Premier Jason Kenney telling Albertans Tuesday evening he wasn’t going to sugar coat COVID-19 projections for the province.
Saying it’s a time for “complete candour” Kenney shared Alberta Health’s current projections about the pandemic’s threat to public health.
As of Tuesday, 1373 Albertans had tested positive for COVID-19, 42 are hospitalized and 26 have died.
Kenney says the per capita number of recorded infections is the second highest in Canada, after Quebec, but that is in part because scientists and lab technicians are conducting one of the highest levels of COVID-19 testing in the world.
He also says the rate of Albertans hospitalized and those in ICU, is much lower than in other large provinces like Ontario, Quebec and BC but those provinces saw their first cases before Alberta did.
As far as the COVID-19 “curve” Kenney says Alberta’s is much lower than many other parts of the world and resembles countries that have successfully fought the virus like South Korea, rather than the sharp upward rise seen in countries like Italy, Spain and the US.
But, Kenney warns, Alberta is “not out of the woods yet.” He says “probable” modeling scenarios project the peak of the virus to hit in mid-May and from the start of the outbreak until the end of summer, the province could see 800,000 infections and between 400 and 3,100 deaths.
Under the more serious but less likely “elevated” scenario, Alberta could see as many as one million infections and between 500 and 6,000 deaths.
Kenney says those numbers are not inevitable and how this actually plays out “depends on us and our choices.”
He encourages Albertans to continue to practice good hand hygiene, physical distancing, and to stay home when sick.