Hinshaw to speak Thursday afternoon as COVID-19 hospitalizations climb

EDMONTON — A COVID-19 vaccine will be in Alberta as early as January, but the holiday season remains a challenge as cases and hospitalization continue to see a rapid increase, officials warned.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw will give another coronavirus update, a day after Premier Jason Kenney explained how Alberta would roll out the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines and reported 1,685 new cases and 10 more deaths.

Watch live at CTVNewsEdmonton.ca at 3:30 p.m.

Ninety-seven of the 504 Albertans with COVID-19 in hospital are in ICU.

Alberta Health Services is in contact with the Canadian Red Cross as part of a contingency plan in case it eventually needs to open temporary hospitals to ensure there are more beds.

The vaccine is promising, Hinshaw said, but along with Kenney and Health Minister Tyler Shandro, she asked Albertans to follow health measures this month and as immunizations begin.

“We can’t lose sight of the tremendous challenge that’s in front of us today,” Hinshaw said.

“We must continue to work together over the coming months to keep our numbers down until enough Albertans have received their full series of vaccine to keep COVID under control.”

Alberta has 17,144 active COVID-19 cases.

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