COVID-19 could claim the lives of up to 6,600 Albertans when this is all said and done.
That’s according to Premier Jason Kenney who addressed the province Tuesday night sharing projections made by Alberta Health Services.
They highlighted two scenarios – probable and elevated.
In the probable scenario, by the end of the summer, we could see around 800,000 infected and between 400 and 3,100 deaths.
In the elevated scenario, around one million could become infected, while between 500 and 6,600 individuals could die.
“How this actually plays out – how many people are infected, how many die, whether we overwhelm our health care system – all of that depends on us and our choices,” said Kenney.
According to the models, if no measures were in place, we could be looking at 1.6 million infections and 32,000 deaths. This is an average of 640 deaths per day.
In Ontario, they are projecting between 3,000 – 15,000 total deaths, while Quebec believes they could see as many as 8,800 deaths just by the end of April.
Currently, in Alberta, there have been 26 deaths and a total of 1,373 cases. In Wood Buffalo, there have six cases – four in Fort McMurray and two in the rural areas.
“Thanks to the efforts of everyday Albertans to follow our public health rules, we are pushing that curve down,” added Kenney. “And thanks to our front line health care workers – our nurses, doctors and those who support them – we are expanding the capacity of our hospitals, opening up more acute care beds, ICU spaces, and ventilators.”
As for when this could be all over, the province is projecting the peak to hit Alberta around mid-May.
Due to these projections, Kenney notes the earliest possible date these health orders could be relaxed is the end of May.
“Once we are past the peak and can begin relaxing these rules, we’ll implement our Relaunch Strategy, our plan gradually to open up our economy while preventing a second wave of the virus.”
The strategy includes an aggressive system of mass testing – around 20,000 a day – more precise tracing of close contacts of those who are infected, strong border screening, strictly enforcing quarantine orders to ensure compliance, and encouraging and facilitating the use of masks in crowded public spaces.