Shandro, not Kenney, joining COVID-19 update at 4:30

EDMONTON — Alberta’s premier will not join the chief medical officer of health at Thursday’s COVID-19 update after all.

That morning, government staff said Jason Kenney would join Dr. Deena Hinshaw at the afternoon pandemic briefing.

Instead, Health Minister Tyler Shandro will attend the news conference at 4:30 p.m. MST. Watch it live on CTVNewsEdmonton.ca.

Government staff did not specify why the premier’s appearance was cancelled, but it is no longer expected the briefing will go over Alberta’s target points for easing public health orders.

On Wednesday, Hinshaw spoke of a “framework” that would soon be released to “help people to see what that target is that we need to collectively achieve in order to be able to open more activities.”

According to the latest data, the province has 8,200 active COVID-19 cases, 604 total hospitalizations, a positivity rate of 3.6 per cent, and more than 11,000 people fully immunized with two doses of vaccine.

Although the numbers have returned to levels seen at the beginning of December, Hinshaw told Albertans their acute care system remains under significant stress.

“We saw our health-care system come very close to a tipping point. We want to avoid that and we need to make sure that we are taking slow measured steps.”

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