April 1, 2020

RE: COVID-19 Update 17 (New Information in BLUE)

Vulcan County Regional Emergency Management Partners are continuing to monitor the COVID-19 situation in Alberta. The latest Government of Alberta media releases can be found at https://www.alberta.ca/news.aspx

All Vulcan County Fire Halls are closed to the public until further notice. The municipal offices of Vulcan County, the villages of Arrowwood, Carmangay, Champion, Lomond and Milo remain closed to the public while business operations are continuing. The Town of Vulcan municipal office remains open, however, we are urging the public to use municipal websites, email and telephone to answer their inquiries.

With increasing numbers of confirmed cases, it is imperative to follow proper personal hygiene and cleaning practices. Please follow these guidelines and watch your municipal websites for further updates.

Citizens not exhibiting symptoms, or requiring mandatory self-isolation are still strongly encouraged to limit outings to a minimum and stay home.

Cases in Alberta and Vulcan County

The Government of Alberta is taking aggressive measures to slow the spread of COVID-19. Given modelling provided by Alberta Health Services, current projections don’t expect the pandemic to peak until well into April and Albertans are asked to be vigilant.

On April 1, 117 new cases (DUE TO BACKLOGGED TESTING) have been confirmed bringing the total to 871. Two (2) fatalities has resulted from COVID-19 bringing that number to eleven (11). A total of 53,141 Albertans have been tested. There have been a total of 142 recoveries to date.

There continue to be no confirmed cases within Vulcan County or the urban municipalities within its region, although testing has been undertaken for those with symptoms. Vulcan County is in the Calgary Health Zone.

Support for Albertans

For those in financial distress, Emergency financial assistance programs are available and information can be found online. Some local programs are also available through Family and Community Support Services (FCSS).

The Government of Alberta has introduced rent controls that prohibit evictions before May 1, 2020, or increasing rents until the State of Public Health Emergency has been lifted.

A dedicated team of mental health professionals are available at the Mental Health Help Line by dialing 1-877- 303-2643 or the Addiction Help Line by dialing 1-866-332-2323.

Text4Hope sends subscribers text messages of support and encouragement to ease stress or anxiety. Albertans can text COVID 19 Hope to 393939 to subscribe. Take the time to connect with family and friends digitally or over the phone.

Alberta Connects Contact Centre is available seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Albertans can call toll-free from anywhere in the province by dialing 310-4455 for general information about the Government of Alberta and its response to COVID-19, or for help contacting individual program areas. This line cannot provide medical advice. Anyone who has health concerns or is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should complete an online COVID-19 self-assessment.

Information for Businesses

  • The new restrictions are now in place for the following classifications of businesses:
  • Close contact businesses including:
    • hair salons and barbershops, tattoo and piercing studios, esthetic services;
    • wellness studios and clinics and non-emergency and non-critical health services provided by regulated health professionals or registered professionals including dentistry, physiotherapy, massage, podiatry, chiropractic and optometry services.
    • Dine-in restaurants will no longer be able to offer service. Take-out and delivery services will continue to be available.
    • Non-essential retail services that fall into the categories of clothing, computers and gaming stores, and services in shopping malls and shopping centres such as hobby and toys, gift and specialty items and furniture.

Law Enforcement

Law enforcement agencies have been granted full authority to enforce the public health orders to assist Alberta Health Services in enforcing Alberta’s Public Health Act, as well as the Chief Medical Officer of Health’s orders in relation to:

  • Prohibiting persons in the province from attending:
    • Schools, daycares (with some exemptions for core service workers) and post-secondary institutions;
    • Mass gatherings of more than 15 attendees; o Public recreational facilities;
    • Bars and nightclubs;
  • Requiring self-isolation from:
    • An individual returning to Alberta from outside of Canada;
    • A close contact of an individual who is confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 or probably infected with COVID-19; and
    • An individual with symptoms including fever, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, sore throat, or nasal congestion.

Consequences

  • Anyone putting their families, their neighbours, or other Albertans at risk will face consequences.
  • Through amendments to the Procedures Regulation under the Provincial Offences Procedures Act, community peace officers, in addition to police, will be able to issue tickets to enforce COVID-19 public health orders.
  • Fines administered through tickets for violating an order have increased from up to $100 per day to a prescribed fine of $1,000 per occurrence.
  • Courts will also have increased powers to administer fines of up to $100,000 for a first offence and up to $500,000 for a subsequent offence for more serious violations.
  • These are aggressive measures that we do not take lightly, but they are necessary to keep us all healthy and safe.

Isolation

    • The rules around mandatory self-isolation have recently changed to better protect all Albertans. Under the new rules, anyone under mandatory self-isolation must stay indoors and may only go outside on their own private property – meaning their year or balcony if it’s at least two metres from their neighbour’s.
    • If you are in mandatory self-isolation, you must follow these steps:
      • Do not go to school, work, other public areas or community settings.
      • Do not go outside for a walk through your neighbourhood or park. This includes children in mandatory self-isolation.
      • You can get fresh air in your backyard, if you have one, but must remain on private property not accessible by others.
      • If you live in an apartment building or high-rise, you must stay inside and cannot use the elevators or stairwells to go outside. If your balcony is private and at least two metres away from your closest neighbour’s, you may go outside on the balcony.
      • Avoid close contact with other people, including household members, and especially seniors and those with chronic conditions, or a compromised immune system.
    • Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health has changed the rules around self-isolation to align with the rules under the federal Quarantine Act, which requires any Canadian under mandatory self-isolation to remain on their property for the duration of the self-isolation time.

811 Health Link

Once again, people experiencing symptoms are to take the online self-assessment.

As a further reminder, 811-health link is for those who are feeling ill and seeking advice. DO NOT call 811 to report non-compliance of Public Health Orders; these can be reported to the Environmental Health Complaint Link or by calling (403) 943-2288.

Local Programs and Initiatives

Vulcan County – Health & Wellness Foundation

Vulcan – Medical Recruitment

Vulcan Regional Food Bank Society

Above information sourced from:
https://www.alberta.ca/release.cfm?xID=6980324A5B1B0-BC2C-40A8-A6AD9E30E3189425