COVID-19: Hinshaw to provide COVID-19 update at 3:30 p.m.

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Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw will provide an update on the latest COVID-19 numbers in the province at 3:30 p.m.

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The update comes after Hinshaw took to Twitter Tuesday morning to backtrack on comments she made on Monday. During yesterday’s update, she said the province would do its best to provide businesses a week of notice before moving into Step 2 of the re-opening plan.

However, on Tuesday she said the province will consider moving to the next step on March 1 and restrictions could be eased that same day.

“That commitment was made in order to give restaurants, which require lead time to prepare, a chance to reopen on an even footing. The same notice may not be required for businesses in Steps 2, 3 or 4.” Hinshaw tweeted Tuesday morning. “Moving to Step 2 will be considered on March 1st and, if a decision is made at that time, it is possible that restrictions could be eased that same day.”

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Tuesday’s update also follows a swath of good news presented by the top public health official. Hinshaw outlined various areas, including long-term care centres, designated supportive living sites and acute care centres, where case and outbreak numbers have dropped drastically since December.

Cases in long-term care centres have dropped by 92 per cent in less than two months and designated supportive living sites have seen an 88 per cent drop in that time frame. Cases in school aged children have dropped by over 60 per cent since students returned to in-person learning.

Hinshaw reported 273 new cases, including 11 cases of variants, on Monday after the province completed 6,100 tests. There are 4,675 active cases in the province.

Hinshaw announced 16 new deaths on Tuesday. She said many of these deaths were from December but are now attributed to COVID-19.

There have been approximately 173,000 doses of vaccine administered across Alberta and more than 69,000 people are now fully immunized after receiving two doses of vaccine.

More to come…

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