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Wednesday , 4 August 2021

COVID death reported in the M.D. of Bonnyville; vaccine rollout expanding

Another death has been reported linked to the COVID-19 outbreak at Extendicare Bonnyville.

This was one of the nine deaths announced on Thursday by the province and according to Alberta Health, it was a male in his 80s with comorbidities that is linked to the Extendicare outbreak, according to Alberta Health.

This is the eleventh COVID-related death within the M.D. of Bonnyville. Previously, the province’s virus data map had 11 deaths listed on Feb. 22, but the map updated on Feb. 23 and listed 10.

There are 23 active cases within the M.D. of Bonnyville after three new cases on Thursday.

Smoky Lake County has seen a major increase in cases over the past two weeks. There are currently 137 active cases after four new cases were identified within the municipality as an outbreak continues at Goodfish Lake.

Goodfish Lake is currently working on updating its numbers. In their last reported update on March 1, there were 98 active cases of the virus.

Otherwise, Lakeland-wide there is just one new case reported in the City of Cold Lake, but active cases fell to 16 on Thursday.

There are 33 active cases in the County of St. Paul, 21 active in Lac La Biche County, two active in Vermilion River County, and one active in Two Hills County.

Schools

At-home learning for Kindergarten to Grade 6 students at Ashmont School has been extended. At this point, St. Paul Education said in a letter that Monday, March 15 is the date scheduled to return to in-person classes.

There has been a COVID-19 outbreak listed on the province’s school status map, with 5-9 active cases linked to the facility.

The school remains open for in-person classes for Grade 7-12.

An outbreak of 5-9 cases is also listed for J A Williams High School in Lac La Biche.

Vilna School reported three positive cases linked to their facility last week.

Vaccines

Health Minister Tyler Shandro said that if national timelines with vaccines hold, the provincial government can offer a vaccine to every adult in Alberta by the end of June.

During the daily COVID update, Shandro said Alberta can expand its vaccine rollout and that within two weeks, AHS will begin vaccinating Albertans between the ages of 65 and 74, and First Nations, Métis and Inuit persons age 50 or older, regardless of where they live.

Bookings for the next phase of the COVID-19 vaccine program will begin the week of March 15 giving more than 437,000 Albertans the offer for the vaccine. To reduce wait times and vaccinate people as quickly as possible, appointment bookings will be offered by age group, the government said in a press release.

“For example, on Day 1, anyone born in 1947 will be eligible to book an appointment. On Day 2, anyone born in 1948 will be able to book. In subsequent days, Albertans born in 1949 would be eligible, and so on. Booking days will open up by year of birth until all Albertans between the ages of 65 and 74 have the chance to be vaccinated,” the release said.

“Appointments will be booked through participating pharmacies, online or through Health Link. Exact timing will be announced the week of March 15. Vaccines will start being administered the same or following day.”

First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people aged 50 and older will also receive the vaccine starting the week of March 15. Those living on-reserve can book appointments through First Nations and Inuit Health and their local health centres, while those living off-reserve will be able to start booking online or via pharmacies on Day 1.

However, the government said that Alberta is still awaiting a firm delivery schedule from the federal government for April and beyond.

Earlier this week, chief medical officer Dr. Deena Hinshaw announced a longer delay between giving the first and second doses of the vaccine to up to four months or sixteen weeks to provide “the most benefit to the most people.”

Provincial update

Alberta reported Thursday 331 new cases of COVID-19 on just under 9,500 tests.

There is 245 in hospital and 47 of those in ICUs.

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.