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Alberta Health Minister Jason Copping takes his mask off to give a COVID-19 update in Edmonton, on Sept. 21.JASON FRANSON/The Canadian Press

Effective today, people in Alberta with at least two doses of vaccine who test positive for COVID-19 will only need to isolate for five days instead of 10.

Health Minister Jason Copping announced the change last week in the face of the rapidly spreading Omicron variant, saying it was based on evidence that fully immunized people have shorter infectious periods.

Symptoms must be fully resolved by the end of the five-day period, otherwise people must continue to isolate.

For five days after isolation, those people will be required to wear a mask around others at all times when in public.

Mr. Copping says it will prevent disruptions in the work force, especially for those who deliver important services.

Ontario, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick and British Columbia have also reduced the self-isolation period to five days.

Education Minister Adriana LaGrange also announced last week that in-person classes for kindergarten to Grade 12 students would be delayed until Jan. 10.

She said the longer break would allow school authorities to plan for a successful startup.

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