On October 16, we notified our community that Chestermere had reached a record high in active cases of COVID-19. Unfortunately, our local infection numbers have now increased again to 28 active cases.
Chestermere remains on the provincial watch list due to these continuing increases.
These numbers, combined with the growing rates of infection throughout Alberta are becoming increasingly alarming.
Alberta Health Services can only provide limited details about these cases, but they have indicated that the majority of COVID-19 cases in Chestermere are linked to known cases, and are likely being transmitted through in-home gatherings among families and their close contacts.
As Halloween is approaching, many of our community members may be planning to have gatherings in their homes, or to connect with neighbours and friends. We can still have fun, but I must again stress the need for us all to take some reasonable precautions and remain vigilant.
If you will be hosting a gathering or joining others in their home, please keep your guest numbers to a minimum and choose a location that allows for physical distancing. Remember not to share food, drinks, cigarettes, vapes, cannabis or other personal items. Choose games and activities that don't use shared items, and provide hand sanitizer or have it with you if you can.
Alberta Health Services also has a dedicated website, alberta.ca/Halloween, that provides guidance on how you can enjoy your favourite Halloween activities safely by taking some simple precautions.
Precautions for Trick-or-Treating include:
- Don't go trick-or-treating if feeling ill, even if symptoms are minor
- Choose costumes that allow a non-medical mask to be worn underneath - make sure you can see and breathe comfortably
- Minimize contact with others: trick-or-treat with your family or cohort, remain within your community, and stay 2 metres apart
- Avoid touching doorbells or railings: call "trick or treat" from 2 metres away, knock instead of using doorbells, use hand sanitizer after touching surfaces
- Wash hands and disinfect packages before eating candy
Precautions for handing out candy include:
- Don't hand out candy if feeling ill or isolating
- Wear a non-medical mask that fully covers your nose and mouth
- Ask trick-or-treaters to knock or call out instead of ringing the doorbell
- Use tongs to hand out pre-packaged candy to avoid handling treats
- Hand out treats from your driveway or front lawn, if weather permits
- Set up a table or desk to help keep yourself distanced
- Make candy bags and space them out on a table or blanket; don't leave out self-serve bowls of bulk candy
- Build a candy slide, candy catapult or other fun, non-touch delivery methods
I know many of us are tired of having to continuously adjust our lives due to this ongoing global pandemic, but we have seen earlier this year that we can keep our numbers low as a community.
As Dr. Hinshaw said recently, after almost half a year, we are all tired of this virus, but unfortunately COVID-19 is not tired of us. We must continue to work together to lower these infection rates and follow the public health protocols to keep each other safe and healthy.
Please, continue to stay home when you are sick. Wash your hands frequently. Stay 2 meters apart from someone who isn’t part of your household or cohort. Wear a mask when you are in crowded places. If you get sick, get tested. If you have a positive result, you must quarantine for 14 days, as mandated by the Province.
If we all do our part in the coming weeks and months, I know we can keep our active cases of COVID-19 to a minimum and prevent further spread of this virus.
Together, we can do it, Chestermere.
- Mayor Marshall Chalmers