COVID-19: Shandro and Hinshaw to give update Thursday

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Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, are slated to give an update on COVID-19 in the province Thursday at 4:30 p.m.

On Wednesday, Hinshaw said Albertans had begun to reduce the spread of the disease for a second time. However, she warned flouting existing laws could make the situation worse and extend the length of time current restrictions are in place.

It’s also unclear how much of the recent decline is related to a drop in the number of tests completed. But the rate of positive COVID-19 tests – at metric that isn’t connected to the number of tests – has decreased as well. As of Wednesday, it sat at 5.3 per cent down from about 7 per cent Dec. 31.

Deaths remain high. The province set a record for the deadliest day on Tuesday with 38 deaths. On Wednesday, another 23 COVID-19 deaths were reported to health officials. More than 100 COVID-19 deaths have been reported in Alberta every week since mid-December with a total of 1,368 for the entirety of the pandemic.

Hospitalizations and ICU stays are currently much higher than when a state of emergency was declared Nov. 24. As of Thursday, there were 820 Albertans hospitalized from COVID-19 including 137 in ICU.

Alberta’s health officials began vaccinating priority groups last month. The timeline for other groups getting the jab isn’t fully clear and depends on supply. The premier has givenmixed messaging on the rollout.

More to come…

You can watch the livestream here

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