LIVE at 3:30 p.m.: Dr. Hinshaw to give COVID-19 update as cases surge

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Despite having to isolate, the politicians made scheduled announcements remotely Thursday, with McIver revealing a new road testing system for Alberta and Kenney unveiling a pilot project that will see relaxed quarantine requirements for international travelers entering Alberta through the use of rapid-testing kits.

At his press conference, Kenney said he was “obviously concerned” about the growing number of cases and hospitalizations in Alberta but stressed he would not support the reintroduction of widespread restrictions.

“I think it’s also important to acknowledge that the virus is here to stay and unless or until there is widespread immunity either through natural infection or the widespread use of the vaccine we have to cope with it and we have to carry on with life,” he said.

Hinshaw said Tuesday Alberta was in the “danger zone,” with the upcoming weeks determining the province’s fate amid a precipitous surge in COVID-19 cases.

As of Wednesday, there were 3,372 active COVID-19 infections in Alberta, setting a new record for the province for a third day straight. Just under half of those infections are in the Alberta Health Services Edmonton zone, while about one-in-three are in the Calgary area.

There were 113 Albertans in hospital with COVID-19, including 16 receiving treatment in intensive-care units. Alberta has 70 ICU beds dedicated to COVID-19 patients.

To date, 296 Albertans have died of COVID-19.

Hinshaw will address Albertans from Edmonton at 3:30 p.m.

jherring@postmedia.com

Twitter: @jasonfherring

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