Hundreds of people attended an Alberta prayer event and 32 now have COVID-19
An Alberta prayer event that took place over the August long weekend has now been linked to at least 32 cases of COVID-19, according to the latest update from healthcare officials.
The gathering, advertised under the name "It Is Time Canada," took place on a farm in Deadwood, a hamlet located in the north of the province. Roughly 200 to 300 people attended.
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Chief Provincial Health Officer Dr. Deena Hinshaw said that 15 cases in Alberta have been traced back to the gathering.
Meanwhile in B.C., 17 cases have been tied to the event; 12 of the cases were people that attended the event, while the remaining five were close contacts.
The ‘It Is Time Canada’ religious gathering over Aug. long weekend in Deadwood, AB has resulted in 15 lab-confirmed cases in AB & 17 in BC & it’s likely we will identify more. 200-300 people attended. We’re working with BC Health to ensure contact tracing is completed. (5/11)— Dr. Deena Hinshaw (@CMOH_Alberta) August 18, 2020
Northern Health is asking everyone that attended the gathering to self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19, and self-isolate and seek testing if they begin to exhibit symptoms.
The public health agency said that 24 close contacts of attendees are also self-isolating with active daily monitoring.
2/3— Northern Health (@Northern_Health) August 17, 2020
Individuals who attended the It Is Time Canada event in Deadwood, Alberta, between July 30 and August 2, are asked to self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19, and self-isolate and seek testing if they begin to exhibit symptoms. pic.twitter.com/yrj5cYHlXP
Evangelist and organizer Chris Lindberg put together a pamphlet ahead of time outlining the health and safety protocols that would take place at the event, including a maximum of 100 people inside the tent.
Other protocols included mandatory temperature checks, signing a health waiver and complimentary hand sanitizer and masks, per the pamphlet.
Lindenberg was one of the people that contracted COVID-19 at the gathering and on Aug. 12 he shared a video saying that he had tested positive for the virus.
"You're looking at a guy right now that has COVID," Lindenberg says in the video. "I thank God I don't know of anyone else in this area that has got COVID."
He added that "Actually, COVID is quite good."
"We've been working getting farm equipment ready," he said. "Really, we haven't had a day off. We've been pushing through."
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