Alberta Health Services has now classified the prayer gathering near Manning at the end of July as an outbreak of COVID-19.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw says out of the event which took place from July 30th to August 2nd in Deadwood, 15 lab-confirmed cases have been reported in Alberta and an additional 17 in British Columbia.

“This is a good reminder that identified cases often are the outcome of activities that happened up to several weeks before [the day of reporting].”

Hinshaw says an estimated 200 to 300 people turned up to the It Is Time Canada event in the hamlet over the August long weekend. She also suggests it’s likely not the last we will hear of the event.

“We are working with BC health to ensure that contact tracing is completed for all those who attended,” she says. “I want to ask anyone who attended the event in Deadwood… or who was a close contact of someone who did attend, should book a COVID-19 test online through Alberta Health Services and continue to monitor for symptoms.”

The Deadwood outbreak is one of four classified outbreaks in the AHS North zone, with Le Crete and Fort McKay representing the others. The majority of cases in B.C. linked to the religious gathering are in the Fort St. John region.