Weekly COVID: Two cases in Lesser Slave River; two in Opportunity

Pearl Lorentzen
Lakeside Leader

From August 28 to September 3, the M.D.s of Lesser Slave River (two) and Opportunity (two) had new COVID-19 cases. These were the first in Opportunity. Lesser Slave was at seven cases – two active and five recovered.

Nearby, Westlock County (two) and Athabasca County (two) had active cases.

Elsewhere in the AHS North Zone, two more seniors died from COVID-19: one in MacKenzie County (a man) and one in Clear Hills County (a woman). Both were 80 or over. The Clear Hills death was over the Aug. 28 to 30 weekend. The MacKenzie death, on Aug. 31 or before, was connected with an outbreak.

Nearby

COVID cases for communities and First Nations under 10,000 are included within municipalities, so the Lesser Slave cases may be in the M.D., Slave Lake, Smith, Hondo, Chisholm, Flatbush, Marten Beach, Wagner, Widewater, Canyon Creek, or Assineau.

In general, AHS doesn’t contact municipalities about new cases in their region. This means that the official map on the Alberta government website is the best source of regional COVID-19 data.

However, last week, AHS contacted relevant authorities about special circumstances.

On Sunday, Aug. 30, High Prairie School Division posted on Facebook that Prairie River Junior High School, in High Prairie, wouldn’t open the next day. The reason someone who had recently been in the building tested positive for COVID-19.

This case may or may not be connected with the Lesser Slave or Wabasca cases, because cases are located by the person’s address, not their work or where they traveled.

On Aug. 31, the M.D. of Opportunity announced its first case in Wabasca. Later in the week, the M.D. of Opportunity announced face coverings will be mandatory in indoor public places and vehicles. This applies to Wabasca, Calling Lake, Sandy Lake, Chipewyan Lake, Red Earth Creek, Trout Lake and Peerless Lake.

On Sept. 1, Woodland Cree First Nation Health Services posted a letter on Facebook saying that anyone who attended the Gospel Meeting Cadotte Lake #986 from August 7 to 15, may have been exposed to COVID-19. At the time, there were no confirmed cases in the community.

Woodland Cree cases should be in Northern Sunrise County numbers. As of Sept. 3, this region had zero active cases.

AHS North Zone

The AHS North Zone covers northern Alberta from Jasper to Cold Lake to the Northwest Territories. 

On Sept. 3, it had 982 cases – 174 active, 778 recovered, and 30 died. Active cases were in MacKenzie County (68), Fort McMurray (31), Clear Hills County (23), Grande Prairie (18), and other regions with one to nine. 

Of the 174 active cases, 26 were connected with COVID-19 outbreaks. One new outbreak made eight. Seven were in Peace Country and one near Fort Mac. Everyone involved in two of these outbreaks had recovered.

Active cases across the AHS North Zone. This health region covers the northern half of Alberta from Jasper to Cold Lake and north.

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