by Jake Cardinal
(May 4, 2020) – Due to the ever-growing amount of COVID-19 news and updates, I am writing this in order to inform Saddle Lake and surrounding reservations about the 3 brand-new cases of COVID-19 in St. Paul, Alberta.
Over the past week, starting on April 23, 2020, there has been a small, but steady increase in the amount of infected peoples within St. Paul.
The first case of COVID-19 in St. Paul, Alberta was confirmed on Alberta’s provincial data map on Thursday April 23, 2020. The person in question has not been identified. The statistics posted on the data map may have been misrepresented. Alberta Health spokesperson Tom McMillan stated, “Someone may have mis-entered a number or filled in the form incorrectly… I can’t speak to the actual specific location because we don’t comment on a specific case like that.”
On Monday April 27, 2020, a part-time worker at the St. Paul Women’s Shelter tested positive for the virus and is currently self-isolating—those who were in contact with the infected are also self-isolating for good measure. It is important to note that the symptoms found in the worker did not start occurring until after her last shift and The Capella Centre Women’s Shelter is still a safe place.
Less than a week later, on Friday May 1, 2020, CO-OP released a statement which read, “Today, a part-time member of our team in our St. Paul Lumber Yard tested positive for the COVID-19 Virus.” The Lumber Yard worker was self-isolating prior to the test and the Lumber Yard closed down for cleaning shortly after the news was released. The St. Paul CO-OP Lumber Yard is currently open for business as of Monday May 4, 2020.
If you are experiencing any form of COVID-19 symptoms, please call your local healthcare center for help.
For Saddle Lake Members specifically: the Healthcare Centre is open for COVID-19 testing.
Hannah Cardinal, local Health Center receptionist, said testing is scheduled by appointment and runs from 10am to 3pm on workdays. For those who are unable to test in the allotted times can test on Saturday by appointment or walk-in. However, it is important to remember that you must have symptoms in order to receive testing.
In an interview with CBC News, released April 30, 2020, “chief medical officer for Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) says the next two weeks will be critical to flattening the curve of COVID-19 cases in First Nations.”
The article by CBC goes on to state, “As of April 29, there had been two COVID-19 related deaths and 129 on-reserve cases across Canada — 33 in British Columbia, 20 in Alberta, 14 in Saskatchewan, 32 in Ontario and 30 in Quebec, according to the federal department’s latest tally.”
According to Alberta Provincial Data, as of May 4, 2020 there are 5,766 confirmed cases in Alberta and 95 deaths.