Alberta’s top doctor will give an update on COVID-19 in the province Tuesday afternoon.
Dr. Deena Hinshaw’s 3:30 p.m. press conference will be her first since Thursday.
On Monday, Premier Jason Kenney and Health Minister Tyler Shandro announced Alberta will be easing visitor restrictions in long-term and continuing care facilities on May 10.
A new public health order will increase the number of designated support persons from two to four people and will allow facilities to have small indoor and larger outdoor visitations. Outdoor visits will expand from five people to 10, including the resident. But these changes are not mandatory. Facilities will be consulting residents and their families on how to move forward.
“I want to emphasize this is a safe and prudent step forward,” Kenney said, citing that most continuing care residents have had both doses of the vaccine. “We’re not getting rid of all the restrictions at continuing care facilities. There will continue to be limits on who can visit and how many, and strong outbreak protocols will remain in place.”
The changes come as Alberta has the highest rate of active cases of COVID-19 in the country – 466 per 100,000 people. Ontario has the second highest, with 275 cases per 100,000 people.
The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo has the highest COVID-19 spread per capita in Alberta, numbering 1300.9 per 100,000 people. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters Tuesday the federal government has reached out to Mayor Don Scott to offer support, but did not elaborate on details.
The province reported 1,495 new cases of COVID-19 and 1,532 new variant cases on Monday. Variants account for 64 per cent of the province’s 20,610 active cases.
As of Monday, 616 Albertans were hospitalized due to COVID-19, including 145 in intensive care units.
Seven more deaths were reported, raising the provincial death toll to 2,074.
More to come
Stay posted with 10/3, our Canadian affairs podcast featuring expert perspectives, wherever you get your podcasts. Listen to the latest episode: