Premier, chief medical officer to update public health measures as COVID-19 cases surge

Premier Jason Kenney and Alberta’s chief medical officer of health will provide an update Thursday on COVID-19 public health measures.

As the third wave continues to sweep through the province, Kenney and Dr. Deena Hinshaw are scheduled to hold a news conference at 4:30 p.m. You can watch it here live.

The province has reported more than 1,000 new cases each day for several weeks, while infection rates and hospitalizations hit levels not seen since the peak of the second wave in December.

On Wednesday, Alberta recorded 1,839 new cases. Dec. 4.set the single-day record with 1,875 cases. 

The number of active cases hit 20,938, an increase of more than 200 from the day before, just shy of the record for active cases in the province (20,976) set on Dec. 13. 

Another 1,058 cases of highly contagious variants of concern were also reported. Variants now account for 63 per cent of all active cases in the province.

Alberta hospitals were treating 643 patients with COVID-19, including 145 in intensive care.

Another six deaths were reported Wednesday, bringing the pandemic total to 2,073.

“Please continue to make safe choices,” Hinshaw wrote on Twitter. “Our best protection against COVID-19 is to follow the public health measures in place.” 

Three weeks ago, Premier Jason Kenney’s government implemented the latest round of restrictions on businesses and public gatherings in an effort to keep the caseload from swamping the health-care system.

In early January, hospitalizations peaked at more than 900, then dropped to around 250 in late February before starting to climb again.

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