COVID Weekly: New targeted measures don’t touch Slave Lake (for now)

Vaccine age limit lowered

Pearl Lorentzen
Lakeside Leader

Editors note: as of 5 p.m. on April 30 alberta.ca had not updated the COVID-19 numbers, so this article is based on the April 29 numbers.

Active COVID-19 cases in the M.D. of Lesser Slave Lake (which includes the Town of Slave Lake) remain in the 30s, with 14 new cases and 20 recoveries over a week. This is well under the number of active cases required for new targeted measures to apply. 

The government also expanded vaccine eligibility last week. 

Vaccines

As of April 30, all Albertans in Phase 1 and 2 can book a vaccination appointment. This includes (but isn’t limited to) anyone 50 and older and First Nations, Métis, and Inuit 35 and older. For people 16 to 49, there are health and work-related eligibility. For a full list, see alberta.ca. People in Vaccine Phase 1 and 2 in Slave Lake, have two options to book appointments – Alberta Health Services (at the old firehall) and Rexall. To book with AHS, go to albertahealthservices.ca or call 811. 

People between the ages of 40 and 50 can call one of the other Slave Lake pharmacies to get an AstraZeneca vaccine.

Targeted measures 

As of April 30, there are new targeted COVID-19 restrictions in Alberta. In the AHS North Zone, Fort McMurray  and the City of Grande Prairie had these restrictions. All other regions remained the same, but this could change.

Restrictions are based on two factors: active case rate per 100,000 and total active cases. 

Going forward, says alberta.ca, restrictions will be imposed for a minimum of two weeks in any Alberta area with at least 250 active cases and an active case rate above 350 per 100,000 (0.0035 per cent). Both of these must be met for restrictions to be in place.

For example, Woodlands County southwest of the Lesser Slave River didn’t have added restrictions even though it’s active case rate was 374.3 per 100,000 (0.003743 per cent), because it only had five active cases. Since it has a low population, any cases increase the rate per 100,000 quickly.

As of April 29, the Lesser Slave River active case rate was 315.2 per 100,000 (0.003152). While this is nearing the active case rate, it is nowhere near the threshold of at least 250 active cases. Since the pandemic started (as of Apr. 29), Lesser Slave River has had a total of 310 cases – 34 active, 276 recovered, and zero died.

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

Nearby

From April 24 to 29 (active cases on April 29), the COVID situation in the Lesser Slave River and its closest neighbours was:

  • Lesser Slave – 34 active (14 new & 20 recovered)
  • Big Lakes – 87 active (31 new & 65 recovered) – three schools (two new)
  • Westlock County – 42 active (23 new & nine recovered) – three schools (new).
  • M.D. of Opportunity – six active (six new & two recovered)
  • Woodlands County – five active (two new)
  • Whitecourt – 64 active (33 new & 20 recovered) – three schools (new)
  • Athabasca County – 53 active (24 new & 41 recovered) – one school (started Mar. 24) & one business outbreak.
  • Northern Sunrise County – 35 active (18 new & 14 recovered)

Died

Last week (April 24 to 29), four people died from COVID-19 in the AHS North Zone. One was a man 80 or older from Big Lakes County. The other three were further away – in Ft. McMurray, the City of Grande Prairie, and Lac Ste. Anne County. These were a woman in her 50s, a man in his 40s, and a man in his 70s. In April 2021, seven people died from COVID in the AHS North Zone. In the last 14 months, 156 North Zone people died from the virus.

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