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County of Barrhead now listed as having 99 COVID-19 cases

Province relaxes restrictions on continuing care facilities to allow residents to receive more visitors
Barrhead COVID Update April 26
The County of Barrhead was listed as having just over 100 COVID-19 cases over the weekend, but they seem to have dropped slightly by Monday.

The County of Barrhead briefly cracked 100 active cases of COVID-19 over the weekend, according to the geospatial map that lists cases within municipalities across Alberta. 

As of 4 p.m. on April 26, there are currently 99 active cases within the County of Barrhead. That breaks down to an active case rate of 982.3 per 100,000 people, which is among the highest active case rates in the province. 

Since the start of the pandemic, 134 county residents have recovered from the virus, and there have been two deaths. 

To the west, there are currently four active cases of COVID-19 in Woodlands County and 49 active cases in the Town of Whitecourt. 

In Lac Ste. Anne County to the south, there are currently 36 active cases. There have also been 459 recoveries and 12 deaths. 

It’s worth noting that Grade 10-12 students at Barrhead Composite High School (BCHS) transitioned over to at-home learning this week due to a handful of cases forcing hundreds of students and staff into isolation. Grade 7-9 students are still learning at school. 

Grade 7-8 students at Neerlandia Public Christian School are also isolating, as well as a number of students from Fort Assiniboine School. 

Premier Jason Kenney and Health Minister Tyler Shandro also announced on Monday that updated health measures for continuing care facilities will be coming into effect on May 10. 

Where possible, and provided the majority of residents agree, residents of continuing care centres will now be able to receive indoor social visits with up to four visitors provided they are all from the same household and other health measures (masking, social distancing, etc.) are observed. 

Outdoor social visits in these facilities will now be expanded up to 10 people, including the resident. 

As well, residents of these facilities may name up to four designated family/support persons for unrestricted access. 

Kenney acknowledged in Monday’s news conference that COVID-19 has been “merciless” in attacking residents of continuing care facilities, as more than 61 per cent of all Alberta’s deaths from the virus have occurred in these facilities. 

However, while restrictions have been necessary to save lives, they have also come at a real cost to the mental and emotional health of continuing care residents, he said.

With the uptick in vaccinations and the decline in deaths among continuing care residents, it was time to relax those restrictions and allow residents to see their loved ones, Kenney indicated, noting that strong protocols will still be observed.

Kevin Berger,

About the Author: Kevin Berger

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