Two LSR and two Westlock COVID deaths

New outbreaks: Wabasca and Athabasca

Pearl Lorentzen

Lakeside Leader

The week of January 22 to 28, two people from the M.D. of Lesser Slave River (incl. Slave Lake and Sawridge First Nation) and two from Westlock County (incl. Westlock) died from COVID-19. Both communities have outbreaks in seniors facilities. 

The second LSR death was definitely of a senior (although there is no indication if the person lived in a seniors facility). The other three could have been aged 30 to 80+, as seven AHS North Zone people’s deaths were reported on the same day. 

The week of Jan. 22 to 28, 10 people from the AHS North Zone died. These were LSR (two), Westlock County (two), and one each in M.D. of Greenview, City of Grande Prairie, Grande Prairie County, County of Barrhead, County of St. Paul, and Fort McMurray. 

The deceased were one man each in their 30s, 40s, and 50s, a woman and two men in their 70s, and three women and two men 80 or older. 


On Friday, January 28, two new outbreaks were added to the list in Lesser Slave River or its closest neighbours. These were Keekenow Seniors Facility in Wabasca and Athabasca continuing care. This brings the total to nine outbreaks in LSR and its closest neighbours: Slave Lake (two: Vanderwell Heritage Place and the continuing care), Wabasca (one), Westlock (three seniors facilities and acute care at the hospital), and Athabasca two (two seniors facility). 

Active cases

Not everyone who currently has COVID-19 in Alberta is eligible for a PCR test. All statistics on are from PCR tests, so the number of actual cases is likely higher than what is reported. 

For example, as of Jan. 28 the M.D. of Opportunity had 71 active cases. At a council meeting earlier in the week, 25 M.D. staff with symptoms. If these people had COVID, they wouldn’t be in the PCR numbers, unless the individuals have underlying health concerns. 


From Jan. 22 to 28, the COVID-19 situation (active PCR cases on Jan. 28) in LSR (incl. Slave Lake and Sawridge First Nation) and its closest neighbours was:

  • LSR – 83 active (47 new, 50 recovered, & two died) – two outbreaks.
  • Big Lakes County – 69 active (34 new & 41 recovered).
  • Westlock County – 113 active (58 new, 64 recovered, & two died) – four outbreaks.
  • M.D. of Opportunity – 71 active (56 new & 68 recovered) – one outbreak (new).
  • Woodlands County – three active (one new).
  • Whitecourt – 37 active (27 new & 54 recovered).
  • Athabasca County – 76 active (50 new & 47 recovered) – two outbreaks (one new). 
  • Northern Sunrise County – 25 active (18 new & six recovered).

COVID treatments

Starting January 31, there is a medicine for COVID, which can be taken at home, says an Alberta government news release. Details are below. 

“The first shipments of Paxlovid will be available to Albertans starting Jan. 31. Initial supply will be limited, so eligibility will be limited to those who will benefit the most. This medication can cause side effects, so it will be available only by prescription after an assessment by a clinician.

“Paxlovid is the first COVID-19 treatment approved by Health Canada that can be taken orally at home and the second COVID-19 early treatment option available in Alberta after Sotrovimab was made available last year.

“Treatment with the medication must be started within five days of the onset of symptoms and is intended for use by individuals who have immunosuppressive conditions, are unvaccinated and over the age of 65, or are unvaccinated and over 18 with pre-existing medical conditions that put them at higher risk of severe illness or death.”

The AHS North Zone COVID-19 curve. The top line is the total number of cases. The bottom line is the total deaths. Built by Leader staff with data from

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