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With the move to Stage 2 relaunch, there are naturally some questions with respect to the services available at the THRC. Government announcements late last week and on June 9th indicated the following amongst other mitigation regulations:
Pool Activities - Aquatic sports, diving, lane swimming, swimming camps, swimming lessons, drop-in, leisure aquatic features (such as lazy rivers, water slides and wave pools) and public swimming are permitted to resume in Stage 2.
This news – and the subsequent mitigation regulations provided yesterday - caught many local governments by surprise as pools were moved up from stage 3 of the planned re-launch without notice. It will, unfortunately, take a little time to get our facilities staffed by recalled or other qualified life-guards, but we’re hoping to have plans in place for July for limited re-opening. During the lockdown, we have been unashamedly refocusing on significant repair and maintenance projects throughout the THRC, some of which you will have already read about.
In addition to the above, the Chief Medical Officer requires the Town to implement measures announced June 9th to mitigate the risk of transmission among attendees that are, in some cases, going to be a challenge to effectively implement in a smaller, older facility, including:
At present, while the renewal of the pool boiler is nearing completion in the next few days, immediate re-opening is not practical, but we do hope that you will have an opportunity to be back in the pool in the near future. There is a chance that re-opening is more likely for stage 3 given the stage 2 regulatory requirements, particularly around physical distancing within the facility, but we are actively looking at affordable solutions that are not impractical.
The curling lounge should be available for rentals or events under other areas of the COVID-19 regulations as soon we confirm practical processes for bathroom access and maintenance as, again, 2 metre distancing is difficult to achieve in those spaces without monitoring and controlling access constantly.
It is important to consider that whatever service levels we return to this year for the THRC will be markedly different from before – for how long, we cannot be sure. As custodians and users of the THRC ourselves we are keen to see it re-open for everyone and will keep the community informed of our plans as they develop.
THESE ARRANGEMENTS WILL CONTINUE TO BE RE-EVALUATED AS THE COVID19 SITUATION CHANGES.
A quick reminder that all Albertans are eligible for testing for COVID-19, whether they are symptomatic or not. Testing can be easily booked online by visiting www.ahs.ca/covid. If using the Internet is not an option, 811 can book an appointment online for individuals who want to be tested.
Although testing can only determine whether a person has COVID-19 at the time of testing, and cannot determine whether someone has previously had COVID-19, or assess immunity to COVID-19, uptake of the expanded testing is important. It will provide us with a clearer picture of how well our public health measures are working to contain COVID-19, and help guide further progress in Alberta’s re-launch.
Here are a few things to keep in mind, if you choose to be tested:
We hope that the offering of this testing will provide you and your family with reassurance about your current COVID-19 status.
Link to download.
Though many of us enjoy them, garage sales are not essential activities during this time. Please do not risk breaking provincial guidelines on COVID-19 by holding one. Our advice remains to stay at home away from all non-essential activities. Residents who need to sell or give away items are asked to create ‘online garage sales’ through various online platforms and coordinate contactless sales and pick ups.
Release: March 23rd 2020 Town of Nanton Office
NANTON, AB (March 23rd 2020) – _Over the course of last week, the Town took significant steps to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection among its staff, elected officials and the general public. Our offices are now closed to the public and will remain so until further notice.
No. We are not close to requiring activation of the ECC or declaring a State of Local Emergency (SOLE) – _the event does not yet meet the criteria for a SOLE, especially as emergency powers are not yet required to bring community elements into compliance with Alberta Health directives/ guidelines. This could change at any time, however, and the members of the Nanton Emergency Management Agency have been contacted and advised of their potential role. Barry Sturrock, the Director Emergency Management, is currently preparing for that potential eventuality.
Nanton.ca/387 or https://www.nanton.ca/387/COVID-19-and-Emergency-Management will take you to our main information page.
Yes, they are a required member of the Nanton Emergency Management Agency as Emergency Social Services (ESS) would initially be their key liaison role in the event of ECC activation. Their Executive Director, Jennifer Herman, today advised the Town that they are staying in close communication with the local Food Bank.
This is a fast-moving situation and we do appreciate the ptience of our residents at this time.
This is a unique event and there are numerous possibilities, but at present the following items may cover some issues of concern out there.
1) Any health or essential service worker who wishes to park an RV in front of their home to keep them separate from the rest of their household can contact the Town for a flexible permit from the CAO (to avoid worry over bylaw enforcement complaints). We ask that you do request a permit if considering this given current concerns about out-of-town individuals temporarily relocating to small towns and rural areas in RVs to avoid COVID-19 spread, potentially bringing it with them.
2) Council meetings will continue at present on their normal schedule with tele and web conferencing available to all of Council and administration. At present, the public cannot be legally excluded. This will be reviewed as advice changes. Administration will consider live or recorded meeting streaming.
3) Administration will bring forth an omnibus bylaw for Council consideration that will contain a package of utility bill, interest and penalty forgiveness/ deferral measures given the economic climate caused by the situation. Municipalities are still waiting to see if any measures with respect to property taxation, interest and penalties will be recommended or required by the Province.
4) Activation of the ECC and declaration of a State of Local Emergency (SOLE) may come if senior government authorities require the Town to compel particular actions within the community if public health measures at present prove insufficient or are ignored.
1. Barry Sturrock
Director of Emergency Management
Phone: (403) 646-2902
2. Neil Smith
Deputy Director of Emergency Management
Phone: 1-877-365-3901 (Toll Free)
The Town of Nanton has actively been putting out information about COVID-19 on our website, social media and through the Nanton News. We recognize that not everyone has access to this information and want to ensure that all of our residents are kept up to date with this situation. We will be posting updates on bulletin boards around town and forwarding communications meant to be printed , shared and posted on bulletin boards with residents of the Silver Willow Lodge, the health clinic and Madison Manor. If you have further suggestions on how we can reach more people, please let us know.
At this time there are no reported cases of COVID 19 in Nanton.
First off, I want to thank all of our health care providers who are working around the clock to keep our residents safe and healthy. Thank you also to Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Deena Hinshaw, who has been a stable voice of information and direction for Alberta residents. Please continue to watch her updates for the most accurate and up to date recommendations.
The Town has taken quick and decisive action to close all of our facilities to the public. This includes the THRC, the community centre, the Town Office and the library. We have also closed all playgrounds around town as these are easy ways to transmit the virus. The Town is still available to assist you over email or phone 403-646-2029. We are committed to continue to deliver all core services to our residents and have developed contingency plans for staff in the case that some may not be able to work. We always welcome your suggestions, on how to serve our Town throughout this time, everything is on the table right now, this is new territory for all of us.
Council will continue to meet and as for now the council meeting will remain open to the public (as per the Municipal Government Act). We are developing plans and systems for councilors to call in via video conferencing for meetings and will be ensuring that at any given time we have no more than four councilors physically present at a meeting and social distancing recommendations will be followed at the council table. The remaining councilors will call into the meeting.
All committee meetings have been suspended until the end of June. The next scheduled council meeting is not until April 6 at 7pm.
Council believes it is still important for us to meet and continue to make decisions. Decisions around COVID-19 and everyday decisions that we were already working on. Some may seem frivolous during this time, but we do want to have things lined up for the town when things return back to normal and hit the ground running, not be playing catch up.
The Town and Council will be discussing options for utility and property tax deferrals to assist our residents and businesses during this time.
We are all in this together and every single one of you has a serious role during this pandemic. First and foremost, you need to act as though you already have the virus and avoid all social interactions. This is extremely serious and none of us know if we have this virus or not, some may never show symptoms. It is best you stay at home and limit your outings to only essential needs. If you are feeling sick at all, DO NOT leave your property for any reason. If you need supplies ask your friends, family members or neighbours to assist you. Please keep an eye out on your neighbours during this time. There are many ways we can help each other without physical contact. Leave notes on their door asking them if they need help, leave your phone number on the note so they can now contact you. Pick up supplies for your neighbours and leave them on their doorstep.
I also want to thank all of our Nanton businesses, they are the heartbeat of our town and they need our support now more than ever. To the ones that have already closed, we thank-you. To the ones that have closed their dining rooms but are now offering pick-up and delivery options, we thank-you. To the ones still operating and providing essential products to our residents, we thank-you. Please as you are at home consider how you can support our local businesses now and throughout this. I am grateful that we have pretty much everything we need in this town and there should be no reason to have to leave Nanton.
One final last thank-you to our management team CAO Neil Smith, Director of Corporate service Clayton Gillespie and our Operations Manager, Barry Sturrock for working around the clock navigating this new and every evolving reality. Thank you for keeping our residents safe and informed throughout this. To our essential staff (which is each and everyone), whether you are now working from home or keeping our drinking water safe or clearing our streets of snow or maintaining the THRC we so appreciate all that you do for us and recognize the services and sacrifice you are making for the Town and it’s residents.
Stay home. Stay safe. Watch out for your Neighbours. Shop Local.
NANTON, AB (March 19th 2020) – Effective immediately, the Town Office will be closed to the public until further notice. This is to reduce the public risks associated with the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
You can call 403-646-2029 or Toll Free 1-877-365-3901 to speak with staff or arrange a call back.
Our top priorities are:
Utilities: Chemicals, supplies and reagents have been ordered in sufficient quantity to eliminate supply chain problems.
Staffing: Interdepartmental meetings have been scaled back to reduce risks.
We want to reassure the public that we are still here, at work and available. We appreciate the public’s patience and understanding in the current situation.
Download this release here.
At 1330 hrs, March 17, Premier Jason Kenney announced the declaration of a State of Public Health Emergency. This will give the Chief Medical Officer of Health additional powers for the public health situation at present. Effective immediately and until further notice, the Alberta government is implementing additional measures, including cancelling events that have more than 50 people.
The additional measures include:
Municipalities, charitable and non-profit organizations providing social services support will immediately see $60 million to support their COVID-19 response. The funding will be provided to adult homeless shelters, women’s emergency shelters and the Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) program, which supports municipalities and civil society organizations in providing services to vulnerable Albertans. Albertans are encouraged to visit alberta.ca/COVID19 for the latest information, guidance and resources.
Download this update
NANTON, AB (March 17th 2020) – Council discussed potential municipal actions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic at its meeting on March 16th.
Current relevant advice/ information: The risk of COVID-19 exposure will increase over the coming weeks. Alberta is asking organizers to cancel any events that have more than 250 attendees, more than 50 if there are international participants, or involves critical infrastructure staff, seniors, or other high-risk populations. There is confirmed community spread in Calgary and a State of Local Emergency (SOLE) declared there.
Places of worship are also being asked to follow the same restrictions.
The Town has been asked to put up and distribute public health notices by Alberta Health.
AHS are the lead response agency for this situation and any decision to initiate the Town’s emergency plan and take subsequent actions would be based on their advice and that of the Alberta Emergency Management Agency (AEMA).
In Nanton, no local emergency has been declared, nor has the Emergency Plan/ EOC been activated. Alberta Health (AHS) are the lead response agency for this situation and any decision to initiate the Town’s emergency plan and take subsequent actions would be based on their advice and that of the Alberta Emergency Management Agency (AEMA).
The Town Office will remain open on its normal schedule at present but may operate on a restricted schedule to the public in the event of staff shortages or further advice from senior government. If that were to happen, the Town Office would move to the hours of Noon to 4pm daily. Every effort to provide notice of this will be made.
The Corporate Services department is looking into the viability and need for enhancing online financial transaction capabilities to reduce the need for members of the public to come to the Town Office.
At present, online payments are available and cheques can be dropped in the mail slot.
The Thelma Fanning Library has closed until further notice.
The ice arena’s season was ended last week.
The Town takes its role as an essential service provider very seriously and shall continue to provide these vital services during this period.
Council meetings shall continue as normal and in public for now, as required under the municipal legislation. Further guidance is being prepared by the Province. Social distancing shall be observed, and Skype and teleconferencing capabilities are available to both staff and members of Council for remote participation. Meeting location will change if the Emergency Operations Centre (Fire Hall Chambers) is activated. Please keep checking our website content for updates. All standing committees have been suspended until June.
Alberta Health has not recommended that any buildings or businesses be closed at this time to protect public health from COVID-19. Temporary closures remain the operational decision of the employer. If an employee tests positive for COVID-19, Alberta Health may require further action.
Gathering restrictions (updated June 20)
To prevent the spread of COVID-19, there are still rules in place about what is allowed for large gatherings.
When people get closer than two metres (6 feet) apart, and if they share food or drinks, it can significantly increase the risk of spread, even when they are outdoors. This is because talking, or laughing can spread droplets that may contain COVID. Sharing food with a common serving spoon or pouring drinks increases surfaces that many people touch, which could have COVID-19. Everyone at a gathering of any kind should maintain the recommended physical distance and observe public health recommendations such as frequent hand-washing and wearing a mask.
There is a limit of 100 people for indoor wedding ceremonies or funeral services. People who live in the same household may sit together, but each household group must space themselves two metres (six feet) apart from the next group. Since people are sitting in one place for these events, there is less social interaction and therefore less risk of transmission.
For outdoor gatherings, there is a limit of 100 people. Outdoor events are considered to have less risk than indoor events, because it is usually easier to maintain distancing. At outdoor events, there are fewer surfaces that can be touched by many people. Air circulation helps to keep droplets from mouths and noses from hanging in the air.
Worship leaders may continue to hold worship services remotely, but can now offer in-person services with no cap on attendance - as long as physical distancing of two metres is maintained between families and household groups. However, congregational singing is a high-risk activity and is discouraged. Consider a soloist or instrumental music instead.
Here are some ways to reduce the risk at gatherings:
People who have any symptoms: cough, fever, shortness of breath, runny nose or sore throat (even if they appear mild or resemble a cold) should not attend. Encourage anyone with symptoms to get tested and stay home from work or family gatherings until you are feeling better.
Thank you for your co-operation in helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Starting June 29, eligible small- and medium-sized businesses, co-ops and non-profits can apply for funding so they can open their doors and get Albertans back to work.
Application forms will be available when application intake opens at 10 a.m. on Monday, June 29 at the online application portal through the program webpage at www.alberta.ca/sme-relaunch-grant.aspx.