April 17th, 2021

Alberta mayor urges better communication about COVID variant outbreak at business

By The Canadian Press on April 6, 2021.

EDMONTON – The mayor of Edson says health authorities should be providing more information about a COVID-19 variant outbreak affecting a major employer in the western Alberta town.

Kevin Zahara says he wants to know how big a risk there is to the wider community, but he hasn’t heard from Alberta Health Services.

He says the rumour mill has been going strong because there’s been a lack of communication.

Alberta’s chief medical officer has said 26 COVID-19 cases have been linked to three sites belonging to a business with operations across Western Canada, and so far three are confirmed to be the variant first found in Brazil.

PTW Energy Services later confirmed three positive cases of the P.1 variant in its offices in Edson and two other western Alberta communities: Hinton and Drayton Valley.

Zahara credits PTW for being transparent and working on containing the spread.

“At the end of the day, it’s not about the company and it’s not about what necessarily has occurred,” Zahara said Tuesday.

“It’s about what can we do to prevent further spread in our community and we don’t have any information to make any informed decisions.”

He said weeks ago, there were no active cases in Edson and now there are 12. It’s not clear if they’re connected to the PTW outbreak.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 6, 2021.

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