Premier Jason Kenney says under a probable model, Alberta could top out at 800,000 cases of COVID-19.
The Premier shared the model in a televised address to the province.
“Under the ‘probable scenario,’ we now project that Alberta will hit the peak of infections in mid-May,” stated Kenney from the legislature. “From the beginning of the outbreak to the end of summer we could see as many as 800,000 total infections, and between 400 and 3,100 deaths.”
Kenney also said that in an elevated scenario, we could see as many as a million cases that could peak in May, and as many as 6,600 deaths, but also pointed out that was less likely.
He also said the public health orders will likely be in effect until the end of next month.
“As hard as this will be, it is the only ethical choice when thousands of lives are still at stake,” he says. “To be honest, I hope the models are wrong.”
He reminded Albertans that how this plays out in terms of numbers will depend of us following the guidelines of Alberta Health Services. Following principles such as:
– Wash your hands frequently for at least twenty seconds with warm, soapy water
– Sneeze or cough into your elbow or arm
– When you can, stay home.
– Try to stay at least six feet away from other people outside your home
– Stay at home for two weeks if you are sick, or have returned from outside the country
– Wear a covering over your nose and mouth if you are going into a crowded area.
Kenney also announced that AHS would be receiving an additional $500 million in funding to combat COVID-19.
In terms of trying to stimulate economic recovery, Kenney specifically pointed to countries like Taiwan and South Korea of examples of maintaining activity while keeping the spread level of the virus low.
The following points are part of the government’s re-launch strategy
Kenney is calling for an aggressive system of mass testing, using new tests that are being developed and approved.
The plan calls for as many as 20,000 tests a day.
The plan also seeks more precise tracing of close contacts of those who are infected.
Kenney is also calling on Ottawa for stronger border screening.
“While Alberta does not control who can fly here, says Kenney, “we will deploy a much more rigorous approach than the federal government has in screening and quarantining international arrivals.”
He also stated the province will strictly enforce quarantine orders to ensure compliance, including using technology like smart phone apps when appropriate.
The last part of the plan is encouraging and facilitating the use of masks in crowded public spaces.
Kenney also pointed out the province’s budget, due to the pandemic, as well as the collapse of oil prices has nearly tripled the province’s estimated deficit to nearly $20 billion.
He concluded with examples of acts of kindness Albertans are showing during this time such as: getting groceries for the elderly and donating to food banks.
– Kenny Trenton, Trending 55 Newsroom