Yesterday, on April 30, the provincial government announced a staged relaunch strategy for Alberta.
Premier Jason Kenney stated that the strategy was developed with the advice of public health officials, and provides a path to carefully and gradually lift current restrictions. This will be achieved by carefully moving through the stages of the relaunch strategy while ensuring that public health guidelines continue to be followed.
In a video update, Mayor Marshall Chalmers spoke about how the Chestermere Emergency Management Agency (CHEMA) has begun its own phased re-opening plan for the community.
“CHEMA began its own re-launch last Friday when Orders were lifted regarding lake use activities, the golf course and sports field use, among some other initial amendments,” says Mayor Chalmers. “However, CHEMA will also be referencing the province’s strategy to continue to inform its re-opening plan for Chestermere.”
The Emergency Management Team has already started working directly with local businesses to provide them with the information they need to re-open gradually, safely and responsibly while continuing to slow the spread of COVID-19.
“For today and this weekend, CHEMA is currently working on the immediate considerations for businesses permitted by the province to resume services starting as early as May 4,” adds Mayor Chalmers. “This means we are working directly with our local golf course, as well as local dental offices and other general medical or health care-related services at this time, per the recommendations from the province.”
The province has stated they will only progress to stage one of their relaunch strategy as early as May 14, and only once health measures are achieved to the satisfaction of Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health.
“Stage one of the province’s strategy will include potentially opening a broader list of businesses and services with some safety restrictions,” says Mayor Chalmers. “Therefore, early next week, CHEMA will be able to provide more details to the public on Chestermere’s potential re-opening plan that will complement stage one of the province’s plan.”
As CHEMA considers relaxing public health measures, they will evaluate, monitor and adjust course as needed.
“We may need to step back at times, but we will adjust and move forward together,” adds Mayor Chalmers.
As businesses and services begin to reopen in the coming weeks and months, the community should be prepared that enhanced infection prevention and control measures will remain in place throughout all stages.
This means that at minimum, in order to re-open safely, local services will need to provide increased hand sanitation for customers and ensure physical distancing requirements of at least two metres can be maintained.
Where close contact is unavoidable, it will be strongly recommended that non-medical masks be worn for additional protection.
“While people may be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel with this pandemic, we must ensure the sacrifices we have already made are not wasted,” adds Mayor Chalmers. “To be successful, we must stay vigilant to slow the spread, follow public health measures, practice physical distancing and good hygiene, and continue acting responsibly.”
This means that public health regulations such as limiting public gatherings to no more than 15 people, physical distancing, frequent and vigorous hand washing, restrictions on non-essential travel and continuing to work from home when possible will remain a constant in Alberta, likely for the majority of the spring and summer months.
“Any local relaunch plan will focus on putting safety first while gradually reopening businesses, resuming activities and getting people back to work,” adds Mayor Chalmers. “While we face a long road to recovery, there are signs our collective efforts are helping slow the spread of COVID-19. And for that, I’d like to say thank you, Chestermere.”
The full details of Alberta’s Relaunch Strategy can be found at https://www.alberta.ca/alberta-relaunch-strategy.aspx
For current local, provincial and federal updates about the COVID-19 pandemic, visit chestermere.ca/covid19.