'Be prepared,' Kenney says as Alberta readies COVID-19 forecasts
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said the province would release its COVID-19 modelling on Tuesday and Wednesday.
EDMONTON -- Albertans will soon hear the toll the government expects COVID-19 to take in the province.
Premier Jason Kenney said Alberta Health Services' projections will be released this week, starting with a televised announcement on Tuesday.
“I ask people to be prepared for what could be some very challenging numbers, as we look at the prospected damage this virus could still do in our province.”
On Wednesday, Kenney said the province would go into greater detail on the modelling, as well as the system's supply levels and capacity.
AHS is anticipating needing 2,500 beds to deal with the pandemic at its peak in the province, and Kenney has maintained Alberta has adequate personnel and supplies, but that is the extent to which the province has spoken about COVID-19's potential spread and Alberta's ability to manage it.
“I think a question a lot of Albertans just want to know is: When is this all going to be over?”Kenney commented.
“We will not be able to answer that with certainty, but I think we can give people a sense of when we think we might be able to begin to relax some of the public health orders and social distancing protocols and hopefully get to some kind of a normal and begin to restart the economy.”
Ontario officials have forecasted between 3,000 and 15,000 virus-related deaths in the province with the health measures it has so far taken. Worst-case scenario modelling in which no action was taken estimated 100,000 deaths in Ontario.
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Kenney warned the modelling wasn't perfect – and had already changed over the course of the last month – but a planning tool.
“While there will be some disturbing, worst-case scenarios, I think Albertans will see that because they have been responding so well to the public health orders, to social distancing, to good hygiene, that we are in a much better position than similar jurisdictions around the world.”
Saskatchewan, too, is expected to release its projections this week. The B.C. government has said it will not be.
- READ MORE: 'No': B.C.'s top doctor refuses to discuss possible COVID-19 fatality rate
- READ MORE: Sask. to make COVID-19 projections, models public
Kenney is expected to speak at 6 p.m. MST on Tuesday. Watch it live during CTV News Edmonton at Six and on CTVNewsEdmonton.ca.