Today, Premier Jason Kenney shared two separate projections from Alberta Health Services on the possible impact of COVID-19 in the province – a probable scenario, and an elevated scenario. Jason Kenney stated that the COVID-19 curve of Alberta currently resembles that of South Korea.
Alberta’s per capita number of recorded infections is the second-highest in Canada after Quebec due to Alberta conducting one of the highest levels of COVID-19 testing in the world. In spite of the high number of recorded infections, the rate of Albertans hospitalized with COVID-19 and those in an ICU is much lower than in other large provinces. Kenney cautioned Albertans saying that BC, Ontario, and Quebec saw their first cases much before Alberta and that there is a chance that Alberta might catch up to those numbers.
WHAT DO THE PROJECTIONS SAY
- In the probable scenario, Alberta could see between 4,00 and 3,100 deaths with as many as 800,000 infections with infections peaking around mid-May.
- In the elevated scenario, Alberta could see up to a million Albertans infected and between 500 and 6,600 Albertans die of COVID-19. The elevations will peak around early May.
- Without Alberta’s strict public health measures, Jason Kenney said that there would have been up to 32,000 deaths, with around 640 Albertans dying every day of the peak of COVID-19.
Jason Kenney asking Albertans to follow COVID-19 etiquettes like washing hands for 20 seconds, and physical distancing, said, “Now, I know that these numbers can be overwhelming. But these models are not a done deal. I want Albertans instead to see them as a challenge. Perhaps the greatest challenge of our generation. Those numbers are not inevitable. How this actually plays out, how many people are infected, how many die, and whether we overwhelm our health care system, all of that depends on us and our choices.”
As of April 7, 2020, Alberta has 1,373 positive COVID-19 cases, and 26 related deaths in Alberta.
As Alberta is facing the triple whammy of the COVID-19 pandemic, a deep global recession, and a collapse of global energy prices that threatens Alberta’s largest industry and hundreds of thousands of jobs, Jason Kenney had the following message for Albertans, “Now, I know that many Albertans are fearful of what lies ahead. But to quote a great leader at a time such as this, the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.
“My friend Preston Manning, whose dad Ernest Manning occupied this office for 25 years, recently shared with me an observation: He said that in a fierce prairie storm, cattle often get spooked. They turn tail and they try to run away from it, getting separated and lost.
“But the buffalo, the buffalo, which indigenous people have always revered as a symbol of life on the prairies, well, they herd closely together and they face the storm head-on, coming out of it strong and united.
“That captures who we are and how we’re going to get through this.
“So keep safe at home. Keep in touch with your loved ones. And keep an eye out for your friends and neighbours. We will get through this storm together.”