City of Calgary update on response to COVID-19 – June 11, 2020
As Alberta’s Relaunch Strategy moves forward and with the State of Local Emergency being lifted, The City of Calgary will no longer be hosting weekly live media updates.
Please see below for the latest updates.
State of Local Emergency
The City of Calgary will be lifting the State of Local Emergency as of Friday, June 12. There are a number of factors informing this decision. The number of COVID-19 cases in Calgary has remained relatively stable with the number of active cases low. As of Wednesday, June 10, the number of confirmed cases in the Calgary zone is 5,016 and the number of active cases is 203.
“Lifting our State of Local Emergency does not mean the pandemic has ended,” says Calgary Emergency Management Agency Chief Tom Sampson. “COVID-19 remains a public health risk. We will be closely monitoring the situation and may reinstate the orders if necessary.”
As we enter Stage 2 of Alberta’s Relaunch Strategy, The City of Calgary would like to reinforce the actions Calgarians need to continue to take to ensure the success of the relaunch and to protect public health.
“We’ve arrived at Stage 2 because of our hard work over the past three months,” says Chief Sampson. “Our case numbers are low and we want to keep them that way. I know Calgarians do, too. Let’s remain committed to practicing public health measures to keep ourselves and each other safe.”
Calgarians are being reminded to continue taking the following actions:
- Through all stages of relaunch, physical distancing of two metres in public spaces is required.
- Wearing face coverings is recommended where physical distancing is not possible, like on public transit.
- Wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and warm water, and practice good personal hygiene – this means avoid touching your face and cough or sneeze into your elbow or use a tissue.
- Anyone experiencing symptoms such as cough, fever, shortness of breath, runny nose or sore throat must stay home.
Outdoor services at cemeteries have been increased to 100 people with physical distancing in place, while mausoleums can now have 50 people with physical distancing in place.
Chalk Circles Pilot Project
Parks has painted 50 temporary circles on the grass in four regional parks to help Calgarians make physical distancing easy while enjoying public parks. Calgarians will see these circles in Bowness, Riley, Prince’s Island and North Glenmore Parks. The circles have been painted using the same chalk paint used on City of Calgary sports fields. The paint is environmentally, kid and pet friendly. The paint is expected to last one to two weeks depending on demand/usage of the site, grass cutting, and wear and tear. Each circle is three metres large, and spaced three metres apart. If these circles are effective and well-received, the program could be expanded to include more circles in these parks and others.
Calgary Recreation Facilities
Calgary Recreation is preparing to re-open indoor City-operated recreation facilities for public use based on the updated direction from the Province Tuesday as part of Alberta’s Relaunch Strategy. The City is looking to re-open some facilities and restart programs as soon as the necessary resources and processes are in place to safely resume operations.
The City used the past few months when facilities were closed to expedite needed or planned maintenance at select sites. Now, with adjusted provincial timelines, we are accelerating our recovery plan.
The official reopening dates of City indoor recreation facilities is based on a number of factors. This includes, among other things, a re-staffing plan to ensure staff are trained to meet COVID-19 guidelines and are qualified and properly-certified to run facilities and programs for the safety and enjoyment of Calgarians after more than 1,200 staff members were laid off.
The locations, dates, hours of operation and available amenities, programs and services will be shared with Calgarians and posted online as information becomes available.
Adherence to the Stage 2 public health guidelines for aquatic facilities requires extra time to train for COVID-19 conditions and recertify staff. The City is taking a thoughtful and fiscally responsible approach to opening ice surfaces at arenas based on the cost to operate facilities and will align availability with demand. The City is aiming to have four indoor aquatic and fitness facilities open on or before July 20. Four arena ice surfaces will be available on or before June 29 and arena dry pads are available for booking now.
The Glenmore Reservoir will re-open for recreational use on June 15.
Athletic Park sport fields and playfields have been open since June 1, 2020, and continue to be open for sports training, dryland training and skills practice development with physical distancing guidelines in place. The Province also announced that sports teams can play in region-only cohorts of up to 50 players. The City is currently reviewing these regulations in more detail to determine what City facilities and fields can be made available for sports team to play safely and in accordance with provincial guidelines.
The City will be making summer programming and day camps for children available in July. The re-introduction of day camps will help maximize the quality of life for families who have struggled to find meaningful programs and activities for their children over the past three months.
Calgary Recreation looks forward to welcoming back Calgarians to The City’s facilities, amenities and programming.
The vast majority of business owners and patrons have adhered to the rules during the first phase of reopening. Compliance levels have been high and the number of complaints forwarded to Business Licensing for investigation has remained low.
Peace Officers have also observed high levels of compliance on their patrols, with most people continuing to practice physical distancing in public spaces. This weekend, Calgarians are asked to remain vigilant and remember to choose another park if a space is overcrowded.
Flood Risk/River Safety
The forecast is calling for rain over the weekend, which may result in higher river flows on the Bow and Elbow Rivers. Overland flooding into communities is not expected, but there may be pathway closures in low areas near the river. A boating advisory is currently in place, but watch for updates as conditions may change.
Higher river flows are normal for this time of year. Calgarians are asked to be cautious around the rivers as conditions can change quickly. The City of Calgary is monitoring conditions 24/7.
Calgarians are encouraged to take steps to be prepared for potential flooding at this time of year including understanding their flood risk and taking precautions to prepare such as moving valuables out of basements, reviewing emergency plans and staying informed throughout the season. Learn more at calgary.ca/floodinfo.
Property Owners and Operators Reminded to Flush Water Systems Prior to Re-entry
In support of the Provincial Relaunch Strategy, The City of Calgary wants to remind property owners and operators to flush stagnant water from pipes in buildings that have been vacant (or had low occupancy) the last few months prior to re-entry.
Flushing stagnant water means running the water at each tap until the water turn cooler. This signals that fresh water is now coming from the water main. This helps to ensure fresh drinking water for building occupants, tenants and visitors.
The City of Calgary’s highest priority is public health. The City takes great pride in providing safe and reliable drinking water to citizens and appreciate the support of the property owners, operators and all businesses to flush stagnant water upon returning to buildings.
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