Mayor Chalmers shares information about how the recent provincial announcement impacts Chestermere, including a provincial requirement to prohibit indoor gatherings:
Yesterday, Premier Kenney, Health Minister Shandro and Dr. Hinshaw made an important announcement in response to the rising COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations, intensive care admissions, and, sadly, deaths across Alberta.
The Province has declared that Alberta is now under a State of Public Health Emergency. Accompanying this declaration are new restrictions on social gatherings, businesses and schools.
Also announced is a mandatory mask requirement for all indoor workplaces in Calgary, Edmonton and the surrounding communities. This aligns with our own City’s temporary mandatory mask bylaw.
Full details of these new restrictions can be found by following the link on your screen (www.alberta.ca/enhanced-public-health-measures.aspx).
I’ll provide a summary of these new and important restrictions starting with the social gatherings.
As indoor gatherings have been the biggest source of new infections in Alberta, indoor social gatherings are now prohibited.
Household gatherings must be limited to the members of your immediate household. Meaning no visitors or family or friends during this restriction period. For those who live alone, two other people, can visit during this time.
All funerals and weddings are now limited to a maximum of 10 people. Receptions are not permitted.
For communities listed as ‘enhanced’ on the province’s relaunch status map, which includes Chestermere, spiritual, faith and worship gatherings are now limited to one third of the fire code capacity for the building, and all attendees must wear masks.
These measures I have detailed are in place immediately, and will be for at least three weeks.
Next, I’ll summarize some additional restrictions for businesses that will begin this Friday, November 27. These too will remain in place for at least three weeks.
Again, for communities listed as ‘enhanced’ on the province’s relaunch status map, including Chestermere, all banquet halls, conference centres, concert venues, community centres, and indoor children’s play places must close.
All levels of team sports must be stopped, unless an exemption is provided by the Province based on measures taken to prevent the spread and active cases in the organization or association.
In person dining can continue in restaurants, but only 6 people can be seated together at one table and all must be from the same household.
Those who live alone can dine with a maximum 2 other people who have been identified as close contacts.
The Province has also extended the earlier requirement that liquor store service must stop at 10 pm and all bars and restaurants must close at 11 pm.
Retail, theatres, fitness centres, pools and recreation centres are now required to reduce their capacity to 25 per cent or to 5 customers at a time, whichever is more.
Hair salons, barber shops, personal wellness services, hotels, lodges, and any private lessons can remain open, but all COVID-safe measures must continue and all services are by appointment only.
Finally, I will provide the summary on the province’s new requirements for schools.
All students in grades 7-12 will move to at-home learning on November 30. Winter break for all students will begin December 18.
All students will then go back to school to return to in-person learning a little later on January 11, 2021.
Additionally, the province is requesting that any people who can work remotely from home, please begin to do so immediately.
In Chestermere, our local COVID-19 active case counts are holding steady at 65. It is much less than the 80 plus cases we had a couple of weeks ago, but far more than the approximate 10 active cases we need to be removed from the Province’s Enhanced list. We are seeing remarkable compliance with our new mask bylaw across the board by businesses and residents.
So, on behalf of City Council, I want to say thank you for your support of these measures that will support in protecting us all.
To all of those across the community who have supported, encouraged, and followed COVID Safe Measures including wearing a mask, I can’t thank you enough.
This has been a long and tough road. But we are a resilient community.
Together, supporting one another, being mindful of our shared responsibilities to each other, we will get through this pandemic.
We are a compassionate and caring community, and we can do it Chestermere!