April 23 COVID-19 update: summer festivals banned

Pearl Lorentzen

Lakeside Leader

Gatherings of people in groups of more than 15 in Alberta is banned for the whole summer, because of COVID-19. There are seven new North Zone cases, but Slave Lake area stays at five cases, of which one is active and four are recovered.

Summer events

Mass gathering restrictions will continue throughout the summer, says Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health. Summer festivals and mass gatherings have the potential to be “super spreader events”, where one person with COVID-19 could share the disease with many other people. Mass gatherings of over 15 people are prohibited. People at a gathering of 15 people or less must remain six feet apart at all times. This will be in place for the foreseeable future. Decisions about September and the fall will be made later.

Many summer festivals are already cancelled. This includes the North Country Fair, which takes place halfway between Slave Lake and High Prairie.

At this point, Dr. Hinshaw also urged Albertans to stay home and not go to summer houses or travel within the province.

North Zone

In the last 24 hours, there are seven new cases in the North Zone, but no new deaths. The total number of cases in the North Zone is 157. This is four per cent of the total cases in Alberta.

None of these new cases are in Slave Lake area. Slave Lake is holding at five cases: one active and five recovered.

To the west, there is one new case in the M.D. of Smoky River. This region, which includes the seniors’ facility outbreak in McLennan, has 51 cases. Of these, 17 are active, 24 are recovered, and 10 people have died. This area has by far the most cases in the North Zone.

Closer to Slave Lake, there’s a new case in Athabasca County. This county had its first case yesterday. The new case brings it up to two.

Graph built by Leader staff from data on covid19stats.alberta.ca.

The other cases are further away. These are one in MacKenzie County (High Level). The first case in the County of St. Paul near the Saskatchewan border. There are also two new in Fort McMurray, and one in Jasper, near the British Columbia border.

Alberta

On April 23, there are 329 new cases in Alberta, says Dr. Hinshaw. This brings the total to 3,720. Of these, 1,357 people have recovered and 67 people have died. The new death is connected with an outbreak in Brooks, in southern Alberta.

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