March 28, 2020
Vulcan County Regional Emergency Management Partners are continuing to monitor the COVID-19 situation in Alberta.
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 throughout Alberta, we want to stress the importance of following proper personal hygiene and cleaning processes. Please follow these guidelines and watch your municipal websites for further updates.
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.
Alberta confirmed 67 new cases on March 26, bringing the total to 542 with 23 hospitalized, 10 in intensive care units and 33 recovered. A total of 38,215 Albertans have been tested.
As of March 27th, there have been no confirmed cases within Vulcan County or the urban municipalities within its borders, although testing has been undertaken for those with symptoms. Vulcan County is in the Calgary Health Zone.
Support for Albertans
The Government of Alberta has further restricted mass gatherings, restricting groups of no more than 15 from the previous limit of no more than 50. It is believed that physical distancing has halved the projected spread of COVID-19 in British Columbia and will do the same in Alberta.
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. More information is available online.
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.
New isolation timelines are now in effect. For those who are sick, the isolation timeline has changed from 14 days to 10 days, following the onset of symptoms, and only if the individual is feeling well by day 11. Those who have been exposed or are returning to Canada but do not have symptoms will still have to isolate for 14 days. Isolation must continue 10 days from the onset of any symptoms.
Those not experiencing symptoms are reminded they can still go outside, but this must be limited to activities such as walks, where the individual remains two metres away from others not in their household.
What steps should businesses be taking?
- Non-essential businesses are suspended immediately, including retail and dine-in restaurant service. This includes: gift and specialty stores; jewellery and accessories; non-essential health and beauty care; luggage; art and framing; mens’, ladies’ and children’s wear; shoes; bridal; computers and gaming; hobby and toy; photo, music and books; sporting goods.
- The list of what constitutes Essential Services has been expanded. Unless a public health order or local authority directive has specifically identified a business or activity to cease—and being listed on the Essential Services list—then the business or activity can and should continue.
- We are strongly encouraging businesses and employers to take this opportunity to review their own business continuity plans and consider how they would lower the risk of the spread of infection in the workplace.
- Appropriate steps include making sure staff are familiar with continuity plans and processes are in place in case of a community disruption. More information is available online at alberta.ca/COVID19.
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.
On March 25, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health issued orders under the Public Health Act to legally require returning travellers to self-isolate for 14 days upon returning to Alberta. This legal requirement also applies to close contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases.
People who violate the self-isolation orders:
- Can be fined by community peace officers and police $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 of public health orders.
As of March 25, Albertans are legally required under public health order to self-isolate for:
- 14 days if they returned from international travel or are a close contact of someone with COVID-19.
- 10 days if they have any symptoms that are not related to a pre-existing illness or health condition: cough, fever, shortness of breath, runny nose or sore throat.
- A $750 million contingency fund was approved for emergencies and disasters for the 20/21 year. Government will access these funds to help support COVID-19 response measures across our province.
- Government is prepared to take any necessary additional measures to help ensure the health, safety, and economic security of Alberta.
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. Please do not call 811 to report non-compliance of Public Health Orders. This is tying up the line and not the appropriate place to report non-compliance.
Above information sourced from the Government of Alberta Press Release of March 27, 2020, at 8:30 PM: