April 14 COVID-19 update: new NZ cases west of Slave Lake

Pearl Lorentzen

Lakeside Leader

Over the long weekend and today, there are 10 new cases in the North Zone, says a comparison of April 10 and April 14 COVID-19 data. The majority of these new case were in two counties west of Slave Lake.

Big Lakes County, just west of the M.D. of Lesser Slave River, has two new cases, for a total of 17. The M.D. of Smoky River has four new cases for a total of 33.

The other four cases are in Jasper (one) and Fort McMurray (three).

Lesser Slave River, including the Town of Slave Lake, is holding at four cases, all recovered. Across the North Zone, 52 of the 107 cases have recovered.

Seniors’ facilities

Across Alberta, there have been 48 COVID-19 deaths, including two new today. These new deaths were seniors in care facilities in Calgary.

The province is focused on seniors’ facilities, said Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, in a video COVID-19 update. These are high risk locations. As of April 14, across Alberta, there have been 214 cases, including 30 deaths in these facilities.

Today on Facebook a senior at Vanderwell Heritage Place in Slave Lake, shared about how well things are going at that facility. Slave Lake hasn’t had any new cases since April 4. (see ‘No Covid-19 cases at Vanderwell Lodge’).

Unfortunately, neighbouring communities aren’t as lucky.

Both High Prairie (Big Lakes County) and McLennan (the M.D. of Smoky River) have an outbreak in a seniors’ facility.

On Sunday, April 12, two more McLennan seniors died, meaning four people have died in McLennan.

The other two North Zone deaths are a man in his 30s in Grouard (near High Prairie) and someone in Jasper.

Seniors’ facilities have been closed to visitors since March 16.

Effective April 15, continuing care workers will be required to wear masks at all times when providing direct patient care or working in patient care areas.

Starting April 16, workers in long-term care and designated supportive living sites will only be allowed to work at one location. This requirement must be fully implemented no later than April 23.

Testing

As of April 13, any Albertan with COVID-19 symptoms including cough, fever, runny nose, sore throat or shortness of breath, is now eligible for testing.

People can access testing by completing the COVID-19 self-assessment online. A separate self-assessment tool is available for health care and shelter workers, enforcement and first responders.

Keep in mind, said Dr. Hinshaw, that tests are valid for the moment that the swab was taken. People can get exposed to the virus after they have been tested.

Quick COVID-19 facts

Across the province, there were 138 new cases, for a total of 1,870. Of these new cases, 128 are in Calgary.

Across the province, 914 people have recovered.

  • The most important measures that Albertans can take to prevent respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, is to practise good hygiene.
    • This includes cleaning your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds, avoiding touching your face, coughing or sneezing into your elbow or sleeve, disposing of tissues appropriately.
  • Anyone who has health concerns or is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should complete an online COVID-19 self-assessment.
  • For recommendations on protecting yourself and your community, visit alberta.ca/COVID19.

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