High River on edge as COVID-19 cases soar

Click to play video: 'High River sees big jump in COVID-19 cases' High River sees big jump in COVID-19 cases
High River has been hit hard by COVID-19 and the latest numbers from AHS on Tuesday show another jump in cases there. The town is now dealing with 87 cases, up from 60 on Monday. With more on how people in High River are handling it, here’s Gil Tucker – Apr 14, 2020

The number of cases of COVID-19 has significantly jumped in the Town of High River over the past few days.

As of Tuesday, there are 87 confirmed cases, up from 60 reported on Monday.

READ MORE: Alberta reaches 48 total deaths from COVID-19, over 60% of fatal cases in continuing care facilities

Two High River residents have recovered, according to Alberta Health.

In a Facebook post on Monday night, Mayor Craig Snodgrass said “everyone is aware at the rapid rate of change that is taking place in regards to our local COVID[-19] issues.”
“I want to [assure] everyone that we are working our tails off trying to get proper information out of [Alberta] Health in regards to the situation,” Snodgrass wrote.
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“I’ve spoken with our MLA, Roger Reid, who is getting information today and we are working directly with Cargill and our local doctors and health-care professionals to coordinate a local plan to deal with the issue.”

Cargill Meat Solutions, a meat packing plant in High River, said on Monday that a number of its employees had tested positive for COVID-19, but didn’t specify how many. The union representing its workers, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 401, said there were 38 diagnoses at the facility.

READ MORE: Alberta meat plant making changes after union calls for more COVID-19 protection for workers

The spike in cases has residents on edge.

“You can feel the nervousness in town right now compared to before,” resident Erika Decogeau said Tuesday. “People are a lot more worried than they were previously, just with our huge jump in cases.”

It’s a stark contrast to nearby Okotoks, which has double the population but a third of the cases.

“My wife and I are self-isolating. We come out once a week to get groceries,” High River resident Mark Phillips said. “We’re doing everything that we can but sometimes I feel it’s not enough.”

READ MORE: High River boy a particularly vulnerable Albertan during COVID-19 outbreak

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High River’s 7-Eleven has been placed on lockdown after an employee tested positive for COVID-19.

A sign in the High River 7-Eleven indicates the store will re-open in late April. Bruce Aalhus / Global News

The store recommended that anyone who visited the 7-Eleven between March 29 and April 10 complete the Government of Alberta’s online self-assessment tool.

A sign on the building says the store is closed for cleaning and will re-open on April 25.

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