EDMONTON -- Alberta Health registered 19 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday after it processed 4,997 tests in the past 24 hours.

A total of 344 Albertans currently have the coronavirus, with 48 of them in hospital.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta's chief medical officer of health, also reported two more deaths, bringing the total to 145.

There have been 7,076 cases in Alberta since the pandemic began.


On Wednesday, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney tweeted the province might move on to Stage 2 of the economic relaunch sooner than expected.

Hinshaw is encouraged by the low number of cases since Stage 1 began in the middle of May, and added she is considering beginning Stage 2 before June 19.

"That was very encouraging…even with many more businesses open — restaurants, retail, daycares, hairstylists," Hinshaw said. "Even with that increased activity we were still able collectively to maintain a low rate, and in fact, have a decreased number of new infections.

She anticipates a decision will be made early next week.

Hinshaw's next update is Friday afternoon.