Alberta NDP releases documents showing AHS modelling warning of second COVID-19 wave, claims Premier ‘ignored warnings’

CALGARY — Alberta’s NDP opposition are releasing documents from the fall of 2020 they say show the provincial government ignored warnings that hospitals would be overwhelmed as COVID-19 cases climbed.

The emails and documents were obtained by the opposition party through FOIP requests and were released to journalists on Monday.

The documents show a series of emails between officials with Alberta Health Services (AHS) and the provincial government. One briefing contains charts and explanations of ‘Early Warning Triggers,’ which are benchmarks for daily case numbers and Ryan Values that predict when hospital ICU’s could be overwhelmed.

The charts recommend public health measures be implemented when daily cases reach 300 or an Rt Value of 1.3-1.4 is realized. Alberta hit 500 daily cases in at the end of October, but stricter health measures weren’t announced until December 8.

“These desperate measures were all avoidable if Jason Kenney had acted when health professionals asked him to act,” said NDP leader Rachel Notley.

Notley questioned the premier in Question Period on Monday afternoon. Kenney denied the NDP’s assertions, accusing Notley of “fabricating false information.”

“There is no modelling, there are short-term projections, about which we are very transparent,” Kenney said.

“We were very clear in the fall that we continued to have 14 day projections based on, not assumptions and modelling, but actual hard numbers.”

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