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COVID-19 model projects infections to peak in May: Premier Kenney

According to a projected model, Premier Jason Kenney says the peak of COVID-19 infections in Alberta is expected to be in mid-May.

The premier made a televised address to the public Tuesday evening to discuss Alberta Health’s projections based on data collected by AHS.

“Under the probable scenario, from the beginning of the outbreak to the end of the summer we could see as many as 800,000 infections, and between 400 to 1,300 deaths.”

In a less likely but more serious scenario, the peak would be in May but would see one million positive tests and between 500 and 6,000 deaths.

If no public health orders were issued and physical distancing were not followed then the numbers would rise to 1.6 million infections and 32,000 deaths.

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“But these models are not a done deal. I want Albertans to see them as a challenge, perhaps the greatest challenge of our generation.”

Kenney noted the per-capita number of recorded infections is the second highest in the country after Quebec.

“That is in part because our brilliant scientists and lab technicians are conducting one of the highest levels of COVID-19 testing in the world.”

He adds Alberta’s curve is similar to countries that have successfully slowed down the spread of the virus like South Korea.

He also says the rate of Albertans hospitalized and those in ICU, is much lower than in other large provinces like Ontario, Quebec and BC but those provinces saw their first cases before Alberta did.

Kenney thanked Albertans for following recommendations like physical distancing and proper hand-washing as they have pushed the curve down.

Public health orders will remain in place until at least the end of April and physical distancing recommendations will stay in place until at least the end of May.

Once the infections peak and cases start to decline, the province will implement a relaunch strategy to reopen the economy. Part of that strategy includes mass testing of up to 20,000 per day to identify positive cases.

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