COVID-19 Outbreak at Kearl Lake North of Fort McMurray, Three Confirmed and Six Others Tested

Three workers at Imperial Oil’s Kearl Lake site, north of Fort McMurray, have tested positive for COVID-19.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, announced the outbreak on Wednesday.

Along with the confirmed cases, six others have been tested and are in quarantine as they wait for results.

This is the first confirmed outbreak at a work camp across the province.

Alberta Health Services is in talks with Imperial to ensure the spread of the virus is limited.

In a statement, Mayor Don Scott says he’s been concerned this would happen.

“We remain focused on a regional response, and as a council we have been tirelessly advocating for the region- our region’s safety and wellbeing is paramount during this global pandemic.”

Scott Davis, Director of Emergency Management, adds it’s most likely we will start to see more cases across the RMWB as more people get tested.

“I understand that the news of an outbreak of COVID-19 at Kearl Lake is troubling to hear – but I want to assure you that we are well-positioned as a region to deal with these cases.”

Meanwhile, 126 more Albertans have tested positive for COVID-19.

This raises the total to 1,996.

There are also no new deaths across the province, keeping the death toll at 48.

Mental Health Funding

The provincial government is providing $53 million in mental health supports.

Around $25 million will be allocated through a new community grant, $4.2 million will help expand addiction and mental health support available through Primary Care Networks, and $2.6 million will go towards expanding individual and group treatment to address family violence, addiction, and mental health.

The remaining $21.4 million will be used to improve access to phone and online support. This includes the Addiction Helpline, the Mental Health Helpline, the Kids Help Phone and the Community and Social Services Helpline (Alberta 211).

Alberta’s mental health response is more than double the amount of all the other provinces combined.

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