Celebrating Christmas amid COVID restrictions

·2 min read

Albertans celebrated the holidays differently this year amid restrictions on social gatherings due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, whether by celebrating virtually with family and friends over video calls, making new holiday traditions, or even postponing holiday celebrations while restrictions are in place.

Between Wednesday, December 23 and Monday, December 28 there were more than 4,400 new cases of COVID-19 reported in the province, and 112 deaths which has brought Alberta’s total COVID-related deaths to 1,002; there has been more than 15,000 COVID-related deaths in Canada since the start of the pandemic.

During the Monday, December 28 update, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw thanked Albertans for celebrating Christmas safely. “Your selfless actions kept not only you and your family safe, they also slowed the spread of COVID-19 in your community and across the province; this is a wonderful gift to give others this holiday season,” she said.

Over the previous five days case numbers have been much lower than in previous weeks, though Dr. Hinshaw noted part of this decline was due to fewer people getting tested over the holidays.

Three additional cases of COVID-19 were reported locally in Drumheller between December 23 and December 28, which is up from two cases over the previous five days between Friday, December 18 and Tuesday, December 22; there are currently seven active cases in the town.

On Wednesday, December 23 two cases of COVID-19 were reported among inmates at the Drumheller Institution. As of Monday, December 28 seven inmates have now tested positive since.

“Close contacts of the positive cases are isolated and mass testing of inmates has been offered,” said Kelly Dash, media relations and outreach advisor for Correctional Service Canada. Dash added, “As of today, there is one active case of COVID-19 among staff at Drumheller Institution.”

There are currently zero active cases in Starland County, 17 in Kneehill County, and 16 in Wheatland County.

Lacie Nairn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Drumheller Mail