The Chestermere Emergency Management Agency (CHEMA) has amended three of their current public health orders to provide clarification on how the community can continue to stay safe and healthy as the warmer weather approaches.
“It is important to be mindful that even though winter is leaving, the COVID-19 virus is not, while people are out and about, so too is the virus.” says Mayor Chalmers. “While we are doing very well in terms of our infections in Chestermere, we must remain vigilant, cautious, and practice the safety measures we now become accustomed to.”
Chestermere’s Director of Emergency Management is in frequent contact with Premier Kenney, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Minister of Municipal Affairs, and other health and government officials.
It has been made clear that the provincial government is now closely examining ways in which summer activities, including lake and golf course activities, can be done safely in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Given these developments, effective today, I have rescinded our local orders related to the suspension lake activities and the golf course,” says Bernie Morton, Director of Emergency Management. “This is in anticipation of the pending decisions from the province.”
CHEMA’s previous order had suspended these activities until June 1. As the province still has golf courses listed as a non-essential service, by Provincial Order, the Lakeside Greens golf course will remain closed until new safe-use and play regulations are provided by the province.
“Our playground equipment, bike park, skate park, basketball courts, tennis courts still remain closed because of challenges with keeping kids and users safe and preventing the spread of COVID-19,” says Morton. “But we are lifting the restriction of public use of sports fields so that kids can play.”
Morton adds that, while all organized sports are still prohibited, sports fields are wide open spaces where parents can responsibly and closely monitor their children, and encourage them to practice safe physical distancing. Therefore, CHEMA feels a sports field can be an open and safe place to run around and play in.
“We will closely monitor all activities in sports fields, on the lake, and in the golf course once open, to ensure that those enjoying these activities and having outdoor fun, are doing it safely,” adds Morton.
The amended public health orders also align with the provincial regulations that require physical distancing of at least two metres from any other person who is not an immediate family member and the restriction of any gatherings of groups larger than 15 people.
“Inside your home, any current permanent residents along with members of your immediate family and any assigned caregiver can congregate together, as long as the number of total number of people inside the home does not exceed 15,” adds Morton.
Contractors or household maintenance personnel can enter a home, as long as they aren’t sick or do not have any COVID-19 symptoms, and they must wear a mask for protection.
“Our current order also prohibits any events, festivals, markets, garage and yard sales and organized recreation activities,” adds Morton. “These also align with existing provincial regulations that were recently announced.”
In addition to concerns about lake usage, Chestermere residents have recently expressed concern about their organics or green cart collection remaining on a bi-weekly schedule.
“Many of you mentioned that being able to garden and complete yard work is a healthy way to get outside and stay active and mentally healthy,” says Morton. “Today, after working through some of the logistical and operational challenges that lead to the decision to remain on bi-weekly schedule for the spring and summer, I am happy to report that organics collection can move to a weekly schedule starting May 4.”
To review the amended CHEMA orders, click the links below:
For current local, provincial and federal updates about the COVID-19 pandemic, visit chestermere.ca/covid19.