Dr. Hinshaw, health minister to provide Alberta COVID-19 update Friday morning

After Alberta recorded a record-setting 4,000 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, officials are set to provide an update on Friday.

Chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw and Health Minister Jason Copping are scheduled to speak at 10:30 a.m. Their news conference will be streamed live in this article post.

Read more: Alberta officials hold COVID-19 cabinet committee meeting as province adds 4,000 cases

The news conference, initially scheduled for Thursday, was moved when a COVID-19 cabinet committee meeting was called. The meeting was expected to discuss the “latest development and trends” with the variant and to determine how to best protect Albertans, Dr. Deena Hinshaw said in a message on Twitter Thursday.

On Thursday, Alberta’s positivity rate was approximately 30 per cent.

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There were 371 Albertans in hospital with COVID-19, including 48 being treated in ICU.

Read more: COVID-19: Alberta will delay return to in-person K to 12 school until Jan. 10

In an evening news conference Thursday, Education Minister Adriana LaGrange announced the return to school for kindergarten to Grade 12 would be pushed back to Jan. 10 to give schools and school boards more time to assess how the rapid spread of Omicron would impact their operations.

She said the province would also provide millions of rapid tests and medical-grade masks to school staff and students starting Jan. 10.

Read more: COVID-19: Quebec brings back nightly curfew, private gatherings prohibited, as cases soar

On Thursday, Quebec brought back its controversial overnight curfew beginning Friday at 10 p.m., which is New Year’s Eve, and continuing to 5 a.m. the next day.

Also beginning on Friday, private gatherings in Quebec homes will be prohibited. Only people who live alone or need caregivers will be allowed to join another family bubble.

Read more: B.C. delaying start of school until Jan. 10 for most K to 12 students

On Wednesday, the B.C. government delayed the start of the school year for most students. Children with special needs and children of health care workers will return on Jan. 3 or 4 as planned, but everyone else will go back on Jan. 10 — one week later than initially scheduled.

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