Alberta has broken a new pandemic record today. On Wednesday, April 1, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced that a total of 117 new cases have been recorded in Alberta. This means that the total count of COVID-19 in Alberta has risen to 871 cases altogether. 

The confirmation of 117 new cases within a day is the largest jump Alberta has seen so far. In the press briefing, Kenney clarified that this massive jump is a result of a backlog of tests that just received confirmation over the past 24 hours. 

"Alberta Health Services processed a large number of backlog tests, indeed over 4500 tests over the past 24 hours, a record number for a single day," he explained. 

That backlog built up due to the temporary shortage of supplies for testing. The province has now gotten the stock back up to its full capacity. 

In addition to the number of new cases, Kenney announced two more deaths that have occurred in the past day due to COVID-19. 

"This has been the toughest week of the pandemic for our province, with the number of deaths increasing by eight to a total of 11," he continued. 

Kenney stressed that things will get worse before they get better. However, he said that Alberta leads all provinces in per-capita testing and that we have one of the highest testing rates in the developed world. 

The province is expected to get new testing kits in the coming days that will expand the capacities to a thousand tests per day. 

"The more we test, the better informed we will be about where the number is headed, and the better we can plan," he added. 

Kenney is confident that we have the health care personnel we need in order to cope with anticipated hospitalizations, including in intensive care units. 

Kenney shared that 142 individuals with COVID-19 have already recovered, which makes up about 16% of the total number of Albertans infected with the disease. 

The Premier also expressed his gratitude for the truck drivers of the province, who've been moving essential supplies across Alberta. 

"I'm also pleased to report that Alberta Transport has opened up almost all their roadside rest stops. Unfortunately, earlier on in the pandemic, we saw people go in multiple times a day, raiding the sanitary supplies in those washrooms. So I ask people, please show some basic decency and some basic consideration," he said. 

Jason Kenney previously had some strong words to say about hoarders and scammers taking advantage of vulnerable populations during the pandemic. 

Kenney once again asked the public to do their part and maintain social distancing. He also said that municipal bylaw officers will be able to enforce public health orders. 

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