City of Wetaskiwin declares State of Local Emergency due to COVID-19 pandemic

“The well-being of our community members remains our top priority.”

Tuesday Mar.24 the City of Wetaskiwin declared a state of local emergency to further support provincial efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19. By declaring a state of local emergency, the city can access resources needed to address a potential outbreak within the community, as well as enforce additional restrictions and closures required to contain the spread.

“The well-being of our community members remains our top priority, and this declaration is the next step the City has to take in order to effectively manage this public health event,” said Wetaskiwin Mayor Tyler Gandam. “Declaring a state of local emergency is a legislated process allowing the municipality to act swiftly if needed in order to prevent the spread of the virus in Wetaskiwin. This includes ordering evacuations, conscripting people to help, and fixing prices for essential supplies.”

Following Alberta Health Services’ recommendations, the City of Wetaskiwin has also taken the following measures:

• Activation of the City of Wetaskiwin Emergency Operations Centre

• Closure of all city buildings to the public (essential services are being maintained)

• Cancellation of water disconnects and late charges for utility payments until June 30, 2020

• Postponing or cancelling all city events until further notice

• Enhanced cleaning protocols in all city facilities and public vehicles (including Wetaskiwin Transit)

• Protecting staff that must remain at work by implementing precautions such as cleaning high touch areas twice a day, taking staff temperatures twice a day, and utilizing appropriate personal protective equipment

• Imposing a mandatory 14-day self-isolation period for all staff who display symptoms and/or who have recently returned from travel

• Amended the Plastic Checkout Bag Bylaw to allow for the Director of Emergency Management to suspend enforcement of the bylaw when necessary to protect the public’s health

“In an effort to safeguard our community by flattening the curve, we are all being called to unprecedented action,” said Robert Osmond, City of Wetaskiwin Director of Emergency Management. “I ask that everyone renew their dedication to the measures being put in place by our federal, provincial, and municipal governments.”

Visit www.wetaskiwin.ca/covid19 for more information and updates.

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