With 18 new COVID-19 cases, alert still active in this southern Alberta county
Alberta Health says there are 39 active cases of coronavirus in the County of Warner and 18 of those were added between July 2 and July 3 (file)
CALGARY -- The County of Warner in southern Alberta is still under a COVID-19 watch by the province and officials are looking to see if the funeral services for three teen girls may have played a role in the spread.
Alberta Health says there are 39 active cases of coronavirus in the region and 18 of those cases were added over the past 24 hours.
Officials are working to determine what connection, if any, the funeral services for three young girls who drowned in St. Mary River last month had to the outbreak.
"That funeral was a tragic event and there was strong community support for those affected by the loss," said Tom McMillian, assistant communications director with Alberta Health, in an email to CTV News.
"It is possible that COVID-19 exposure occurred at this funeral, and we are working on communication to all colonies in the Prairies to ensure heightened surveillance for COVID-19 symptoms and precautions to promote health safety. This is similar to what we have done with other communities and groups."
On June 10, three teenage girls, members of a Hutterite colony within the County of Warner, drowned while swimming in St. Mary River.
A few colonies in the area that have individual cases of coronavirus are working with health authorities, but Alberta Health is withholding the locations of those cases to protect patient confidentiality.
McMillan says there is no safety concern for the public at this time and testing is still available.
"COVID-19 is still with us. We will continue to see new cases identified in the days and weeks ahead. The best thing that Albertans can do to protect themselves is to follow public health guidance we’ve provided – wash your hands, stay home when sick, physically distance when possible and wear a mask when it is not."