COVID Weekly: Nipisi rig outbreak

Pearl Lorentzen
Lakeside Leader

On May 11, an outbreak at Tamarack Valley Energy Drilling Rig Nipisi was added to the list on This means that this workplace had 10 or more cases. Outbreaks remain on the lists for four weeks after the last case is identified.

Nipisi is north northwest of Slave Lake. 


Nearby (to Slave Lake) a Whitecourt man in his 80s died from COVID-19. He was one of three people who died from May 8 to 14 in the AHS North Zone. The other two were further away – a man in his 60s from MacKenzie County and a woman in her 50s from Cold Lake. The North Zone covers the northern half of Alberta from south of Jasper, Westlock and Cold Lake to the border with the Northwest Territories.


As of May 14, High Prairie School Division had two active cases, both connected with Roland Michener Secondary School, says HSPD communications officer Kyle Nichols.

However, all schools and outbreaks stay on the list for four weeks after the last case is added, so Kinuso School, two High Prairie HPSD Schools, and Roland Michener are all on the map. None of these schools were new.

Also, until at least May 26 all schools are doing at-home learning, except for a small number of students who need extra help. There are also other extended COVID-19 restrictions.


From May 8 to 14, active COVID-19 cases in the M.D. of Lesser Slave River (incl. Slave Lake)  continued to be in the mid to high 40s. By the end of the week, the overall active cases decreased slightly from 48 (May 7) to 46 (May 14), this was because while 13 people caught the virus, 15 people recovered.

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

From May 8 to 14 (active cases on May 14), the COVID situation in Lesser Slave River’s closest neighbours was:

  • Big Lakes County – 28 active (seven new & 48 recovered) – four schools (old).
  • Westlock County – 83 active (50 new & 27 recovered) – Westlock Independent Network, Westlock (new) & three schools (old).
  • M.D. of Opportunity – seven active (one new & three recovered)
  • Woodlands County – three active (one new & three recovered)
  • Whitecourt – 135 active (65 new & 54 recovered) – one lodge (one week old) & two schools (old)
  • Athabasca County – 65 active (33 new & 35 recovered) – one lodge (one week old) & two schools (old)
  • Northern Sunrise County – one active (14 recovered).


All Albertans 12+ are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. In Slave Lake, vaccines are available by appointment at AHS and all pharmacies.

Graph built by Leader staff with statistics from

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