COVID Weekly: Two ‘watches’ nearby

Pearl Lorentzen

Lakeside Leader

As of Oct. 30, the M.D. of Lesser Slave River had four active cases. However, Westlock County and the M.D. of Opportunity were on a ‘watch.’

A “watch is above the threshold, but no additional measures,” says the Alberta COVID status map. On Oct. 30, Westlock County had 24 active cases out of a population of 13,673. Opportunity had 10 out of 6,646.

COVID-19 cases in communities with populations under 10,000 people are included in the county or M.D.

Masks in Westlock

On Oct. 27, the Town of Westlock announced a face covering bylaw, which went into effect on Oct. 28. The news release says, “it is mandatory for members of the public to wear a face covering or mask at all times while in a public place or a public vehicle.”

The previous week, one school in Westlock had an “outbreak: two to four cases,” on the list of school outbreaks. By Oct. 30, this was increased to a “watch: school outbreak declared with five or more cases where disease could have been acquired or transmitted in the school.” Also, a Westlock elementary school had an ‘outbreak.’

Nearby active cases

By October 30, active cases in Lesser Slave and neighbours were:

Lesser Slave (four – four new & one recovered), Opportunity (10 – eight new & seven recovered), Westlock County (24 – 12 new & one recovered), Big Lakes County (one – one new & two recovered), Athabasca County (three – two new & one recovered), Town of Whitecourt (population over 10,000 in Woodlands County)  (three – new), Woodlands County (zero), and Northern Sunrise County (zero).

Core symptoms

Starting November 2, runny nose and sore throat are now “non-core” symptoms for children (people under 18), an Alberta government news release says. These are still “core” symptoms for adults. The difference is: a 10-day quarantine and COVID test is required for core symptoms, but not non-core. Children with one “non-core” symptom and no known exposure are required to stay home for 24-hours. If they improve, they don’t have to be tested. Once they feel well, they can go back to their normal routine. For two or more non-core symptoms, children are encouraged to get tested. 

Next update

The next COVID-19 update will be Friday, November 6, 2020.

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