Monday , 2 August 2021
Case numbers across the Lakeland continue to rise.

Lac La Biche and Cold Lake both report COVID-19 deaths

Active and total case counts continue to rise across the Lakeland with St. Paul and Lac La Biche both seeing increases to both the active and total number of cases in their regions.

Lac La Biche and Cold Lake also each reported one death from COVID-19. Lac La Biche has a total of four deaths, Cold Lake has a total of one.

Municipality Active Cases Jan. 11 Active Cases Jan. 12 Active Cases +/- Total Cases +/-
Lac La Biche County 0 0 0 0
Lac La Biche 42 50 +8 +9
I.D. 349 0 0 0 0
M.D. of Bonnyville No. 87 88 87 -1 +7
City of Cold Lake 83 87 +4 0
County of St. Paul No. 19 129 136 +7 +9
Smoky Lake County 70 71 +1 +7
County of Two Hills No. 21 8 8 0 0
County of Vermilion River 10 9 -1 +1


Local Geographic Area Active Cases Jan. 11 Active Cases Jan. 12 Active +/- Total Cases +/-
Lac La Biche (Lac La Biche County, NW Smoky Lake County & I.D. 349) 45 53 +8 +9
Smoky Lake (Nearby Smoky Lake County & West Thorhild County) 14 14 0 0
Bonnyville (Nearby Bonnyville MD) 69 67 -2 +6
Cold Lake (East Bonnyville MD) 83 83 0 +6
St. Paul (Saddle Lake and Surrounding St. Paul County) 111 118 +7 +16
Frog Lake (West St. Paul County & South Bonnyville MD) 90 92 +2 +3
Two Hills County 8 8 0 0
Vermilion River County 14 11 -3 0

Across the province, there were 652 new cases of COVID-19 identified in the last 24 hours and the positivity rate for testing is approximately 6.8 per cent.

The province also reported the single highest increase in deaths since the beginning of the pandemic with 38 new deaths, bringing the provincial total to 1,345.

Asked how much of the lower case numbers is the result of continued lower test volumes compared to early December, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said they have not yet determined the reason for why testing volumes have not increased since the end of the holidays and are still recommending anyone with symptoms get tested.

“When we were first seeing our serology results back in the summer, we were doing an estimate of how many cases were in the community, compared to how many we were detecting through our testing. We were performing much better than many other places but we still had an estimate of approximately one out of every four one out of every five total cases is what we were picking up through our molecular testing,” said Hinshaw, noting that in many other places that number was estimated at one in ten total cases.

“The encouraging part about the current testing trends, while the numbers are lower we do see that that positivity rate is also starting to trend down a little bit, and the positivity rate is independent of the total number of tests that are performed.”

In her Jan. 12 update Hinshaw said Alberta’s contact tracing system for COVID-19 is in a much better position than it was, although there is still room for improvement.

Hinshaw reported that they are now able to reach out to priority groups within 24 hours and the number of new cases with an unknown source of infection is now down to 47 per cent, from a high of 80 per cent unknown exposures between Dec. 10 and Dec. 15

“Identifying a source of exposure is complex. Even with a fully functioning system there are always a portion of cases, usually around 30 per cent, where the source of exposure cannot be identified. We are making progress and we will continue to build our capacity,” said Hinshaw.

About Meredith Kerr

Meredith Kerr moved to St. Paul for a career in journalism and morning radio in 2014 expecting to stay for six months to a year. Since then, she has put down roots in the form of a husband, a mortgage, two babies, and a poorly behaved dog. She continues to work as a reporter until such time as she finishes her book and becomes fabulously wealthy from the royalties. Meredith also serves as a member at large on the St. Paul Library Board and volunteers as a Beaver leader for the 1st St. Paul Scout Group.