Update #3 – March 16, 2020
Since our first update on Friday, the situation continues to evolve rapidly. This update reflects the most up to date
information at the time of posting and distribution. It is anticipated that this situation will continue beyond the nd
of April. The measures to stop the spread and reduce the risk are being described as the “new normal.” We will
continue to provide updates to keep you informed.
The Town is leading by example by cancelling all public gatherings where there is a risk that vulnerable people and critical staff working in essential services are at risk. Pandemics are difficult to predict. The Town of High River is taking steps to react appropriately rather than underplay the risks. High River is a small community. Even in small gatherings, there is a risk of spread which can impact our residents. The priority now is to care for your family and neighbours. The steps we take together protect our community.
“This is a time when we must all be at our best and stand together. The Town is making decisions based on the best science from public health experts in Alberta and across Canada. And to be frank, these are not tough decisions. When the wellbeing of not just our community, but of all Canadians is at stake, we do the right thing at the right time.”
~ Mayor Craig Snodgrass
New terminology you will see in the coming weeks or months from the Town of High River:
- Operational Window: The Town is working within a 6-week operational window for decision-making. The first window started on March 13 and ends on April 24. During this operational window we will continue to review our response and decisions and keep everyone updated.
- Operational Pause: During the COVID-19 emergency, we are pausing many of our regular activities. The #1 priority is to stop the spread of COVID-19. Emergency response and maintaining essential services are the focus. Staff work protocols are in place to reduce the risk to staff who provide these services.
- Operational Maintenance: Some of the Town’s maintenance work may continue or be modified in the coming months. This includes regular park maintenance, maintenance of our facilities and infrastructure, customer service, and administrative work related to finances and planning.
Important Notices and Updates
“We are fortunate to live in a community where people look out for each other. The Town
would like to assure you that our number one priority is the health and well-being of our
community. Our Emergency Team is meeting daily to review the most current information
and best practices. The steps we take are with High River’s best interests in mind.”
~Peter Genereux, Manager of Emergency Management and Protective Services
Emotional Support Resources and Counselling Services
This early period requires some adjustments for everyone and can be stressful. We wish to continue to support families during this time. To make sure those at risk remain safe, our priority is to reduce the risk of exposing people to the coronavirus, and to stop the spread.
Community Events and Gatherings
With new information that COVID-19 can be spread within the community with no traceable links, all community groups and organizations are strongly encouraged to reconsider all public events and gatherings, even in small numbers.
This document, Alberta Recommendation for Mass Gatherings, provides criteria when organizing an event for more than 50. Remember that even lower numbers may still expose high risk individuals.
The above document also provides reminders of the precautions to take when in public spaces. Precautions such as staying home if ill, washing hands frequently, using hand sanitizer and maintaining the correct social distance are very important, as we work together to reduce the spread of this virus.
What Else Can I Do?
We all play a role by ensuring we are informed and by following all Alberta Health Services recommended health and safety practices. Remember that this is a frightening time for some, especially those who are more vulnerable. Kindness and compassion go a long way.
If you know of anyone who is ill, call to check on them or drop some groceries off at the door. Consider writing notes to your neighbours offering to help if they need anything.
It is important to continue enjoying life, especially if this becomes the “new normal” in coming months. Remember, we are fortunate to live in a beautiful community with amazing trails where we can enjoy nature. To stay healthy, it is important to stay active and positive. Keep enjoying activities as a family. Get outside. Find fun ways to spend time at home. Use this opportunity to work on projects you’ve been putting off.
While we practice social distancing, there are things we can do to support the local economy. How about ordering take-out, going through the drive-through, or giving gift certificates for future shopping, coffee and dinners out?
Visit these trusted sites for updated information:
- Alberta Government COVID-19 Updates (alberta.ca/covid19)
- Alberta Health Services COVID-19 Information and Resources (Alberta Health)
- https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories (Government of Canada Travel Advisories)
- https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus (World Health Organization)
Thank you for doing all you can to care for your own health and the health and safety of our family, friends and our community. Please visit alberta.ca/covid19 for ongoing updates. We will continue to share these updates on social media and on our website.