March 23 COVID-19 update

No new cases in Slave Lake; mayor will hold online town hall on 24th

Pearl Lorentzen

Lakeside Leader

For the third day in a row, Slave Lake region has only three confirmed COVID-19 cases. All cases were confirmed on March 20th.  

“At this time, there are still only three confirmed reports of COVID-19 in Slave Lake,” says the March 23 Town of Slave Lake COVID-19 update, posted on the town website at 4:10 p.m.

March 24 at 4:00 p.m. the Town of Slave Lake will be hosting a Facebook Live town hall. Mayor Tyler Warman will answer questions submitted ahead of time and during the live video. Questions can be submitted ahead of time on the town website. 

“The Town of Slave Lake would like to remind residents to stay home,” continues this update. “This will help stop the spread of COVID-19. ”

North zone

The Slave Lake region is one of many in the AHS North zone.

The North Zone covers the top half of Alberta. It includes such communities as Cold Lake, Slave Lake, High Prairie, Grande Prairie, Jasper, Fort McMurray, and all the communities north to territories.

On March 23, there is one new case in this vast zone, for a total of 19. This new case is in Hinton.

The chart below has a subset of health regions in the North zone with the number of cases as of March 23 at 5 p.m.

North zone COVID-19 cases. 

(only sub-regions near Slave Lake or with confirmed cases are listed)

Health Regionnumber of COVID-19 cases
Peace River0
High Prairie (first case March 16)5
Slave Lake (first cases March 20)3
Wabasca0
Barrhead2
Bonnyville3
Cold Lake1
Jasper2
City of Grande Prairie2
Fort McMurray1
Hinton (first case March 23)1
Total North zone19

Testing changes

According to a March 23rd government of Alberta media release, people who return to Alberta after March 12, with mild symptoms won’t be tested for COVID-19. They are to continued to self isolate, for the prescribed 14 days, plus 10 days after their symptoms clear up.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Chief Medical Officer of Health says, “changing our testing protocols will allow us to focus Alberta’s testing capacity on those most at risk. This is consistent with the approach happening across Canada. It will enable us to strategically use our testing resources. Our new approach reflects the fact that the most important thing anyone can do if they have mild symptoms isn’t to get tested – it’s to stay home and self-isolate.”

Alberta

Across Alberta, there were 42 new cases on March 23. The total number of cases across Alberta is 301.

The first confirmed positive COVID-19 case in Alberta was on March 6 in Calgary, 17 days ago. The first case in the North zone was in Cold Lake 10 days later.

The largest daily increase so far was on March 20 with 47 new cases, including the three in Slave Lake. 

“Aggressive public health measures continue to help limit the spread of COVID-19,” says the government of Alberta media release. 

Across the province, the majority of cases are still from travel or close contact, says the Alberta COVID-19 statistics.

Social distancing is in place to guard against community spread of the disease.

The number of suspected cases of community spread have been slowly rising, since the first five suspected cases on March 15. As of March 22, there were 24 cases of suspected community spread.

Note: these numbers are based on the 253 case reports which have been filled out, which is 48 less than the total number of cases.

There were no new community spread cases on March 23.

Across the province, 18 patients are hospitalized, seven are in intensive care units (ICU), and one died on March 19, says the media release. Three recovered on March 20. The government is working on a long-term process for reporting recoveries. 

Quick facts from the Alberta government and Alberta Health Services

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, and staying home and away from others if you are sick.

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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