More variant cases detected as Alberta reopens restaurants, gyms, children’s sports

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“There are many other factors that are considered in these decisions, such as the impact of current restrictions on children’s mental health and the important role physical activity plays in children’s development,” said Hinshaw.

“However, I want to stress to the parents, players, trainers and coaches that it’s vital every public health measure be followed at all times. This is the only way to protect the health of everyone involved.”

Much of the transmission among teammates and spectators of children’s sports and performance in the fall months was due to interactions in changing rooms and other socialization without appropriate physical distancing, which is why the restrictions are so tight now.

Andrew Obrecht, co-owner with YYC Cycle Spin Studio, uses an electrostatic disinfectant machine to sterilize bikes at the business on Monday, February 8, 2021. The business is hoping the next stage of reopening will allow them to resume classes.Gavin Young/Postmedia

For restaurants and bars, in-person dining is scheduled to close by 11 p.m. every night with liquor service ending at 10 p.m. and no entertainment is permitted. Only those within the same household or the designated close contacts of a person living alone are able to dine together.

Gyms and fitness centres are limited to scheduled one-on-one training sessions with a minimum of three-metres’ distance between pairs of trainers and clients.

Hinshaw said Alberta Health continues to monitor the hospitalizations, case rates, positivity rates and reproductive value (r-value) as they move forward with the economic relaunch strategy.

When the relaunch plan was announced, a three-week buffer was placed between each stage of reopening. This means the second step, which would potentially loosen restrictions for retail, banquet and community halls and a few other businesses, could happen March 1 as long as hospitalizations remain below 450.

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