COVID Weekly: One local amid 20 North Zone COVID deaths

Pearl Lorentzen

Lakeside Leader

For the second week in a row, someone from the M.D. of Lesser Slave River (LSR) died from COVID-19. This person could be from anywhere in LSR from Flatbush to Assineau, the Town of Slave Lake, or Sawridge First Nation.

This was only one of 20 AHS North Zone deaths in seven days. There was also a new Slave Lake outbreak and overall COVID-19 hospitalizations in the AHS North Zone increased. However, more people recovered (80) than caught the virus (59) in LSR.


On Friday, Sept. 24, a COVID outbreak at Sweetgrass (formerly called Points West) seniors housing in Slave Lake was announced. This is in addition to outbreaks at Slave Lake long-term care (since Sept. 7) and Legacy Childcare (Sept. 10) in Slave Lake. Depending on the type of outbreak (health care or not health care) the threshold for outbreaks is different. See for details.

School outbreaks are no longer publicly listed on


COVID-19 hospitalizations are not available by municipality, but the AHS North Zone hospitals had a high number – 142 total, with 12 of these people in ICU (up from 105 , with 11 on Sept. 17). People from the North Zone sent to hospitals outside of the zone are not included in this number.


From September 18 to 24, 20 people died from COVID-19 in the AHS North Zone. One was from Lesser Slave River. This was the fifth LSR COVID death. The most recent two deaths happened the week before (Sept. 10th to 17th). The other two were from earlier in 2021.

The LSR death was reported on Sept. 24. The person was either a woman in her 70s or a man 80 or older.

On the same day, someone also died in Big Lakes County, which is directly west of LSR. This was the 14th Big Lakes COVID death.

Earlier in the week, another person died from a municipality which borders LSR – Northern Sunrise County. It is northwest of LSR. This was the second Northern Sunrise COVID death.

Like the LSR death, the Big Lakes and Northern Sunrise deaths may have been in the towns (High Prairie, Swan Hills), First Nations, or Métis Settlements within the borders of these municipalities.

The other North Zone COVID deaths were further away.

The North Zone covers the top half of Alberta from south of Jasper, Lac Ste. Anne County and Cold Lake to the border with the Northwest Territories.

The deceased were from 12 AHS North Zone areas. These were Town of Hinton (four), City of Grande Prairie (three), Yellowhead County (three), City of Cold Lake (two), LSR (one), Big Lakes (one), Northern Sunrise (one), M.D. of Fairview (one), M.D. of Spirit River (one), M.D. of Peace (one), MacKenzie County (one), and Smoky Lake County (one).

The people who died ranged in age from their 50s to 80 or older. The deceased were three men (50s), two women and one man (60s), one woman and two men (70s), and five women and six men (80 or older).


From Sept. 18 to Sept. 24, the COVID-19 situation (active on Sept. 24) in LSR and its closest neighbours was:

Lesser Slave River – 128 active (59 new, 80 recovered, & one died) – three outbreaks

Big Lakes – 120 active (61 new & 43 recovered)

Westlock County – 72 active (45 new & 31 recovered)

M.D. of Opportunity – 70 active (32 new & 40 recovered)

Woodlands County – 13 active (10 new & three recovered)

Whitecourt – 105 active (72 new & 40 recovered)

Athabasca County – 27 active (nine new & 21 recovered)

Northern Sunrise – 38 active (35 new, 12 recovered & one died).

The LSR cases could be in Slave Lake, Sawridge First Nation, or LSR from Assineau to Flatbush.


COVID-19 testing and vaccination is available in Slave Lake. To book a vaccine go to Do not call a pharmacy or the hospital.

If you have COVID symptoms, do not go to the hospital unless severely ill. Generally, stay home and book a test at 811 or

COVID vaccine cards are available online at or at registries. 

From Sept. 18 to 24, 20 people died from COVID-19 in the AHS North Zone – including one in the Slave Lake area (M.D. of Lesser Slave River, Slave Lake or Sawridge First Nation), one in Big Lakes County, and one in Northern Sunrise County. So far in the 24 days of September 42 North Zone people have died from COVID-19. Three of whom were from the Slave Lake area. Graph built by Leader staff from statistics on

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One thought on “COVID Weekly: One local amid 20 North Zone COVID deaths

  1. These numbers continue to be disconcerting. Myself and my extended family will not be supporting Appara Shoes as they are defying the public health order by not having employees mask and not requiring customers to as well. I hope others follow suit. This business doesn’t care about the community’s recovery from this pandemic, nor the health and safety of its customers. They are part of the problem and the reason we need to mandate safety measures, such as seatbelts and not smoking indoors. Hoping they get fined for their selfish position.


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