COVID weekly: Here we go again…

Surges in COVID cases prompts return to tighter restrictions

Pearl Lorentzen
Lakeside Leader

“This wave is here,” said Alberta Premier Jason Kenney in an April 6 press conference. The return to Step 1 of COVID-19 restrictions on April 7 is to “buy us time to vaccinate more Albertans.” 

Part of this wave is fairly close, with Athabasca County more than doubling to 273 active (97 connected with one school) in eight days.

Restrictions

Step 1 (take one) was back in February. Now Step 1 (take two) is upon us. There isn’t space for all the restrictions, but here are a few. 

  • Libraries – curbside pickup only.
  • Fitness facilities – one-on-one or one-with-household training only. 
  • Retail – 15 per cent of fire code.
  • Restaurants – takeout, delivery, or patios. 
  • No adult performance activities. 
  • Indoor social gatherings continue to be banned. However, outdoor gatherings, outdoor fitness, children’s fitness and performance activities – with 10 people or fewer physically distanced – are allowed.

For a full list, see alberta.ca. 

Vaccines

Starting April 7, everyone eligible in COVID-19 vaccination schedule Phase 2B can book an appointment. This is anyone with an eligible underlying health condition born in 2005 or earlier. They can book an appointment with participating pharmacies (in Slave Lake Rexall) or with Alberta Health Services online or by calling 811. All Albertans over 65 can also book an appointment.

Medicine Shoppe – Slave Lake is booking appointments for AstraZeneca. All Albertans 55 to 64 (born 1957 to 1966) are eligible for this vaccine. 

The Alberta government’s news release says, “the AstraZeneca vaccine is safe and effective at reducing severe illness from COVID-19. The rare blood clots reported in Europe have not been reported in Canada, and risk of COVID-19 infection is far greater than any vaccine risk.

The release adds, “based on current evidence, Albertans who are 55 and older who are diagnosed with COVID-19 are at least 10 times more likely to be admitted to the intensive care unit from COVID-19, and at least 45 times more likely to need hospital treatment for COVID-19, than they are to experience any form of the rare, treatable blood clots reported in Europe.”

Nearby

Over the eight days from April 2 to 9 (active cases on April 9), the COVID situation in the M.D. of Lesser Slave River and its closest neighbours was:

  • Lesser Slave – eight active (five new & five recovered)
  • Big Lakes County – 21 active (18 new & nine recovered)
  • Westlock County – 31 active (23 new & nine recovered)
  • M.D. of Opportunity – seven active (five new & nine recovered)
  • Woodlands County – zero active (three recovered)
  • Whitecourt – 15 active (12 new & one recovered)
  • Athabasca County – 273 active (171 new & three recovered)
    • On April 8, aspenview.org said, Edwin Parr Composite School had 97 active cases and Landing Trail Intermediate School  had four.
  • Northern Sunrise County – seven active (seven new & five recovered)

Lesser Slave cases could be in Slave Lake, Sawridge First Nation, or in the M.D. from Assineau to Flatbush. 

DiedFrom April 2 to 9 (eight days), one person died from COVID-19 in the AHS North Zone – a man in his sixties, from the M.D. of Greenview. This was the first North Zone COVID death in April and the 150th since the pandemic began.

Graph built by Leader staff with statistics from alberta.ca.

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