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RMWB lifts state of local emergency as COVID-19 cases continue to decline

Allison Downing, a registered nurse, prepares the Pfizer-BioNtech Covid-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic in Dartmouth, N.S. on Thursday, June 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

FORT MCMURRAY (660 NEWS) – The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo is no longer under a State of Local Emergency.

“When we declared the SOLE on April 26, the COVID-19 situation in the region was worsening by the day,” said Mayor Don Scott in a press release. “We were in a dire situation and immediate action was needed to meet local challenges and protect our health care system. Fortunately, the action taken under the SOLE did just that.”

The RMWB was leading Canada and the United States for per capita spread when the SOLE was put in place, however cases have since declined significantly.

According to the latest statistics from the province, there are 190 active cases in Fort McMurray and 32 in the surrounding communities.

Sadly, a total of 12 Fort McMurray residents have now passed away.

Alberta Health says a man in his 60’s passed away on Sunday and another man in his 60’s died on Monday. Both cases are said to have included comorbidities.

While the SOLE has been lifted, the Municipal Face Covering Bylaw remains in effect.

Wood Buffalo council will discuss repealing the bylaw at their meeting on June 22.

“With vaccination rates in the region rising and active cases decreasing, we are in a much better place to respond to COVID-19 and can revoke the Municipal Face Covering Bylaw,” said Mayor Scott.

A provincial mask mandate remains in place and is scheduled to be lifted once Alberta moves into Stage Three of the ‘Open for Summer‘ plan.

Stage Two is set to begin June 10 and Stage Three will be triggered once 70 per cent of eligible Albertans aged 12 and up have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

Currently, approximately 67.2 per cent have been vaccinated, however demand for first doses has been declining in recent days.

MacDonald Island is offering walk-in appointments for first doses between the hours of 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. this Thursday and Friday.