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COVID cases get a little closer to Lac La Biche County

Of 70 communities on provincial COVID map, less than half remain with zero cases, including Lac La Biche County.

On the provincial COVID-19 caseload map, the distance between the two most recent municipalities to record their first Coronavirus cases is as wide as Lac La Biche County.

On Tuesday, April 21, Lac La Biche County was surrounded by a group of COVID-free municipalities, including Athabasca, St. Paul, the MD of Opportunity and the county of Smoky Lake. By Thursday night, the space between active Covid-19 cases and the Lac La Biche community got even closer, as Athabasca officials were reporting their second active case in just two days and St. Paul County health officials recorded their first active case.

With cases just a line on a map away, Plamondon area Lac La Biche County councillor Colette Borgun hopes the importance of COVID precautions will increase in her own municipality.

"I think for some, having cases in Athabasca, near to us, will make it real," said Borgun, adding that in the last two days several friends and residents have commented about the proximity of Plamondon to the newest cases in neighbouring Athabasca County. "It's just a half hour drive from Plamondon to Athabasca. A lot of people go there often. It's so close now. It makes it real."

For as long as we can 

Borgun, who is a firm believer in the COVID health protocols, and admits to carrying anti-bacterial wipes when she leaves her home for doors she has to open and surfaces she may come into contact with, urges the community to also be "extra vigilant" with the precautions. Although the councillor hopes the virus-free status can last for as long as possible, she is realistic in knowing that eventually, the community will see cases.

"If we are vigilant, we may have a few more days — we know we can't avoid it forever, but we can do all we can to keep the numbers down when it does get here," she said.

Mask maker

Borgun is not only talking about the precautions, she's been helping to make them too.

"I've been making face masks and giving them to people for free," said Borgun, saying that the cloth masks have "tons of designs . "I"I've been handing them out to businesses around here and really encouraging people to wear them."

Lac La Biche County councillors have all received masks made by Borgun, who is one of two elected members who have chosen to attend council meetings virtually since April 7.

"I do take it very seriously — and we all should," she said.

Provincial health officials update the government of Alberta COVID map each day during the daily pandemic updates. The government's map is broken up into into 70 jurisdictions. Last Friday the map showd 49 jurisdictions with covid cases, and 31 still left with zero reported cases.


Rob McKinley

About the Author: Rob McKinley

Rob has been in the media, marketing and promotion business for 30 years, working in the public sector, as well as media outlets in major metropolitan markets, smaller rural communities and Indigenous-focused settings.
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