Kenney, Hinshaw to give COVID-19 update at 4:30

EDMONTON — Alberta’s premier will join the chief medical officer of health at Thursday’s COVID-19 update.

Jason Kenney and Dr. Deena Hinshaw will potentially detail the target points at which some of the province’s public health orders will be eased.

On Wednesday, Hinshaw spoke of a “framework” that would soon be released to “help people to see what that target is that we need to collectively achieve in order to be able to open more activities.”

Alberta’s top doctor has said reopening does not depend on one single metric, but a combination of the province’s positivity rate, growth in cases and hospitalization numbers.

“When we look at all of those things together as a package, it helps us get that full picture… But we do also look at our new case counts and our positivity rates because those are the things that will start to change first if we see that some of the activities that we’ve opened have caused increased transmission,” Hinshaw explained on Wednesday.

“We have to look at that package, and more information will be coming soon.”

According to the latest data, the province has 8,200 active COVID-19 cases, 604 total hospitalizations, a positivity rate of 3.6 per cent, and more than 11,000 people fully immunized with two doses of vaccine.

Although the numbers have returned to levels seen at the beginning of December, Hinshaw told Albertans their acute care system remains under significant stress.

“We saw our health-care system come very close to a tipping point. We want to avoid that and we need to make sure that we are taking slow measured steps.”

She and Kenney will speak at 4:30 p.m. MST. Watch the news conference live on CTVNewsEdmonton.ca.

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