April 26, 2020

RE: COVID-19 Update 40 (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.

Everyone, even persons not exhibiting symptoms or requiring mandatory self-isolation, is strongly encouraged to limit outings to a minimum and stay home; observe social distancing and avoid touching your face without first washing your hands.

The Vulcan County Regional Emergency Management Partnership has put together a series of videos on a number of COVID-19 related items. These helpful videos include:

The Government of Alberta is taking aggressive measures to slow the spread of COVID-19. Albertans are asked to be vigilant to prevent intensive care units from being overwhelmed.

For today, 247 new cases have been confirmed bringing the total to 4,480. There are zero (0) new fatalites resulting from COVID-19 bringing the total number to seventy-three (73). A total of 131,572 Albertans have been tested. There have been a total of 1,549 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.

Alberta uses modelling to anticipate the number of COVID-19 cases over the coming months. This helps us make decisions and prepare hospitals to care for critical and acute patients.

Support for Albertans

Truck drivers now have access to an interactive map or can dial 511 to find open restaurants, washrooms and showers on Alberta highways.

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.

Alberta Health Services has developed a COVID19 Resource Page for the Low German Mennonite Community. There is a Low German COVID19 overview video available HERE, as well as Low German pandemic history available HERE. An English and Low German COVID19 Screening audio can be found HERE.

The Bits and Pieces Program solicits voluntary contributions from the private sector toward the COVID19 relief  commercial vehicles, hotel rooms and mobile trailers, food and water services, hospital gowns, face masks, ventilators and other personal protective equipment. Those wishing to contribute can submit their intention and contact details on this Online Portal.

Minister Leela Aheer and Erica Wiebe, Alberta Ambassador for Sport and Active Living, are challenging Albertans to maintain a healthy physical and mental lifestyle at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. They challenge Albertans to post their home wellness activities using the hashtag #HealthyAtHomeAB.

Alberta has expanded access to COVID-19 laboratory tests to better trace the spread of the novel coronavirus. In addition to testing in hard-hit areas and testing of vulnerable Albertans and essential workers, any individual exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 including cough, fever, runny nose, sore throat or shortness of breath, is now eligible for testing.

A list of daycare providers has been compiled for access by those working in health-care, critical infrastructure and first responders in the larger urban centres across Alberta.

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.

Emergency Isolation Support

  • The Government of Alberta’s Emergency Isolation Support program is now closed after successfully distributing about $91.7 million to 79,596 eligible Albertans since the launch of the program – close to double the amount originally allocated.
  • This was a temporary program to provide one-time funding until the Government of Canada announced its own support program. The new Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) is available starting April 6. Payments will be retroactive to March 15, 2020.

Guidance on Outdoor Activities

With the weather warming up, there are many outdoor activities Albertans can do safely while still following all public health orders. When outdoors in public, Albertans can take a number of precautions to protect themselves and those around them:

  • Plan your activity in advance to ensure physical distancing is possible. If your activity involves a public place:
    • consider going during non-peak hours
    • walk along the sides of trails and other public pathways to maintain distance
  • Limit activities with people from other households; make sure everyone is aware of the requirement for physical distancing.
  • Practice good hygiene:
    • wash your hands frequently
    • refrain from touching your face with unclean hands o carry and use hand sanitizer
  • Wear a mask in public places to help limit the risk of spread to others.

Restrictions on events, gatherings and certain types of businesses are in place to limit situations where COVID- 19 could be transmitted through contact with an infected person or through contact with frequently touched surfaces and objects.

You are legally required to self-isolate for:

  • 14 days if you returned from international travel or are a close contact of a person with COVID-19
  • 10 days if you have a cough, fever, shortness of breath, runny nose, or sore throat that is not related to a pre-existing illness or health condition

If you are self-isolating:

  • Stay home — do not go to work, social events or any other public areas or community settings
  • Avoid close contact with other people, including household members but especially seniors and people with chronic conditions or compromised immune systems
  • Do not use public transportation or ride sharing
  • Do not go for walks in public places. This includes children in mandatory self-isolation.
  • If you go outside, you 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. If your balcony is private and at least 2 metres away from other balconies, you may use your balcony to get fresh air.

Gathering Restrictions

No gathering of more than 15 people is allowed in one indoor or outdoor location. Gathering restrictions also apply to all major summer events and festivals in Alberta. Examples of indoor and outdoor gatherings include:

  • Weddings
  • Funerals
  • Religious Services
  • Informal Events
  • Concerts
  • Arts & Cultural Festivals
  • Agricultural Fairs & Rodeos
  • Major Sporting Championships
  • Conferences
  • Educational Seminars & Workshops
  • Group Volunteering Initiatives

All individuals found to be in violation of gathering restrictions are subject to a $1,000 penalty.

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.

Alberta Health Services Comments on Playgrounds

Avoid Using Public Playgrounds

Parents, caregivers, and children should avoid public playground use at this time due to the following reasons:

  • There is limited access to handwashing or hand sanitizer in public playgrounds.
  • There is no cleaning and disinfection between playground uses. Playgrounds are not cleaned on a regular basis.
  • There is no way to limit the number of children on public play equipment and the recommendation for social distancing is hard to enforce.

Instead of visiting public playgrounds parents and caregivers can:

  • Go for walks with children outside, keeping 2 meters away from others.
  • Play in yards or open park areas, away from others.

If you, or someone you care about, are feeling overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, depression, or anxiety, or feel like you want to harm yourself or others

  • Mental Health Help Line at 1-877-303-2642
  • Addiction Help Line at 1-866-332-2322

Check in with your loved ones often. Virtual communication can help you and your loved ones feel less lonely and isolated. Consider connecting with loved ones by:

  • Telephone
  • Email
  • Mailing letters or cards
  • Text messages
  • Video chat
  • Social media

Local Programs and Initiatives

Vulcan County – Health & Wellness Foundation
Vulcan – Medical Recruitment
Vulcan Regional Food Bank Society

Above information sourced from: