Alberta reports 50 new COVID-19 cases, three deaths
EDMONTON -- The Alberta government reported 50 new cases of COVID-19 and three more deaths Wednesday.
The new cases bring the total to 1,423, with 518 recoveries. A total of 29 Albertans have died after contracting the virus.
There are currently 44 patients COVID-19 patients in hospital, including 16 in intensive care.
The number of confirmed cases has decreased considerably in recent days since Alberta Health Services slowed down testing. There were 1,645 tests since Tuesday's COVID-19 update, following days in the 4,000s last week.
"That doesn’t mean that suddenly the viral spread is on the decline in Alberta," Premier Jason Kenney explained Wednesday. "We get day-to-day variations of confirmed cases and they are generally a reflection of how many tests we've done.
"Since we've been ramping up more and more tests, we got through a backlog, and what we found was that the limitations that we had placed on who would be prioritized to access tests meant that we had fewer people getting tested than we have capacity to test."
As a result, Alberta has once again expanded its testing group to include Calgary Zone residents, where there are 860 cases and 20 deaths, essential workers and those who live with people over 65 who show COVID-19 symptoms, such as fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath and runny nose.
Hinshaw said the adjustment was made "to ensure we have as much information as possible, to understand how our outbreak is unfolding."
Kenney maintained Alberta's goal is to reach 20,000 tests per day.
On Wednesday, Premier Kenney went deeper into the modelling he presented Tuesday night to showed the best and worst case scenarios of the pandemic.
- Alberta could see up to 800,000 COVID-19 infections in 'most likely' scenario
- Alberta to fare better than other provinces in COVID-19 projections
"If Albertans strictly follow all public health guidance, we collectively can further reduce the impact from what the modelling is currently predicting," Hinshaw said.
"I know people are anxious to resume their normal lives. My family is too. However, like I said before, this is our new normal for right now."