ATHABASCA/BARRHEAD/WESTLOCK - If you listen closely enough, a collective sigh of relief can be heard from across the Town & Country region, as active COVID-19 cases continue to trend downward in Athabasca, Barrhead and Westlock.
All three of those regions are now below 10 active cases, with the Athabasca area reaching that milestone just last week. The Westlock area reached that tally the previous week, the Barrhead area’s maximum active case count has never passed 10.
As of the Alberta government’s Feb. 14 update, Athabasca County has nine active cases, with a total of 196 cases since March. Westlock County reports six active cases, out of 176 in total, and the County of Barrhead has just two active cases and 58 total cases. Barrhead and Westlock have each had two COVID-related deaths in those areas, and Athabasca has had one.
The province reported 286 new cases throughout the province, bringing the number of active cases to 5,215 and total cases to 128,824. There have also been 121,829 recoveries, and 145,841 vaccine doses administered. There are currently 351 people in hospital, including 60 of them in intensive care.
The provincial death count is up to 1,780, while across Canada, 21,233 people have died as a result of contracting the virus.
A phased reopening linked to the number of hospitalizations has started in Alberta, but mandatory restrictions are still applicable. All indoor social gatherings are still prohibited, while outdoor social gatherings can have up to 10 people. Masks are still required, and temporary business closures and capacity reductions are still in effect.
On Thursday, chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw urged Albertans to follow the guidelines over the long weekend, and afterwards via her Twitter account.
“This long weekend, please be safe. This is not the time for the large get-togethers of past years. By not gathering w/ ppl outside our household, we’re not giving COVID-19 the chance to spread. Meet virtually or get together outdoors w/ no more than 10 ppl & stay 2m apart.”