Update on COVID-19 cases, vaccinations in Alberta to be given Thursday afternoon

Alberta’s top doctor will provide an update on the COVID-19 situation in the province on Thursday afternoon.

Chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw is scheduled to speak at 3:30 p.m. Her comments will be streamed live in this article.

Read more: ‘Concerning rise’ in Albertans ignoring contact tracers prompts warning from Dr. Hinshaw

On Wednesday, Alberta Health reported 277 new COVID-19 cases over the previous 24 hours, from 7,500 tests, putting the province’s positivity rate at 3.9 per cent.

As of Wednesday, 370 people were being treated in hospital, with 60 of them in intensive care.

Hinshaw said hospitalizations have plateaued in the last few days, which should serve as “a reminder that we must continue to protect the health system.”

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Seven more deaths from COVID-19 were reported to Alberta Health, bringing the total number of pandemic-related fatalities to 1,798.

Click to play video 'COVID-19: Alberta will be looking at 3 indicators in determining next steps for reopening' COVID-19: Alberta will be looking at 3 indicators in determining next steps for reopening

COVID-19: Alberta will be looking at 3 indicators in determining next steps for reopening

In terms of Alberta’s Path Forward, Hinshaw said experts are looking at three leading indicators when it comes to making a call about whether to pause or reverse the current plan to ease restrictions: the R value, the positivity rate and the number of new infections, along with the absolute hospital metrics.

She said the province doesn’t have a benchmark set for those three indicators that would prompt either a pause or reversal of the current plans.

Read more: Feds unveil accelerated rollout schedule following fresh coronavirus vaccine deals

Less than a week after announcing new deals for additional doses of approved coronavirus vaccines, the federal government unveiled its new expected vaccination timeline on Thursday — which includes millions of additional vaccinations between April and September.

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With the new deals, Canada’s projected timeline has received a boost: 14.5 million people will be vaccinated by the end of June, according to the federal government, and 42 million people will be vaccinated by the end of September.

Canada’s population is just shy of 38 million.

Click to play video 'Alberta identifies 277 new cases of COVID-19, 7 deaths on Wednesday' Alberta identifies 277 new cases of COVID-19, 7 deaths on Wednesday

Alberta identifies 277 new cases of COVID-19, 7 deaths on Wednesday

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