Weekly COVID: Lesser Slave down to two active; cases in Loon River and Bigstone

Pearl Lorentzen
Lakeside Leader

From September 25 to October 1, three M.D. of Lesser Slave River residents recovered from COVID and two contracted the disease. These changes brought the Lesser Slave total to 17 cases: two active, 14 recovered, and one died.

Communities with populations under 10,000 are included in the municipality, so the Lesser Slave cases could be in the M.D., Slave Lake, Sawridge First Nation, Smith, Hondo, Chisholm, Flatbush, Marten Beach, Wagner, Widewater, Canyon Creek, or Assineau.

Nearby active

As of October 1, near Slave Lake, there were active COVID-19 cases in the M.D. of Lesser Slave River (two), M.D. of Opportunity (eight), and Northern Sunrise County (two).

The remaining neighbouring regions had no active cases. These are Athabasca County, Big Lakes County, Westlock County, and Woodlands County.

People recovered in Northern Sunrise (one), Lesser Slave (three), and Opportunity (one – Bigstone Cree Nation).

Loon River and Bigstone

Local governments are not always informed of cases in the community. However, in the last week two First Nations within the geographic area of the M.D. of Opportunity posted letters about confirmed cases and recoveries.

As of October 1, Opportunity had eight active COVID cases – five (likely) Loon River, one Bigstone Cree Nation, and two unclassified.

On Friday, Sept. 25, Loon River First Nation posted a letter on Facebook saying it had five active cases. This was two more than the letter posted the day before. Since then, Loon River hasn’t posted any letters about COVID.

In error last week, the Leader assumed these cases might be divided between Northern Sunrise and Opportunity. This was because of a time delay between the provincial data available to the public and the First Nation’s announcement. Provincial public information is released weekdays and is accurate as of the end of the previous day. On Monday (Sept. 28) Opportunity cases jumped by six.

A Sept. 29 letter from M.D. of Opportunity and Bigstone Cree Nation said there were nine confirmed cases in Bigstone Cree Nation reserve (two), Calling Lake (likely incorrect address, so not in the community), and others were not within the Wabasca/Bigstone territory. A September 30 letter said there was one active case in Bigstone. There was no mention of Calling Lake.

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