Kenney to present Albertans with COVID-19 projections during televised address Tuesday

Premier Jason Kenney will present some of the COVID-19 modelling projections put together by provincial health officials to Albertans on Tuesday evening during a special televised address.

Kenney announced his plans for the address during a news conference in Edmonton on Monday, where he and Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, provided an update on the province’s response to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“I will be delivering a televised address to the province, updating Albertans on the progress of our fight against COVID-19 and our plan of action for the weeks and months to come,” he said. “Albertans want to know what are the real numbers.

“Beginning tomorrow night, we will be providing some of the modelling done by Alberta Health Services that shows us when we might hit the peak and how well prepared we are for that.”

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Global News plans to livestream the address in this online article. This article will be updated once further details about the address are released.

Kenney had said Friday that he plans to release some of the pandemic modelling numbers this week.

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On Monday, the provincial government announced Alberta has seen 98 new cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours. The total number of confirmed cases in Alberta currently sits at 1,348. Twenty-four people have died of COVID-19 since the pandemic hit Alberta.

READ MORE: Alberta sees 98 new COVID-19 cases; may be added benefit in wearing mask

“I ask people to be prepared for what can be some very challenging numbers as we look at the prospective damage this virus could still do in our province,” Kenney said of his planned address.

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“On Wednesday, we’ll be providing a more detailed briefing on the models and projections that are being undertaken by Alberta Health Services and overlay with that our ability to cope in terms of medical supplies and the capacity of our health system.”

He said Monday that Alberta expects the peak to likely come “weeks from now.”

Kenney also announced that the Alberta legislature will reconvene on Tuesday. Among the issues to be discussed are potential further amendments to the Emergency Management Act — the premier said municipalities have been asking his government for more clarity on the division of authority between them and the province and on enforcement measures.

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More debate could take place on Tuesday about how to protect renters amid the COVID-19 crisis, Kenney said, adding his government may present a motion “calling on the federal government for urgent financial backstop for Alberta’s energy sector.”

“The clock is ticking and we need to ensure a future for the largest industry in our province,” he said.

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READ MORE: Feds torn between moving toward cleaner energy or bailing out oil and gas sector

Western Canadian oil producers have seen prices plummet to spectacularly low levels in recent weeks, a price drop attributed by experts to weakened demand because of the COVID-19 pandemic and due to a production war between Russia and Saudi Arabia that flooded the market with more oil it didn’t need.

–With a file from The Canadian Press’ Mia Rabson

Watch below: Some Global News videos about the COVID-19 crisis in Alberta.

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