News | DrumhellerMail - Page #14
Last updateWed, 12 May 2021 1pm

Over half of active COVID cases variant of concern

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As the number of variant of concern cases of COVID-19 continues to climb, now accounting for nearly 55 per cent of all active cases in the province, eligible Albertans are urged to book an appointment for the COVID-19 vaccine.

Locally, following a surge in cases mid-March which saw active cases in the Drumheller Valley rise to a record high of 75 on March 16, cases continue to fluctuate.

“We have now administered more than one million doses of vaccine in the province,” Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said during the Thursday, April 15 COVID update.

It was also announced the AstraZeneca vaccine, which was previously paused due to a rare increased risk of blood clots, was made available to eligible Albertans aged 40 and older starting on Tuesday, April 20; previously the vaccine was not recommended for anyone under 55.

While Grade 7 to 12 students in Calgary schools, both public and Catholic divisions, are moving temporarily to online, at-home learning, local area schools remain open and operating as per usual.

Previously, schools in both Delia and Morrin dealt with outbreaks of COVID-19 among the student population, with both being listed as ‘Outbreak’ on the Government of Alberta’s COVID-19 website. However, Prairie Land School Division Superintendent Cam McKeage tells the Mail, “Both Morrin and Delia School are back to normal with no known cases. I do know they stay at Outbreak status for 28 days I believe, after they get cleared away.”

In the Central Health Zone, which includes the Town of Drumheller, there are 1,187 active variants of concern cases, with 778 recovered and four deaths; further geographical breakdown of variants of concern is not available at this time.

As of Monday, April 19 there are 30 active and 387 recovered cases of COVID-19 for the Town of Drumheller; this includes two active and 179 recovered cases at the Drumheller Institution.

There are 11 active cases in Wheatland County, 12 in Starland County, and 41 in Kneehill County.

Inmate dies in custody at Drumheller Institution

Drumheller Institution

An inmate at Drumheller Institution died while in custody on Thursday, April 15.
At the time of his death, the inmate had been serving a sentence of two years since December 9, 2020 for Possession of Property Obtained by Crime, and Possession of Schedule I/II Substances for the Purposes of Trafficking.
The inmate's next of kin have been notified of his death. Out of respect for the family's wishes, the name of the inmate will not be disclosed.
As in all cases involving the death of an inmate, Correctional Service Canada (CSC) will review the circumstances. CSC policy requires that the police and the coroner be notified.

Airport revival takes off

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The Drumheller airport committee is looking at reviving the facility, making a gateway to the community.
The airport has been active since the 1960s and at one time was a hub of activity with an active flying club and even charters. While it remains busy with an active crop spraying business, a core group of local flyers, and healthy private and commercial traffic from Alberta and beyond, it is often overlooked.
“The airport lost touch with the town, and the town lost touch with the airport,” said Patrick Bonneville, who, along with his wife Catherine began managing the airport about a month ago. “That’s for a variety of reasons, the flying club shut down years ago, and members drifted away. It is geographically dislocated from the town centre, so out of sight - out of mind.”
What they are hoping to do is increase the storefront traffic, and capitalize on the traffic that is there. About three years ago, a self-serve credit card fuel station was installed at the airport. This has increased sales, but it could be more, and they have begun to price fuel competitively. One of the keys is to have visitors of the airport become visitors of the town.
“The aviation gateway to the town is the airport,” said Bonneville. “The number one complaint is how do we get access to the town. Polling through the pilots who have landed in the last month or so, said a short-term courtesy vehicle available to pilots and their families was needed. We have already purchased one and placed it up at the airport.”
He said flying groups are already utilizing the vehicle and enjoying local restaurants, and shopping. “They are in and out in two hours, but in that time they had access to town,” said Bonneville, adding that as word of mouth spreads, there will be more visitations.
“The biggest thing people would like to know is, if they land, they are welcome, services are available in both winter and summer, and they have access to a courtesy vehicle and affordable fuel to fill up. Those are big winners for them, as they are for us,” said Bonneville.
Another way to increase awareness and use for the airport is through aviation and non-aviation events such as race the runway events and fly-ins. These could be fundraisers to offset the costs of the airport.
“A fly-in isn't just for people flying in, it’s for the community to get involved,” he said.
Another initiative they would like to undertake is reviving a flying club. This again is not solely for pilots, but anyone in the community who is interested in aviation.
They have three fly-ins slated for this summer, and these events are open to the public to come and learn more about aviation.
The airport has also been in talks with the Alberta Aerobatic Club to come and use the facility and are looking at July dates.
He says they have heard interest in people wanting to take flying lessons, and while they aren’t in the position to offer those, it could be a possibility if interest continues.
He is grateful to Fox Coulee Aviation, which has helped the airport remain viable for the last couple of decades. The airport has great support from the Town of Drumheller Infrastructure Services, as well as an active committee who have volunteered to keep the airport up to date and operating.
“We want the airport to be known as a gateway, but it's a friendly place to come. If you don’t have a plane, you can come up to the terminal. It's a chance to look at aircraft, the idea is everyone is welcome,” said Bonneville.
Right now they are working on a master plan for the airport, which they hope to deliver within a year.
Keep up to date with the Drumheller Municipal Airport by going to the Fly Drumheller Facebook Page.


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