Alberta's Kenney says targeted approach needed to prevent COVID-19 resurgence

Henrietta Brewer
May 31, 2020

The provincial COVID-19 death toll remains at 143, while 6,220 people have recovered.

Hinshaw said there are four key goals of using the full capacity of lab testing- Identifying cases, rapid contact tracing, rapid outbreak detection and management and robust population surveillance.

Hinshaw announced Friday that every Albertan may now be tested whether or not they have symptoms of the respiratory illness.

"This will help provide data to further understand the impacts of moving to Stage 2 of Alberta's Relaunch Strategy. Expanded testing will also help us to understand where there might be undetected positive cases, and therefore, prevent further spread of the virus".

Hinshaw said anyone who wants a test will have access, but priority will be given to those who are symptomatic or have had close contact with a COVID-19 case. "It is important to remember that this condition appears to be rare and it is treatable", Hinshaw said.

"There's no restriction on the frequency with which people can access testing, so that is not something that would limit people's access", she said.

Stage 2, tentatively scheduled to commence on June 19, will include the reopening of K-12 schools with restrictions, more scheduled surgeries, some larger gatherings, movie theatres, and personal services such as artificial tanning, esthetics, cosmetic skin and body treatments, manicures, pedicures, waxing, facial treatments, massage and reflexology.

"It will give us really good information as we prepare for Stage Two of relaunch".

Meanwhile, 24 new cases were recorded in the province Friday and no additional deaths.

An increase in hospitalizations over the last few days is a concern, Hinshaw said.

The date of Stage 2 will be discussed next week, Hinshaw said.

"We will continue to watch both total cases and hospitalizations and cases closely".

Doug Wylie said he has received numerous inquiries from Albertans and MLAs on the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, and confirmed he will examine and report on the Government of Alberta's response.

"Albertans in these two cities have been patient as we took a measured, phased approach to their relaunch", Hinshaw said. Although much of the day was spent debating the COVID-19 response, the UCP introduced Bill 7, the Responsible Energy Amendment Act.

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