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Friday , 22 January 2021

St. Paul front-line workers will be one of first to receive Pfizer vaccine

St. Paul will be one of the first communities in the province that critical care workers can be immunized with the COVID-19 vaccine.

During a press conference on Tuesday, premier Jason Kenney said a second shipment of Pfizer vaccines has arrived and a total of 25,350 vaccine doses will be delivered to vaccine sites around Alberta.

St. Paul is one of 10 rural communities that will receive 975 doses of the vaccine, the government said.

In this initial phase of vaccine rollout, the focus is on inoculating respiratory therapists, intensive care physicians and staff, and long-term care and designated supportive living facility workers in the province.

Brooks, Camrose, Drumheller, Edson, Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Pincher Creek will also be among the first to receive vaccine shipments.

Calgary and Edmonton will each receive 6,825 vaccine doses and Red Deer will receive 1,950.

So far, the government says 3,074 health-care workers have received their first shots, as part of the first Pfizer vaccine shipment of 3,900 doses on Dec. 14.

More to follow.

Single Albertans can go to someone’s house on Christmas

The provincial government has changed the social gathering rules for single people in the province for a five day stretch over the holidays.

Individuals who live alone may join another household for one gathering only during the Christmas period from Dec. 23 to 28, the government said on Tuesday.

This changes the rules, which previously said that people who live alone could only meet with two other contacts.

An exemption will be made to this restriction to allow people who live alone to join a new household (not necessarily one of their current close contacts) for one event.”

A household must only host a maximum of 2 people who live alone (and their minor children) and only one event.

The government says all safety measures should be applied for these gatherings, including maintaining two metres of distance from others, access to hand sanitizer, and asking others to wear masks when distancing cannot be maintained.

Lakeland COVID update

Active case numbers in St. Paul and Lac La Biche areas continued to drop over the course of the past week.

In the County of St. Paul, there is 55 fewer active COVID-19 cases compared to Tuesday, Dec. 15, outpacing new cases almost two to one, as reported by the provincial virus data map.

Currently, there are 75 active cases within the county after five new infections on Tuesday and when searched by “local geographic area,” it falls to 62 active. Saddle Lake News, Events, and Information reported in an update on Monday there are 14 active cases in the community with two in hospital.

The trend is similar in Lac La Biche. Active cases have been almost cut in half since Dec. 15, from 56 to 27 as of today. There has only been 16 new cases over that stretch. There are zero active cases in Beaver Lake First Nation.

The Cold Lake area has seen an uptick of new cases over the past few days. There has been 20 new cases in the past 48 hours in the city area, showing 50 active in the municipality, 51 active in the “local geographic area.”

Cold Lake First Nations is reporting eight active cases with 25 recoveries on reserve.

The Bonnyville area too has seen an increase in active cases. In the M.D. of Bonnyville, there are 52 active cases and 136 recoveries after eight new cases on Tuesday. Seven cases are active with one in hospital, reported by Kehewin Communications.

Frog Lake First Nations reported on Monday that there are 14 active positive cases with eight recoveries since Dec. 18.

The recovery trend continues with Smoky Lake County, Two Hills County, and County of Vermilion River.

There are 34 fewer active cases in Smoky Lake County since last Tuesday. Currently, there are 42 active cases after six new recoveries.

Two Hills County, which has had two deaths related to COVID according to the provincial virus data map, has 17 active cases.

The County of Vermilion River has seen 19 new recoveries in the past 24 hours. There are now 26 active cases in the municipality.

Alberta reported 1,021 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday. That was out of about 14,199 tests, according to the premier. The provincial positivity rate was 7.2 per cent.

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.