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Edmontonians report back on Day 2 of relaunch
EDMONTON -- One Edmontonian celebrated the partial reopening of Alberta on Friday with a Whyte Avenue patio beer.
"It’s definitely not the usual experience," Rod told CTV News Edmonton, "but at least we’re out and about."
But still, some remain worried as they see fellow members of the public begin to increase social activity.
"My biggest concern was when I heard the blow dryers go off," reported salon customer and registered nurse Arnel Ramic.
"There’s a potential for particles to be expelled into the air."
However, infectious disease specialist Lynora Saxinger suggests Edmontonians educate – rather than confront – each other over remaining public health orders and advice.
"I think we should not assume that everyone knows what exactly they’re supposed to be doing."
On Friday, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw eased outdoor gathering limits to allow groups of 50 people outside, as long as people from different households maintained distancing and did not share food or drinks.
"As we start to ease certain restrictions it is increasingly important that we all continue to take proper precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including frequent hand washing, always staying home whenever you feel ill, considering use of a non-medical mask while out in public, particularly if you will be within two metres of others," she said, reminding Albertans that the gradual reopening did not mean caution could wane.
"Even while we begin to enter Stage 1 of our relaunch, let us remember that this virus still poses a risk, particularly to the elderly and people with chronic medical conditions."
Despite inevitable lapses in rule following, Saxinger is cautiously optimistic the relaunch will happen safely.
"Maybe we’ll know in about two or three weeks, because that’s when we’ll start to see cases coming into the hospitals again."
Other gatherings are still restricted to 15 people.
Hinshaw has asked families to build a cohort of people they expose themselves to.
The province reported 58 new cases Friday, and four additional COVID-19-related deaths.
Alberta has counted 6,515 cases of the virus in total.
With a report from CTV News Edmonton's Jeremy Thompson