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Morinville sets record high COVID-19 cases

·3 min read

COVID-19 cases in Morinville have doubled since mid-September and the town is now setting record high active cases almost daily.

At the beginning of September the town had 35 COVID-19 cases but that number has skyrocketed to 125 active cases in the community.

By Sept. 10 there were 50 active cases, and by Sept. 20 the town saw 86 active cases.

Right now the community has 1,095 active cases per 100,000, one of the highest active case rates in the province.

Mayor Barry Tuner said he is concerned about what he is seeing in the town.

“Obviously we've got a situation where we've got numbers of cases escalating and certainly very concerned about the trends and what can be done to turn things around,” Turner said.

Turner said he can’t identify one particular trend that is causing cases to rise in the community.

“We just don't know enough information that's solid and particularly from Alberta Health Services that [we] can base our assumptions on.”

According to the province the town has one outbreak listed at Aspen House.

The advocacy group Support Our Students tracks cases and outbreaks in schools through crowdsourcing across Alberta and have listed four local schools with outbreaks.

Notre Dame Elementary School is listed with an outbreak as of Sept. 27, Four Winds Public School has an outbreak as of Sept. 23, Morinville Public School has an outbreak as of Sept. 22, and St. Kateri Tekakwitha Academy has an outbreak since Sept. 22.

Turner said the list from the Support Our Students group is consistent with what he is hearing anecdotally in the community.

Vaccinations are lower in Morinville than the provincial average, although Turner doesn’t have any specific data for Morinville, as the community is lumped into the west Sturgeon area.

Some 67.3 per cent of the population, or 20,292 residents have one dose of the vaccine, while 58.7 per cent of people, or 17,697 residents have both doses. Across Alberta the rates for single and double doses are 71.1. per cent and 63.2 per cent respectively, which puts the region 3.8 percentage points behind the average for single doses and 4.5 percentage points behind for double doses.

Cases in Morinville are surging along with the rest of the province. On Thursday Alberta had 1,706 new cases diagnosed overnight after 17,590 tests were run for a positivity rate of 9.7 per cent.

Another 20 deaths were reported to the province, following 34 deaths reported on Wednesday. Of the 20 deaths, a man in his 20s passed away in the north zone with no known pre-existing conditions.

There were 1,082 Albertans in the hospital with COVID-19 on Thursday, a decrease of one from Wednesday. There were 263 Albertans in the intensive care unit on Thursday, down from 268 on Wednesday,

The province had a total of 20,255 active cases on Thursday.

Jennifer Henderson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, St. Albert Gazette

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