Weekly COVID: Active cases in Loon, Bigstone & Lesser Slave

Pearl Lorentzen

Lakeside Leader

As of September 25, Loon River First Nation, Bigstone Cree Nation, and the M.D. of Lesser Slave River had active COVID-19 cases. 

The number of active cases in Lesser Slave (three) was the same as last week, but one person recovered and one contracted the disease. 

These cases could be in the M.D., Slave Lake, Sawridge First Nation, Smith, Hondo, Chisholm, Flatbush, Marten Beach, Wagner, Widewater, Canyon Creek, or Assineau.

On Saturday, Sept. 19, and Thursday, Sept. 24, Loon River First Nation posted letters on Facebook announcing confirmed COVID-19 cases. 

The first announced one active case. 

The second four total: three active and one recovered. 

Loon River First Nation is surrounded by the M.D. of Opportunity and Northern Sunrise County. For the purpose of COVID-19 numbers, First Nations, Métis Settlements, and other communities with populations under 10,000 on the maps as part of municipalities. 

By comparing the municipality numbers with the AHS health regions, it appears the three active Loon River cases were divided between Opportunity and Northern Sunrise. 

On Sept. 25, the M.D. of Opportunity and Bigstone Cree Nation posted a letter on Facebook saying that Bigstone Cree Nation had its first confirmed case of COVID-19 on reserve. 

School closure

On Sept. 19, Kee Tas Kee Now Education Authority closed its central office and Clarence Jaycox School, to in-person classes. Clarence Jaycox School is Loon River’s school. Both of these closures were until further notice.

The closure of the school does not necessarily mean that the Loon River cases were connected with the school.

As of Sept. 25, Loon River was not one of the 35 Albertan schools with an outbreak (two to four active cases) or watch (five or more cases). 

In the AHS North Zone, five schools had outbreaks. These were in the M.D. of Peace River (one) and Fort McMurray (four). There were no outbreaks in Lesser Slave River or the six neighbouring municipalities. 

Nearby

Over the week of Sept. 18 to 25, in Lesser Slave and bordering municipalities, people recovered in Lesser Slave (one), Northern Sunrise County (one), Opportunity (one) and Athabasca County (one).

There were new cases in Lesser Slave (one), Opportunity (two), and Northern Sunrise (two). 

Nearby active cases (as of Sept. 25): Lesser Slave (three), M.D. of Opportunity (two), Northern Sunrise (three), Athabasca (zero), Big Lakes County (zero), Westlock County (zero), and Woodlands County (zero). 

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