“I think the lesson here is just for everyone to continue to be careful," says Samson Cree Nation Chief Vernon Saddleback. Maskwacis has declared a one-week shutdown in an attempt to reduce the growing number of positive COVID-19 cases. Photo submitted

Alberta reports 244 additional COVID-19 cases Thursday

2,738 active cases of COVID-19 in the province

The Alberta government reported an additional 244 COVID-19 cases Thursday.

Across the province, there are 2,738 active cases of the virus, with 18,417 recovered cases. There have been 288 deaths due to COVID-19 in Alberta since the beginning of the pandemic.

In the central zone, there are 116 active cases, with three people in hospital and none in the ICU.

The City of Red Deer added four new cases and sits at 31 active.

Maskwacis has 33 active cases of the virus. Ponoka County has 31 active. Lacombe has 10 active cases, while Lacombe County sits at seven active cases.

Mountain View County has nine active cases, Red Deer County has five. Olds has four, the City of Wetaskiwin has three and Sylvan Lake has two active cases. The City of Camrose has one case of COVID-19.

Hunting Hills High School is still listed as an outbreak with between two and four cases, according to data on the government’s website.

Hunting Hills is the third school in Red Deer to report a confirmed COVID-19 case – Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School and Escuela Vista Grande each had a case in September.

According to the government website, 22 schools across the province remain under the province’s watch list. These schools are mostly in Edmonton and Calgary. There are 68 schools with between two and four cases in the province.

The Edmonton zone remains the hardest hit by COVID-19 in Alberta, with 1,497 active cases and 5,543 recoveries. Calgary has 788 active cases, with 8,910 recovered.

Maskwacis declared a one-week shutdown on the weekend in an attempt to reduce the growing number of positive COVID-19 cases.

Maskwacis Health Services reported 26 active COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, one of which is hospitalized.

“Our emergency management teams, our medical health officials, they are all doing their jobs and I appreciate the work they are doing,” Samson Cree Nation Chief Vernon Saddleback said in a Facebook Live post.

“I think the lesson here is just for everyone to continue to be careful.

“You know we have to understand that in our society, the way we live, we don’t have one or two people who live in a home… Some homes have eight, maybe nine people in them, and if there is going to be a positive in the home, you’ve got to imagine that we are going to have several positives in one home.

“We get these clusters is what happens, and that’s why sometimes our numbers get kind of high.”

“It’s still unfortunate that people are getting positive, but the good news is people are recovering,” Saddleback said.

Maskwacis Health Services will have COVID-19 mobile testing at the Maskwacis Ambulance Authority on Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Residents are asked to bring their health care card and be symptom free.

– With files from Shaela Dansereau, Black Press Media