March 27 COVID-19 update: new cases in Peace River and Fort Mac

Updated March 28

Pearl Lorentzen

Lakeside Leader

Slave Lake is still holding at three COVID-19 cases. There are four or five new cases in the North zone. The Alberta COVID-19 statistics say there are now 30 case in the North zone, but the interactive map has three new cases in Peace River and two in Fort McMurray, which increases the total to 31. Either way there is an increase.

Theses new cases in Peace River, bring the total in that region up to four. The first case in Peace Rive was yesterday, so this is a big jump. Fort McMurray cases have increased slower, but are also at four (for all North zone cases see chart further down).

Alberta increases restrictions

In other COVID-19 news, effective immediately, Albertans are prohibited from attending mass gatherings of over 15 people, says a March 27th government of Alberta media release. Also, effective immediately, Albertans are prohibited from going into certain restricted businesses. These are contact businesses, non-essential retail, and dine-in restaurants.

Contact businesses includes hair salons, dentists, optometry services, etc.

Non-essential retail includes clothing, computer, gaming stores, etc. At least one gaming store in Slave Lake was closed already this afternoon, and may have been for a while. These businesses can chose to offer online or curbside pickup.

Restaurants are still allowed to do take-out and delivery.

“These are aggressive measures and we don’t take them lightly,” says Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Chief Medical Officer of Health in the release. “We need to do everything we can to flatten the curve and keep people healthy. I strongly encourage all Albertans to stay close to home as we are all in this together. Our collective action will protect our family, friends and neighbours.”

The full list of restrictions area available at

North zone

The Slave Lake region is one of many in Alberta Health Services North zone. 

The North zone covers the top half of Alberta. It includes such communities as Cold Lake, Slave Lake, High Prairie, Grande Prairie, Jasper, Fort McMurray, and all the communities north to territories.

In Alberta, the first confirmed COVID-19 case was on March 6 in Calgary. The second was in Edmonton.

The first two case in the North zone were in Cold Lake and High Prairie 10 days later, on March 16.

North zone COVID-19 cases

(only sub-regions near Slave Lake or with confirmed cases are listed. Data is accurate as of March 27 at 5:30 p.m.)

Health Regionnumber of COVID-19 cases
Peace River (1st March 26, three new)4
High Prairie (1st March 16)5
Slave Lake (1st two & 3rd March 20)3
Westlock (1st March 25)1
City of Grande Prairie2
Grande Prairie County (1st March 24)1
Bonnyville (1st March 26)4
Cold Lake (1st March 16)1
Hinton (1st March 23)1
Fort McMurray (two new)4
Total North zone30


Across Alberta, there were 56 new cases on March 27, which brings the total to 542, says the Alberta COVID-19 statistics.

This is the first day, in the past four, that the number of new cases isn’t higher than previous days. On March 26, there were 67 new case. On March 25, the increase was 61, on the 24th it was 57. Before that, the largest was 47 on March 20.

The goal is to flatten the curve, which means slow the speed in which then number of cases increase. It refers to the way a curve on a line graph looks when it increases quickly.

This means not having number of cases increase by a larger number each day is promising.

Since the first COVID-19 case in Alberta there have been 34 hospitalizations, with 11 of these in the ICU. There are currently (as of 8:30 on March 27), 23 COVID-19 patients in the hospital, with 10 of these in ICU.*

The number of deaths in Alberta is holding at two.

The first person died on March 19. The second on March 24. One was in Edmonton and the other in Calgary. The first was in his sixties with health problems. The second was in her eighties.

Quick facts from the Alberta government and Alberta Health Services

The most important measures that Albertans can take to prevent respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, is to practise good hygiene.

This includes cleaning your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds, avoiding touching your face, coughing or sneezing into your elbow or sleeve, disposing of tissues appropriately, and staying home and away from others if you are sick.

Anyone who has health concerns or is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should complete an online COVID-19 self-assessment.

For recommendations on protecting yourself and your community, visit

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*A previous version said –

“However, there more hospitalized patients than any other day, since COVID-19 came to Alberta. On March 26, there were 21 patients in hospital, eight of whom were in intensive care units (ICU).

“On March 27, there are 34 in hospital, with 11 of these in ICU. ”

This has been corrected to – “Since the first COVID-19 case in Alberta there have been 34 hospitalizations, with 11 of these in the ICU. There are currently, 23 COVID-19 patients in the hospital, with 10 of these in ICU. ”

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