COVID Weekly: Previously reported death was an error

Pearl Lorentzen

Lakeside Leader

As of Nov. 3, no one has died from COVID in the M.D. of Lesser Slave River, but the number of cases increased by three to six active cases.

Back on Sept. 17, a person who died of COVID-19 was registered as residing in Lesser Slave. At the time, there was speculation that this may have been a wrong address. This death was removed from Lesser Slave on Nov. 3, which confirmed this suspicion.

Unfortunately, the numbers across the province and in the AHS North Zone have increased.

“By far, the number one driver of new cases we are seeing is exposure in households and private gatherings,” said Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, on Nov. 5. “Unless our numbers decline dramatically in the next few days, we will have to consider additional steps to bring COVID numbers down in order to protect our health system.”

(COVID data is accurate as of the end of the day before it was record. Since Nov. 4, the Alberta has had technical difficulties, so the most recent regional data is from Nov. 3)

Active cases

By Nov. 3, active cases in the M.D. of Lesser Slave River and neighbours were:

Lesser Slave (six – three new & one recovered)

M.D. of Opportunity (16 – seven new & one recovered)

Westlock County (13 – four new & 15 recovered)

Athabasca County (one – one recovered)

Town of Whitecourt (eight – five new)

Woodlands County (one – new)

Northern Sunrise County (one – new)

Big Lakes County (zero – last one recovered).

COVID-19 cases in communities with populations under 10,000 people are included in the county or M.D.

School outbreaks

Both Opportunity and Westlock County were under a ‘Watch,’ says the Alberta COVID status map. This is “above the threshold, but no additional measures.”

Schools in both municipalities had cases. In Westlock, one school was under a “watch: five or more cases” and another had an “outbreak, two to four cases.” Calling Lake School, in Opportunity, had an “outbreak.”

Calling Lake

On Nov. 6, the M.D. of Opportunity and Bigstone Cree Nations posted a letter on Facebook. It announced 10 COVID cases in Calling Lake on reserve and more off reserve. However, as the off-reserve cases were under AHS jurisdiction numbers were not available.

The letter said Calling Lake also had some new bylaws including a curfew from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. effective Nov. 6, no public gatherings including cultural events, church and social gatherings. Local businesses are to close one hour before curfew. People are also expected to “shelter in place”, which means stay at home unless absolutely necessary.

AHS North Zone COVID-19 cases have increased in recent weeks. Deaths have not. The last North Zone death was Sept. 22 in MacKenzie County which includes La Crete, High Level and many other communities. Graphs built by Leader staff using data from the Alberta government’s COVID-19 statistics.
AHS North Zone COVID-19 deaths by age and gender. The last death was on Sept. 22.

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