A massive number of COVID-19 tests being processed over the past 24 hours has led to spike in confirmed cases.
Premier Jason Kenney took to the podium ahead of Dr. Deena Hinshaw for Wednesday’s update to announce 306 new cases province-wide.
The lab has processed 4,151 tests since Tuesday.
Province-wide, Alberta has now recorded 3,401 cases of COVID-19 and about one-third of those 1,310 are considered recovered.
Kenney says 70 people are currently in hospital and 18 of them are being treated in the ICU.
He says the rate of hospitalizations has, but are still below modelling projections released two weeks ago, which Kenney says means most Albertans are following public health protocols.
There have also been five deaths in the past day for a total of 66 across Alberta and two additional deaths are pending, one involving a worker at the JBS meat packing plant in Brooks.
Across southern Alberta there’s been jump of 103 cases since Tuesday for a total of 303 in AHS South Zone. Of those, Brooks continues to see major spread of the novel coronavirus. That city with another 100 confirmed since Tuesday for a total now of 257.
Medicine Hat has the three other new cases for a total of 19. Lethbridge remains unchanged at 12.
The province is also launching a new tool to help pair Albertans with volunteer opportunities during the COVID-19 crisis.
The Alberta Cares Connector is pegged by the government as a one-stop-shop for anyone looking for service opportunities.
Culture Minister Leela Sharon Aheer says non-profits are trying to cope with the economic impact of the pandemic and are losing a large population of dedicated senior volunteers as they stay home and self-isolate.
She says volunteers are the heartbeat of non-profits and anyone who is healthy should consider giving their time and talents to an organization in need.
The provincial government is also launching the Alberta Northern Lights Volunteer Awards to honour everyday heroes as the province responds to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The honourees will be nominated by fellow Albertans and selected for profiling on the program’s website and through social media.