April 5, 2020

RE: COVID-19 Update 21 (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.

Cases in Alberta and Vulcan County

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, 69 new cases have been confirmed bringing the total to 1,250. Three (3) fatalities have resulted from COVID-19 bringing that number to twenty three (23). A total of 64,806 Albertans have been tested. While there are presently 48 hospitalizations, 13 of which are in intensive care units, there are a total of 279 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.

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 effort. These include 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.

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.

What is the best way to practise physical distancing?

  • To protect yourself and others:
    • keep at least 6 feet (the length of a bicycle) from others when going out for groceries, medical trips and other essential needs
    • limit the number of times you leave your home for errands
    • try to shop at less busy times
    • order online to have groceries or other items delivered if possible
    • go for a walk in your neighborhood or park while staying 6 feet from others
    • avoid overcrowding in elevators or other enclosed spaces
    • follow Alberta’s recommendations on mass gatherings
    • wash or sanitize your hands after touching communal surfaces

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;
    • 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

On which day does the 14-day self-isolation period begin after having close contact with someone who has the virus?

  • Close contacts of cases are to be quarantined for 14 days from their last exposure to the case. The last day of exposure is considered day 0 for the purposes of counting.
  • If there is ongoing unprotected contact (such as in a household setting) the quarantine period begins when the COVID-19 case is considered no longer infectious. This would be 10 days after symptoms began in the case, or until symptoms resolve, whichever is longer.

 

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=70009006E7A24-0CB0-DB76-8FDE7FAC19DBB875