COVID-19 isolation period reduced to 5 days for fully vaccinated Albertans
Alberta is reducing the mandatory isolation period for fully vaccinated people who contract COVID-19 to five days from the current 10, Health Minister Jason Copping announced Friday.
The change becomes effective Monday, Copping told a news conference.
People whose symptoms are resolving after five days of isolation will need to wear a mask when around others outside of home for another five days, Copping said.
Those who still have symptoms will have to remain in isolation.
Fully vaccinated means two doses of vaccine, or one dose of the Janssen vaccine, according to the province's COVID-19 website.
Unvaccinated people who contract COVID-19 will still be required to isolate for 10 days, Copping said.
"We are making these changes to help prevent disruptions in the Alberta workforce, especially for those who deliver services that Albertans count on," he said.
"We feel this step will help balance the need for continuity in the workforce, the well-being of Albertans, and our need to continue to reduce the spread of the Omicron variant."
Copping said Alberta's approach is in line with new direction taken in Ontario and by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Some workers will be exempt from the isolation period in "exceptional circumstances," Copping said.
"We're providing an exception for workplaces where disruption of service for 24 hours or more would be harmful to the public and where there is no other way to continue the service, except by bringing workers back before their isolation period has ended.
"In these exceptional circumstances, additional public health measures will be required. For example, returning workers would not be allowed to remove their masks when in the same room as anyone else at any time, even if they're distanced."
Watch: Province cuts back on isolation period for fully vaccinated Albertans
Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta's chief medical officer of health, said the exemptions could apply to services or locations where a disruption could "significantly impair public health or safety," such as health-care settings or water treatment plants.
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