Check against delivery.

Thank you, Minister. Good afternoon everyone.

In the last 24 hours, we have identified 1,115 new cases of COVID-19 in Alberta.

While this number is a little lower than the past few days, this dip is due to fewer tests – about 13,500 were completed yesterday compared to over 19,000 the day before.

Our provincial positivity rate sits at about 8.3%.

There are now 348 people in hospital with COVID-19, including 66 in ICU.

There are currently active alerts or outbreaks in 318 schools, or about 13% of schools in Alberta.

Currently these schools have 1,135 active cases in total.

There are 181 schools with outbreaks, including 65 currently on the watch list.

Sadly as you heard from the Premier, I must also report 16 new deaths from COVID-19 in Alberta.

In the last two weeks alone, we have lost 103 people to COVID:

  • 62 of these were in continuing care,
  • 12 were linked to acute care outbreaks,
  • and 29 were acquired in the community.

Of the community acquired cases, 14 were under the age of 70.

This highlights that this infection can be deadly even for younger adults and underscores the importance of the measures announced today.

As always, I extend my sympathies to all those who are grieving the loss of a loved one from any cause.

Financial support programs are available for businesses impacted by restrictions, but there is nothing that can bring back a life that is lost. 

I also know that the pandemic’s impact on hospitals is affecting our ability to care for Albertans’ other health needs in the weeks and months ahead.

The sooner we can bend the curve, slow the infection rate, and reduce the need for COVID-19 hospital care, the sooner we can rebook the surgeries that will mean an end to pain and suffering for other Albertans.

We must take action now.

The spread of the virus, the impact on our health system, and the challenges it poses to our health are serious.

I believe in Albertans.

We are in this together, and we will get through this together.

Thank you, and we are happy to take questions.