COVID weekly: A Lesser Slave death and outbreak

Pearl Lorentzen

Lakeside Leader

During Christmas week, one more person from the M.D. of Lesser Slave River or the Town of Slave Lake or Sawridge First Nation died from COVID-19. This was the 12th LSR death since the COVID-19 pandemic began. 

As six other people from the AHS North Zone also died between December 18 and 29 (12 days), the age and gender of the LSR person can’t be confirmed. The other people were from – Mackenzie County, Grande Prairie County , M.D. of Bonnyville, and City of Cold Lake (two). The new deceased were two men in their 40s, a woman and two men in their 60s, a woman in her 70s, and a man 80 and older. 

The fifth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic appears to be starting, right on the tail of the fourth one. Graph built by Leader staff with statistics from


In December, a COVID-19 outbreak at Optima Living – Sweetgrass (formerly Points West) in Slave Lake was removed from the list. As of December 21, it was back, which could mean it was removed by accident or a new one started. 

Outbreaks in seniors facilities are announced when there are two or more cases of COVID connected with the facility. Outbreaks remain open until four weeks after the last case. 

As of the most recent data on December 29 (from Dec. 21), this was the only COVID outbreak listed in the M.D. of Lesser Slave River (LSR) and its closest neighbours. 


Schools are closed from December 17 or 18th until the first week in January. School alerts and outbreaks are monitored separately to other outbreaks. In LSR and its closest neighbours, as of December 29 there was one alert with two to five cases. This was a school in Whitecourt. 


From Dec. 18 to 29, the COVID-19 situation (active on Dec. 29) in LSR (incl. Slave Lake and Sawridge First Nation) and its closest neighbours was:

  • LSR – 20 active (24 new, 43 recovered, & one died) – one outbreak (Sweetgrass). 
  • Big Lakes County – five active (19 new & 21 recovered) 
  • Westlock County – 36 active (38 new & 21 recovered) 
  • M.D. of Opportunity – zero active (minus seven from total & seven recovered)
  • Woodlands County – four active (all new)
  • Whitecourt – 15 active (20 new & 17 recovered) 
  • Athabasca County – 19 active (19 new & nine recovered) 
  • Northern Sunrise County – one active Dec. 29 (nine new & 13 recovered over the 12 days).


The time between second and booster COVID shots is now five months. All Albertans 18 and older are eligible. All Albertans five and older can receive a first or second dose. Vaccines can be booked at, the website or participating pharmacies, or by calling 811.

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