Fort McMurray surpasses second wave's peak with 314 active COVID-19 cases; vaccine clinic at MacIsland opens

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COVID-19 cases in Fort McMurray have nearly doubled since April 1, setting a record for active cases since the pandemic began last March. There are now more active cases in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo since COVID-19 was first reported in Fort McMurray on March 19.

On Monday, Alberta Health reported Fort McMurray had 165 new COVID-19 cases and 15 recoveries, bringing the active total to 314 cases. Rural communities had three new cases and five recoveries, bringing active total to five cases.

Local cases were last reported Thursday before the Easter long weekend. On that day, there were 164 active cases in Fort McMurray and four in rural communities.

This is the highest number of active cases in the RMWB since Jan. 7, when there were 270 active cases in the city and nine in rural communities. COVID-19 numbers rose swiftly in March, which started with 39 active cases in Fort McMurray. Cases continued dropping until March 9, when active cases sunk to 18.

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A vaccination clinic has also opened at MacDonald Island Park. The site has 10 vaccination stations, but that figure could double depending on vaccine availability. Twenty vaccination stations working at full capacity for eight hours can vaccinate 1,285 Albertans daily at the site. Immunizations have stopped at the Thickwood Medical Centre.

Drop-in appointments will not be available at first. Depending on vaccine supply, the site will be open between eight and 12 hours a day, seven days a week. AHS says in an eight-hour shift, 20 vaccination stations could get 1,285 Albertans vaccinated every day.

“Convenient and safe access to COVID-19 vaccines is key to the health and well-being of residents, and the social and economic recovery of our communities,” said Mayor Don Scott in an April 1 statement. “As a region, we are committed to doing everything we can to keep each other safe and we are pleased to partner with AHS to help in this important public health effort.”

vmcdermott@postmedia.com

COVID-19 numbers for Alberta, reported on April 5:                

  • Instructions on how to book a COVID-19 vaccine and who is eligible can be found here.
  • 153,194 people have been infected with the virus. The earliest known COVID-19 case in Alberta was detected in a blood sample collected on Feb. 24. The first case was announced on March 5.
  • Of those cases, 140,614 people have recovered, or 91.7 per cent of all cases.
  • 1,081 cases were reported on April 1, 1,071 on April 2, 948 on April 3 and 887 on April 4, bringing the active total to 10,582.
  • 312 people are in hospital, with 76 people in intensive care units. Privacy regulations means Alberta Health cannot release how many COVID-19 patients are being treated in local hospitals or health centres.
  • Four new deaths from COVID-19, totalling 1,998.
  • 13,275 people were tested for COVID-19 on April 1, 12,095 on April 2, 11,187 on April 3 and 9,102 on April 4.
  • 707,482 vaccine doses have been administered in total; 116,198 people are fully immunized with both doses.

COVID-19 in Fort McMurray:            

  • 165 new active cases since Thursday, bringing known active total to 314. The first case was reported in the city on March 19. 
  • 15 new recoveries since Thursday, bringing total to 1,800.
  • Alberta’s province-wide mask order remains active. 
  • Privacy regulations means Alberta Health cannot release how many COVID-19 patients are being treated in local hospitals or health centres. 
  • Three people have died from COVID-19 in Fort McMurray, with the last death reported on Dec. 24. The first death was reported Sept. 8. 

COVID-19 in rural areas and Wood Buffalo National Park:                

  • Three new COVID-19 case in rural communities reported since Thursday, bringing active total to six cases. One of those cases are in Wood Buffalo National Park.
  • One new recovery in Wood Buffalo’s rural areas in the past 24 hours, bringing rural total at 149. 
  • AHS has not confirmed which rural communities have active COVID-19 cases, only community leaders have. 
  • Alberta’s province-wide mask order remains active. 
  • Privacy regulations means Alberta Health cannot release how many COVID-19 patients are being treated in local hospitals or health centres. 
  • There have been no deaths from COVID-19 in the RMWB’s rural areas. 

COVID-19 outbreaks at Wood Buffalo’s schools:              

  • Information on school outbreaks can be found online from Alberta Health Services. No school in Wood Buffalo has been ordered to close. 
  • Outbreak: Holy Trinity Catholic High School (five to nine cases).
  • Alert: Ecole McTavish High School (two to four cases).
  • An outbreak is declared when five people linked to a public site, such as a workplace, test positive for COVID-19. At continuing care centres and schools, the number is two. 
  • An outbreak is over when no new COVID-19 cases have been reported after 30 days. 

COVID-19 outbreaks at Wood Buffalo’s workplaces:                 

  • Information on workplace outbreaks can be found online from Alberta Health Services
  • Canadian Natural’s Albian site.
  • Canadian Natural’s Horizon site.
  • Children First Eagle Ridge Nest 
  • Imperial Oil’s Kearl Lake site. 
  • Suncor’s base plant. 
  • Suncor’s Firebag Village. 
  • Syncrude’s Mildred Lake site. 
  • An outbreak is declared when five people linked to a public site, such as a workplace, test positive for COVID-19. At continuing care centres and schools, the number is two. 
  • An outbreak is over when no new COVID-19 cases have been reported after 30 days. 

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