It looks like Alberta's premier is feeling hopeful about the upcoming month. On Tuesday, April 28, Premier Jason Kenney revealed the latest modelling statistics on COVID-19 in Alberta. Based on these updated predictions, Kenney said that some aspects of Alberta's economy could begin reopening in just "a couple of weeks."
"I'm pleased now to say that our updated COVID-19 data and modelling shows that our efforts to reduce the peak of the virus are working," said Kenney in the province's daily press conference on COVID-19.
Kenney said that when he first presented the initial modelling data, he expected a "steep peek" in late May. At the time, it looked like he didn't expect to begin reopening things until June.
"I think it looks much more optimistic that we can begin doing so, in some respects, in a couple of weeks," exlpained the Premier on Tuesday.
The province is looking at rates of hospitalizations and ICU admissions to update its modelling and develop its relaunch plan.
The number of Albertans hospitalized and admitted into intensive care units is well below what initial models had projected for this time.
Kenney assured the public that the health care system continues to be able to manage the impact of COVID-19 "very capably."
This may be a bit of good news for the province, said Kenney, but we must remain vigilant.
That means Albertans have to continue doing their part by following public health orders and staying home as much as possible.
"While we're a ways off from returning to our normal way of life, we are working, as a government, around the clock to our phased approach to relaunch," the Premier said.
Under the new "low scenario" Kenney said nearly 300 people will require hospitalization when the "virus reaches its peak."
If trends continue as they are, that could become the most likely scenario for Albertans in the coming months.
He attributed the low rates of hospitalization to Alberta's younger population and the COVID-19 test program.
The province will be providing its relaunch strategy later this week.
"There is light ahead," said the Premier.
The data that Kenney provided in his latest press conference has lowered what had been the worst-case scenario for economic impact.
Currently, Alberta has a total of 4850 confirmed COVID-19 cases and a death toll of 80.