COVID Weekly: New case in Lesser Slave; more in neighbours

Pearl Lorentzen

Lakeside Leader

Over the weekend of October 16 to 18, M.D. of Lesser Slave River increased from zero to one active COVID-19 case. Seven new cases were confirmed in neighbouring municipalities. 

By Friday (Oct. 23), Westlock County was under a COVID-19 watch, with 13 active cases – all new. 

Municipal COVID-19 statistics include towns, hamlets, and First Nations with populations under 10,000, so the Lesser Slave case could be in Slave Lake, Marten Beach, Smith, Fawcett Lake, Flatbush, Canyon Creek, Widewater, Wagner, Assineau, Sawridge First Nation, or in between.

Over the week (Oct. 19 to 23), Lesser Slave remained at one active case. Three municipalities increased, but three people recovered in Big Lakes County.

By October 23, active cases in Lesser Slave and its six closest neighbours were: Lesser Slave (one – new), Opportunity (nine – seven new & one recovered), Westlock (13 – 13 new & one recovered), Big Lakes County (two – three recovered), Athabasca County (two – one new), Woodlands County (zero), and Northern Sunrise County (zero).


On Oct. 23, Westlock County had 13 active cases out of a population of 13,673, says the Alberta COVID status map. Therefore, it was put on a “watch – above the threshold, but no additional measures.” 

The Alberta list of school outbreaks listed an “outbreak, two to four cases” at Richard F Staples Secondary School in Westlock. Lesser Slave and the other five municipalities were listed as “open: no school status to report.”


On October 22, Opportunity and Bigstone Cree Nation posted an update on Facebook about active cases in Wabasca and Calling Lake. In these regions: Bigstone Cree Nation had one active. There were two new cases in Calling Lake, which brought that community up to six active cases. These were seven of the nine cases in Opportunity. 

Other communities and First Nations in Opportunity are Red Earth Creek Sandy Lake, Peerless-Trout Lake First Nation and Loon River First Nation.

In the past, Loon River had some cases, but these recovered on Oct. 6, says Loon River First Nation letter on Facebook. 

The letter also said the community would no longer be closed to outside traffic, but the curfew remained in effect. 

The most recent Loon River COVID-19 announcement was that, as of Oct. 19, the Loon River health clinic reopened its waiting area.

North Zone

The Lesser Slave region is in the AHS North Zone. This region goes from Jasper, Athabasca, and Cold Lake on the south to the border with the Northwest Territories.

As of Oct. 23, there were 1,775 cases in the North Zone: 222 active, 1,518 recovered, and 35 died. The last North Zone death was reported on September 22

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