A COVID-related death is listed on Alberta’s COVID-19 data map in the Lac La Biche area on Thursday.
Eleven new cases were reported in the Lac La Biche area under “local geographic area” on the AHS map, with 74 active cases, 32 recoveries, and now one death.
Four staff members and one resident at Extendicare St. Paul are now confirmed positive for COVID-19 according to Laura Gallant, a communications person for the long term care home.
In an e-mailed statement, Gallant said the staff who tested positive “are following the direction they are provided by Communicable Disease Control, including monitoring for symptoms.”
“We continue to monitor all residents closely for symptoms. We have enhanced infection prevention and control protocols in place and additional PPE requirements for staff. We continue to follow the guidance of Alberta Health Services to contain spread of the virus,” said Gallant.
“Our first priority, as always, is to maintain the health and safety of our residents and staff, while keeping our families well informed.”
Outbreaks of the virus in long term care facilities and seniors residences continue to be a source of concern for the province, with control measures put in place as soon as there is a single confirmed case in a continuing care facility or group home setting.
According to information from the province, staff are limited to working in only one supportive living or long term care facility in order to prevent spreading the illness between facilities.
According to the health data published by the province, as of Dec. 1, the average age of people who died of the virus is 82 years, while the average age of people hospitalized with an ICU stay is 60 years. A total of 561 people have died of COVID-19 in Alberta since the pandemic began.
Elderly people frequently have other health conditions which make them higher risk for serious complications or death from COVID-19. 87 per cent of people killed by the virus also had high blood pressure, 57 per cent had dementia, and 54 per cent had heart disease. More than 40 per cent of deaths had kidney disease and/or diabetes, and more than 35 per cent also had a lung disease.
Fourteen new positive tests were reported in the Cold Lake area on Thursday. There are 78 active cases in the city area with 73 recoveries. Cold Lake First Nations is reporting three cases are active on the reserve with 19 recoveries.
In the St. Paul-Saddle Lake area, there were 13 new cases reported with 98 active and 219 recovered. Saddle Lake News, Events, and Information page said there are 31 active cases with 171 recoveries as of Wednesday.
Three new cases were reported in the Bonnyville and Smoky Lake areas respectively. There are 24 active cases in the Bonnyville area under “local geographic area” on the province’s data map, with 74 recoveries. Kehewin Communications has reported 11 active and 36 recoveries in their last update on Wednesday.
Smoky Lake area has 26 active cases and 32 recoveries. Nine cases are linked to H.A. Kostash School as of Wednesday.
Five new cases were reported in the Frog Lake area with 13 active and 12 recovered.
There are 13 active cases within the County of Vermilion River, an increase of one, while numbers in Two Hills County remains the same with 17 active cases.
On Thursday, chief medical officer Dr. Deena Hinshaw reported the largest single-day increase of new cases with 1,854 after roughly 19,600 tests.
There is a 9.5 per cent positivity rate, Dr. Hinshaw said, and more than 17,000 active cases in Alberta.
There are 511 people in hospital with 97 of those in ICU.
Fourteen deaths related to COVID were reported to Alberta Health in the past 24 hours.