Calgary,
12
March
2020
|
01:42
America/Denver

The City of Calgary Enacts Municipal Emergency Plan

March 12, 2020 – The City of Calgary announced today that, in response to the evolving COVID-19 situation, the Municipal Emergency Plan (MEP) has been activated. This activation will increase The City’s ability to prioritize service delivery and dedicate resources to priority areas as well as streamlining decision making around corporate processes.

Under the MEP, Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) Chief Tom Sampson is granted the authority to make decisions regarding the closure or restrictions of City facilities and services.

“Our top priority is the health, safety, and well-being of the public and our employees,” said Sampson. “We are focusing on maintaining essential services that Calgarians rely upon.”

At this time, all City facilities remain open and Sampson said The City is actively monitoring the situation and will continue to evaluate its approach in collaboration with Alberta Health Services.

City Manager David Duckworth also said the City is taking steps to flatten the curve of the spread of COVID-19.

“I have asked City employees who have the ability to work remotely, to do so starting tomorrow,” said Duckworth. “Physical separation and social distancing is important during viral events and fewer workers in our facilities will allow us to better protect all of our valued employees.”

While, the risk of contracting COVID-19 within Calgary remains low, The City of Calgary’s decision was made from an abundance of caution and a desire to restrict activities which may increase the risk of community transmission, said Mayor Naheed Nenshi.

“We have not had any cases of community transmission in Alberta, meaning that there are no instances of people catching it from each other, but instead as a result of returning from travel,” said Nenshi.

“What’s important right now is that we take intentional overreaction to keep that risk low. In the data world, that’s called ‘the curve.’”

Nenshi, Sampson and Duckworth commended Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, for her team’s great work.

Alberta Health Services remains the primary authority related to all health-related activities and communications for all regions within the province, and The City of Calgary is working closely with provincial authorities to ensure the safety of all Calgarians.

Nenshi said it’s important for Calgarians to be vigilant but not panic.

“Clean hands, clear heads and open hearts,” said Nenshi, are key to navigating the months ahead.

QUICK FACTS

  • 15 confirmed cases in Calgary
  • Municipal Emergency Plan activated today at 1:45 p.m.
  • Province is asking that all gatherings of 250-plus people are cancelled, and that anything involving seniors or individuals with compromised immune systems should also be cancelled.