Alberta lowers COVID-19 modelling forecasts

Premier Jason Kenney: “Our efforts to lower the peak of the virus are working.”

A total of 136 people in Alberta have recovered from COVID-19 in the same 24-hour timeline within which 154 new cases were also identified, latest Alberta Health data showed. As the number of recovered cases and the number of new cases narrowed, Premier Jason Kenney declared, “our efforts to lower the peak of the virus are working.”

But Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, cautioned “that this fight is far from over.” Active COVID-19 cases are at 3,050 – the differential after taking into account the 1,800 recovered cases out of the total cases of 4,850.

Today’s COVID-19 daily update is laced with optimism with an announcement of a new “low” modelling scenario – “if current trends continue, the most likely scenario for Alberta,” Kenney said. Here’s the new modelling scenario: 298 hospitalizations, with 95 requiring critical care, when the virus reaches its peak in late May.

There are currently 82 hospitalizations – down five from the last report – and 21 admissions in intensive care units.

The new projection presents far lower numbers than the earlier probable scenario of as many as 800,000 total COVID-19 cases from the start of the outbreak to the end of summer, and deaths of between 400 and 3,100.

The revised probable scenario – as opposed to the “low” scenario – now estimates 596 hospitalizations, with 190 requiring critical care on the days of COVID-19’s peak. 

“We continue to refine our modelling in order to ensure our health-care system is prepared. While we are still a ways off from returning to our normal way of life, our government is working around the clock on a phased approach to relaunch our economy safely,” Kenney said.

Calling the new modelling forecasts as “good news,” Dr. Hinshaw said: “Alberta is starting to see the results of the collective sacrifices we have made . . . Modelling is just a projection of a potential future. It is not a guarantee, and cases could easily spike in Alberta if we are not careful.”

COVID-19 deaths at continuing care facilities inched up to 52, two more from the day-ago report. Cases in those facilities have also gone up by 25 to 483.

Five more people – including two residents at continuing care facilities – have died in Alberta in the past 24 hours, bringing the total COVID-19 deaths, so far, to 80.

Below is a breakdown, by health zones, of COVID-19 cases across the province.

  • 3,366 cases in the Calgary Zone – 69%
  • 685 cases in the South Zone – 14%
  • 486 cases in the Edmonton Zone – 10%
  • 202 cases (plus 6) in the North Zone – 4%
  • 84 cases in the Central Zone – 2%
  • 27 cases (investigation continues to identify health zones) – 1%