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Alberta Premier Jason Kenney tells province to brace for "challenging" numbers ahead of COVID-19 address

Alberta’s premier is expected to address the province tonight with new modelling charting the province’s path forward through the COVID-19 crisis, including how well the health system could cope should cases of the potentially deadly virus peak.
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Jason Kenney
Premier Jason Kenney declared COVID-19 a public health emergency on March 17, 2020. GOVERNMENT OF ALBERT PHOTO

Alberta’s premier is expected to address the province tonight with new modelling charting the province’s path forward through the COVID-19 crisis, including how well the health system could cope should cases of the potentially deadly virus peak.

“I ask people to be prepared for what can be some very challenging numbers as we look at the prospective damage this virus can still do in our province,” said Premier Jason Kenney on Monday during a press conference.

In a televised address at 6 p.m., the premier is expected to release details from Alberta Health Services COVID-19 modelling including when a COVID-19 peak could hit the province and how prepared the health system is to handle the surge.

This address will be followed by a more detailed briefing Wednesday that Kenney said would include more in-depth analysis of Alberta Health Services’ modelling and projections as to the overall capacity of the health care system and potential pressures on essential medical supplies.

“Albertans want to know, what are the real numbers,” Kenney said.

Alberta’s premier is following the precedent set by Ontario Premier Doug Ford, who released detailed COVID-19 modelling on Friday.

Those projections estimated COVID-19 could kill between 3,000 and 15,000 people in Ontario over the full course of the pandemic, which Peter Donnelly, president and CEO of Public Health Ontario, said could last as long as two years.

Had the province not taken swift action, however, Donnelly said Friday the death toll in Ontario could have reached 100,000.

Projections released by the government of Quebec on Tuesday estimate between 1,200 and 9,000 people could die from COVID-19 by the end of April, but experts there remained optimistic that aggressive public health measures are trending toward the lower end of the scale.

Kenney’s address will be televised on local news broadcasts at 6 p.m. and can be streamed online on the premier’s Facebook page.

Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, will not be giving her afternoon address on Tuesday.




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