Weekly COVID: two new North Zone deaths; active cases close by

Pearl Lorentzen
Lakeside Leader

The week of August 1 to 7, two men died of COVID-19 in the AHS North Zone. Both were in MacKenzie County. One is linked with a new outbreak in a seniors’ lodge in La Crete.

Closer to home, as of Aug. 7, there were three active cases in Athabasca County, one in Westlock County, and one in Big Lakes County. The M.D. of Lesser Slave River, including the Town of Slave Lake, remained at zero active cases.

Two deaths

The two MacKenzie County, who died from COVID-19, were in their 70s. The death of one was announced on Aug. 5. The other was announced on Aug. 7.

The Friday, Aug. 7 death was linked to an outbreak at Heimstaed Seniors Lodge in La Crete. This outbreak was announced on Tuesday, Aug. 5. Also, La Crete continued to have an outbreak linked to family gatherings, which started several weeks ago.

MacKenzie covers the northwestern portion of the AHS North Zone. It includes La Crete, Paddle Prairie, High Level, Fox Lake, and other communities. On Aug. 7, it had the most North Zone cases: 181 cases – 55 active, 123 recovered, and three deaths.

On Aug. 6 (before the Aug. 7 death linked with Heimstaed), 83 of MacKenzie cases were part of the two outbreaks. These were Heimstaed – eight cases (six active, two recovered) and family gatherings – 75 cases (11 active, 64 recovered).

The July 12 and Aug. 5 MacKenzie deaths weren’t linked with an outbreak. This is unusual, as the majority of previous North Zone deaths were seniors in care in a facility with an outbreak – four in Big Lakes County and 10 in the M.D. of Smoky River.

The other two people who died in the North Zone were a man from Grouard in his 30s, with underlying health issues and a senior in Jasper. These people died between March 30 and May 26.

20 cases in one day

On Sunday, Aug. 2, 20 new North Zone COVID cases were confirmed. This is the most of any single day, since the pandemic started. On Aug. 5, there was only one new one.

However, the next day there were 14 new cases. This brought the total for the week of July 31 to Aug. 6, to 71 new cases. This was less than the week before (78), but more than any other week.

As of Aug. 7, Smoky River had the second most North Zone cases: 73 – 63 recovered, and 10 deaths. However, Fort McMurray continued to have new cases and may soon surpass Smoky River. It had 71 cases – 11 active and 60 recovered.

On Aug. 7, there were 630 North Zone cases – 111 active, 500 recovered, and 19 deaths. These were in 15 regions.

AHS North Zone active cases

MacKenzie County 55
City of Grande Prairie11
Fort McMurray11
Smoky Lake County9
Wood Buffalo5
Athabasca County3
M.D. of Greenview3
Grande Prairie County 3
M.D. of Spirit River2
City of Cold Lake2
Thornhild County2
Westlock County1
Big Lakes County1
County of Northern Lights1
M.D. of Peace1
Municipality of Jasper1

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