COVID: Vaccines & haircuts

Pearl Lorentzen
Lakeside Leader

As of Jan. 18, small outdoor gatherings (10 people or less) are allowed and barbers and other personal or wellness services can reopen, says a Jan. 14 Alberta government news release.

Some Slave Lake residents have received one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
Slave Lake has three seniors facilities: Vanderwell Heritage Place (aka. the lodge), Points West Living, and the long-term care in the hospital.

Points West Living has 33 residents, says manager Paula Bird. The majority have received the first dose.

Not all lodge residents are eligible for the first phase of COVID immunizations, says Suzanne Olscamp, lodge manager. Only people who require a high level of care.

The lodge has eight assisted living beds, continues Olscamp. All eight residents have received the first dose and have appointments for the second February 3. The remainder of the residents are in Phase 1B or 2. The paperwork is filed for when these phases start.

On January 12, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney posted on social media that “last night, the first round of COVID-19 immunizations at all continuing care facilities in northern Alberta was completed.”

Kenney is likely referring to the AHS North Zone, which covers the northern half of the province from south of Jasper and Cold Lake to the border with the Northwest Territories. This zone includes Slave Lake, the hamlets within the M.D. of Lesser Slave River, Wabasca, High Prairie, and many other communities.

A video update from Bigstone Cree Nation and the M.D. of Opportunity on January 11, also included a reference to vaccinations.

It says, “on a positive note, vaccinations will be conducted at the Keekenow (Seniors Facility in Wabasca) for residents and staff this week.”

Kenney said that over 1,900 people were vaccinated in northern Alberta.

Phases

The Alberta COVID immunization has three phases. These are expected to continue into the fall of 2021.

January 2021 is Phase 1A, says alberta.ca. “Immunization will be offered to key populations across the province.” These are “all residents of long term care and designated supportive living, regardless of age,” respiratory therapists, health-care workers in ICU, staff in long-term care and designated supportive living facilities, home care workers, ER health care workers, and all types of paramedics (EMS).

Phase 1B is set to start in February with the “timeline subject to change depending on vaccine supply,” says alberta.ca. This is all seniors 75 or older, First Nations, Métis and persons 65 or older living on First Nations or Métis settlements.

April to September will likely be Phase 2, says alberta.ca. “Work to identify sequencing for Phase 2 groups is underway. Decisions will be made in the coming weeks.”

Phase 3 is the “anticipated start of roll-out to the general public” in fall 2021.

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