Premier Jason Kenney, Dr. Deena Hinshaw to update Albertans on COVID-19

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney will update Albertans on COVID-19 and efforts to stifle a wave of Omicron infections washing over the province.

Kenney and Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, will speak at 3:30 p.m. MT. Watch the news conference here.

The highly infectious Omicron variant has pushed up Alberta’s case counts and test positivity rate.

As of Wednesday, 748 Albertans were in hospital with COVID-19, including 82 patients in intensive care units. 

The previous week, 523 infected patients were in hospital, including 54 patients in ICU.

Public health officials reported 6,789 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, although the true number of infections is expected to be much higher.

Alberta continues to ration PCR testing as Omicron pushes provincial labs beyond capacity. 

As of Wednesday, there were 61,229 known active cases of COVID-19 across the province. Hinshaw has said reducing testing capacity means the true number of infections is likely to be 10 times higher. 

Alberta’s test-positivity rate is now sits just under 39 per cent. 

Alberta could see record COVID-19 hospitalizations within weeks, according to projections from the COVID-19 early warning system used by Alberta Health Services.

Provincially, ICU capacity, including additional surge beds, is currently at 80 per cent. Without the additional spaces, ICU capacity would be at 112 per cent.

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