COVID-19 in Brooks: How widespread testing, cultural support helped an Alberta city avert disaster

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This is part 2 of a special series examining the COVID-19 in Brooks, AB.  You can find Part 1, “COVID-19 in Brooks: How a small Alberta city faced one of Canada’s most virulent outbreaks,” here.

When Remilyn Biay took leave from her job at the JBS beef-processing plant near Brooks, Alta. in mid-April, it had nothing to do with her health.

“My baby’s daycare, they decided to close temporarily because most of the parents are working at JBS,” the single mother said.

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Biay had been spending her time at home, so she was shocked to learn almost two weeks later that she had tested positive for COVID-19.

“I have no idea where or when I got positive.”

The novel coronavirus began spreading through the small Alberta city in mid-April, where health officials identified outbreaks in multiple locations, including the JBS plant.

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With dozens of new cases coming to light each day, Mayor Barry Morishita began to push for more testing.

“Because there’s no cure, no treatment, there’s no vaccine,



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