Deputy Minister of Municipal Affairs, Paul Wynnyk will be leading Alberta’s COVID-19 Vaccine task force.

Premier Jason Kenney making that announcement during Wednesday’s update.

He says the province is also well prepared to receive, distribute and administer a vaccine as soon as they arrive.

Phase One will focus on at-risk populations including residents and staff of continuing care homes, on-reserve First Nations, and health care workers.

The plan is to be able to offer the vaccine to all Albertans by summertime.

Kenney says the government won’t make the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory but will be encouraging as many people as possible to get the shot when it’s their turn.

Another 1,685 people tested positive for COVID-19 over the past day out of 18,432 tests which means a provincial positivity rate of 9.2 per cent.

There are now 17,144 active cases across the province with 505 people in hospital, 97 of them in the ICU.

Ten people have died since Tuesday’s update, two of them in the South Zone of Alberta Health Services.

This region reported 55 new cases over the last day, 18 of them in Lethbridge.

The city now has 213 active cases.

There were also five new cases reported in Lethbridge County, five in the MD of Taber and 13 in Medicine Hat.