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COVID-19 cases decline dramatically in County of Barrhead

Just 16 active cases identified within the municipality, a decrease of 90 cases from May 3
Barrhead COVID Update - May 25
The low number of cases in the County of Barrhead means that the municipality no longer meets the threshold for the more severe restrictions announced on May 4.

The number of active COVID-19 cases within the County of Barrhead has fallen by approximately 85 per cent over the course of three weeks. 

As of 4 p.m. on May 25, the province’s geospatial map listing COVID-19 cases in municipalities across Alberta stated there were just 16 active cases of COVID-19 in the County of Barrhead. 

Compare that to May 3, when there were 106 active cases of COVID-19 identified within the county. 

In addition to the 16 active cases, a total of 330 residents locally have recovered from the virus while three have died. 

Technically, this means the County of Barrhead no longer qualifies for the heavier restrictions announced on May 4, which applied to municipalities with 30-plus active cases and an active case rate of 50-plus cases per 100,000 people.

The lighter restrictions mean that outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people can occur, funeral services may accommodate up to 20 people (not including funeral clergy or facility staff), places of worship may have services with in-person attendance of up to 15 per cent of fire code capacity, and retail stores may allow in a number of customers equal to 15 per cent of their fire code capacity.

The Alberta government is slated to make a further announcement on Wednesday, May 26, regarding a plan for the lifting of restrictions this summer. 

Woodlands County is also listed as having just two active cases of COVID-19. (That does not include the Town of Whitecourt, where there are 93 active cases.) 

To the south, Lac Ste. Anne County has just eight active cases of COVID-19, along with 537 recoveries and 12 deaths. 

Elsewhere in the Town & Country This Week readership area, Westlock County has 47 active cases of COVID-19, while Athabasca County has 54 active cases. 

Provincially, there are 12,078 active cases of COVID-19. At a May 25 news conference, chief medical officer Dr. Deena Hinshaw stated the current number of active cases within Alberta is roughly equivalent to the numbers from January. 

Five hundred and sixty-five Albertans are in hospital from COVID-19, with 158 of them being treated in the ICU. There has been a total of 2,192 deaths. 

On the positive side, Hinshaw reported that 2.55 million doses of vaccine have been administered, and with more doses being delivered, the province is looking at ways to reach out to key groups who may have trouble accessing the vaccine. 

Hinshaw said they are also looking at the 16-week period that is supposed to occur between doses and whether or not that window can be shortened. 

“I hope to be able to update you soon on second dose timing,” she said. 

Hinshaw said the data shows that Albertans’ collective efforts are making a difference, as there has been a steady decline in new cases across the province; in fact, active cases have declined 52 per cent from the peak seen earlier this month. 

There have also been declines in hospitalization numbers, and while positivity rates have rebounded slightly in recent day, they have declined as well. 

“This is yet another reminder that our actions matter and collectively we have the power to bend the curve down,” she said, adding that the point where restrictions may be lifted is close “and getting closer every day.”

Kevin Berger, TownandCountryToday.com



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