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UPDATE: Suncor's Firebag site included on Alberta COVID-19 outbreak list

Last Updated Nov 4, 2020 at 7:56 pm MDT

PHOTO. Suncor's Firebag facility.

Alberta reports seven new cases and five recoveries of COVID-19 in Wood Buffalo.

Servers experienced a technical glitch causing the province to delay updating its daily report.

Across the RMWB, there are 63 active cases, including 58 in Fort McMurray, as well as one death and 398 resolved cases of the illness.

The province included Suncor’s Firebag site in its list of outbreak locations.

“Prisons, correctional facilities, shelters, child care settings, work camps, food processing/manufacturing facilities and public settings (restaurants, salons, gyms) are listed when there are five or more cases. Events and other workplaces like office buildings are listed when there are 10 or more cases.”

The province lists schools, acute care, and continuing care facilities when there are two or more cases of COVID-19.

Firebag joins Base Plant, Syncrude’s Mildred Lake site, and Canadian Natural Resources’ Horizon on the list of outbreak locations in Wood Buffalo.

Alberta reported 515 new cases and five additional deaths linked to COVID-19 across the province.

Alberta has 6230 active cases of COVID-19 with 164 Albertans in hospital and 30 in intensive care.

The death toll stands at 343.

23,874 Albertans did recover from the virus.

The province’s positivity rate is 6.9 per cent out of 7461 completed tests.

Swine flu

Dr Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health said Alberta has its first variant of the swine flu virus found in humans.

It’s Canada’s first confirmed case of H1N2v, which detected in the central part of the province.

In a statement co-signed by Dr Keith Lehman, the province’s chief veterinarian, Hinshaw said that it’s an isolated case and there’s no increased risk to Albertans.

“H1N2 is not a food-related illness. It is not transmissible to people through pork meat or other products that come from pigs and there is no risk associated with eating pork.”

The statement said the virus was detected in mid-October after an Albertan with mild influenza-like symptoms sought medical care.

Officials said H1N2v is rare with only 27 cases reported globally since 2005.

They also note there were no cases in Canada before this one.

H1N2, caused by the type A Influenza virus, is known to occur in pigs around the world.

The statement said health and agriculture officials are investigating to verify that no spread has occurred.

“AHS will proactively offer influenza testing to residents in parts of central Alberta, if they are presenting for COVID-19 testing, at an AHS assessment centre.”

They say they are taking the matter seriously, but note that sporadic cases of variant influenza have been reported over the past decade in North America.

This article includes excerpts from The Canadian Press.