COVID back on the front page

Deaths in LaCrete: new cases nearby

Pearl Lorentzen
Lakeside Leader

The week of August 1 to 7, two men died of COVID-19 in the AHS North Zone. Both were in MacKenzie County. One is linked with a new outbreak in a seniors’ lodge in La Crete.

Closer to home, as of Aug. 7, there were three active cases in Athabasca County, one in Westlock County, and one in Big Lakes County. The M.D. of Lesser Slave River, including the Town of Slave Lake, remained at zero active cases.

The two MacKenzie County men, who died from COVID-19, were in their 70s. The death of one was announced on Aug. 5. The other was announced on Aug. 7.

The Friday, Aug. 7 death was linked to an outbreak at Heimstaed Seniors Lodge in La Crete. This outbreak was announced on Tuesday, Aug. 5. Also, La Crete continued to have an outbreak linked to family gatherings, which started several weeks ago.

MacKenzie covers the northwestern portion of the AHS North Zone. It includes La Crete, Paddle Prairie, High Level, Fox Lake, and other communities. On Aug. 7, it had the most North Zone cases: 181 cases – 55 active, 123 recovered, and three deaths.

On Aug. 6 (before the Aug. 7 death linked with Heimstaed), 83 of MacKenzie cases were part of the two outbreaks. These were Heimstaed – eight cases (six active, two recovered) and family gatherings – 75 cases (11 active, 64 recovered).

There have been 19 COVID-19 deaths in the North Zone, the majority were between March 30 and May 26.

The July 12 and Aug. 5 MacKenzie deaths weren’t linked with an outbreak. This is unusual, as most previous North Zone deaths were seniors in care in a facility with an outbreak – four in Big Lakes County and 10 in the M.D. of Smoky River. The other two people who died were a man from Grouard in his 30s and a senior in Jasper.

On Sunday, Aug. 2, 20 new North Zone COVID cases were confirmed. This is the most of any single day, since the pandemic started. On Aug. 5, there was only one new one. However, the next day there were 14 new cases. This brought the total for the week of July 31 to Aug. 6 to 71 new cases. This was less than the week before (78), but more than any other week.

As of Aug. 7, Smoky River had the second most North Zone cases: 73 – 63 recovered, and 10 deaths. However, Fort McMurray continued to have new cases and may soon surpass Smoky River. It had 71 cases – 11 active and 60 recovered.

On Aug. 7, there were 630 North Zone cases – 111 active, 500 recovered, and 19 deaths. These were in 15 regions.

These 107 active cases were in 15 regions across the North Zone with between one and 54 active cases. MacKenzie had the most active with 54, Fort McMurray was second with 11, and the City of Grande Prairie was third with nine.

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