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COVID cases take a dip in Athabasca region

Active case rate now sits at 242.5 per 100,000 residents

ATHABASCA - The number of active cases of COVID-19 in the Athabasca region has fallen from 38 to 32 over the last two days, while recoveries have increased from 129 to 136, for a total of 168 cases since the pandemic was declared in March.

On Jan. 13, the Government of Alberta's geospatial map reported an active case rate of 242.5 per 100,000 residents in Athabasca County, the Town of Athabasca, and the Village of Boyle, where the population of the three municipalities of 13,196. 

The overall downward trend remains true in Boyle as well, which is now reporting 15 active cases, down from 18 48 hours ago, and 41 recovered for a total of 56 cases. 

The Boyle area, which is considered its own geographical area within Athabasca County, is bordered to the southeast by Smoky Lake County whose numbers have been very high for the last two months, reaching almost 500 total cases and three deaths, are now falling — total cases now sit at 496, with 69 active cases, and an active case rate per 100,000 at 819.4, with 8,421 residents.

Thorhild County to the south, has now reached zero cases after having seen 36 recoveries.

Westlock County reports 19 active cases and 135 recoveries, with a single death reported; County of Barrhead sits at five active cases with 45 recoveries and two deaths; while the M.D. of Lesser Slave River, to the west has 37 active cases and 108 recoveries.

To the north, in the M.D. of Opportunity, 71 cases are currently active and there have been 146 recoveries there. The active case rate sits at 1,068.4 per 100,000 residents and a population of 6,646. East of Athabasca County in Lac La Biche County, there are 49 active cases, all within the Hamlet of Lac La Biche, along with 182 recoveries, as well as three outside the hamlet. There have also been five deaths.

On Sunday, Dec.13, the province implemented mandatory restrictions on gatherings and face-coverings to offset the number of active cases being reported across the province. Those restrictions were extended until Jan. 21 last week. The temporary face-covering bylaw adopted by both the Town of Athabasca and Athabasca County was activated mid-November, at an active case rate of 50, but the provincial public health orders introduced Dec. 8, override the municipal bylaws. 

The province reported 875 additional cases since yesterday, along with 23 more deaths. There are now 12,838 active cases in Alberta, and 99,412 recoveries since March.There are also 820 people in hospital, and 137 of those are in intensive care.