathering if you are uncertain you can follow public health orders and guidelines.
COVID-19 will not take a break because it is a holiday.
Please refer to our guidance documents at alberta.ca/bizconnect to know how you can help reduce the risk of COVID-19 in any setting.
We must all continue to take proper precautions.
For those who may be getting away to a summer cottage or a campground, please respect the health and safety of small communities along the way by planning your trip without stops for gas or food where possible.
We must continue to take all the necessary precautions to protect our health and the health of those around us.
Holidays can be a difficult time for some, even when we’re not in the midst of a global pandemic.
Many Albertans out there feel alone, are afraid, or are unable to go out because they are at high risk of infection.
I encourage all of us to reach out to members of the community who may be in this position.
To close, I would like to wish all Albertans a happy and healthy Canada Day holiday.
And that includes the officials who work so hard to update the daily COVID numbers. They will also get a well-deserved day off tomorrow, so the next update on case numbers will be on Thursday, July 2.
It takes specialized expertise to pull the data and compile the reports. Our teams have been working seven days a week for many months now.
I have said before that this virus will be with us for many months to come. We must all adjust to our new normal. And so, after Canada Day, we will shift to providing daily updates Monday through Friday, giving the reporting team weekends off.
We will continue to provide daily breakdowns reporting on Mondays so it is clear how many cases occurred each day, and we will keep Albertans fully informed. If urgent news breaks on a weekend, we will alert you.
With that, please enjoy your Canada Day and stay as safe as possible. We continue to all be in this together.
Thank you, and I will now take questions.