More than a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, Chestermere has reported its first death resulting from the virus.
The City posted a statement on its website and social media accounts March 24 to notify Chestermerians of the grim occurrence.
“It is with deep sadness that we announce the loss of a community member to COVID-19,” read a statement from Chestermere Mayor Marshall Chalmers. “Alberta Health Services has not disclosed the identity of this person, but our hearts, thoughts and prayers go out to their family and friends who are mourning this loss. To you, we offer our sincere condolences.”
Like other municipalities in the Calgary area, Chestermere’s COVID-19 cases have fluctuated throughout the pandemic. During the first wave in spring of 2020, the city kept its case count relatively low in comparison to Airdrie, Rocky View County and Strathmore. On April 29, 2020, the city reported 21 active cases.
But cases increased during the second wave, with Chestermere reporting 60 active cases in mid-November 2020.
“As a community, we have battled hard against the disease, and many of our residents have made great sacrifices in their personal lives and business ventures to keep each other safe,” Chalmers said. “For your efforts and commitment, we thank you.”
As of March 31, Chestermere was reporting 81 active cases. In total, the city had reported 855 total cases of COVID-19 as of that date, with 773 people recovering from the virus.
In his statement, Chalmers added the lakeside community’s first death from COVID-19 serves as a reminder Chestermere residents must “stay the course” in the ongoing fight against the virus. He noted how quickly the local number of active COVID-19 cases had risen from 16 in early March to more than 80 by the end of the month.
“We must continue to protect each other,” he said. “We must continue to be diligent. We must continue to hold on a little longer to ensure that we do not lose any other residents to this terrible disease.”
The mayor also encouraged all eligible residents to sign up for a COVID-19 vaccine appointment. There are currently three pharmacies in Chestermere offering the inoculations, including the Shoppers Drug Mart, Remedy's RX and Kinniburgh Centre.
“Together, we can keep our city safe as we wait for all our residents to be eligible to receive a vaccination,” Chalmers said. “Please continue to limit your in-person gatherings, wear a mask, wash your hands regularly, avoid touching your face, stay six feet away from others and follow all other provincial health regulations.”