City of Edmonton provides updates on pandemic recovery
At today’s Emergency Advisory Committee meeting, Interim City Manager Adam Laughlin provided updates to Committee members on the City of Edmonton’s recent actions and plans as Edmonton continues its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Face Covering Bylaw
On August 1, the Temporary Mandatory Face Coverings Bylaw came into effect, which requires people to wear a mask or face covering in any indoor public space or public vehicle. Compliance to the bylaw remains high, with greater than 80 to 90 per cent of people adhering to the requirement.
An exemption card program was introduced on August 8, which was designed to provide those who had an exemption under the bylaw with a way to signal their exemption. The card was available through seven City recreation facilities. On August 12, the City stopped the distribution of the cards and is reassessing the program and distribution mechanisms.
“The feedback from the Council of Business Improvement Areas and the Accessibility Advisory Committee will be important inputs to our review of the program,” said Interim City Manager Adam Laughlin. “As we make adjustments, we will continue to engage with them to discuss program improvement or advancement.”
Closure of isolation services at EXPO Centre
Lawton School is no longer being considered as a future location for providing isolation services to those experiencing homelessness. The province has requested an extension for the use of the EXPO Centre until Sunday August 16 while other options are explored.
In responding to Camp Pekiwewin, the City is working closely with its partners to prioritize the safety of the individuals in the camp, the staff and volunteers onsite, and the surrounding community.
The City has provided the camp with basic necessities for cleanliness, sanitation and COVID-19 prevention, including: 4,000 disposable masks, 50 Capital City Clean Up litter kits, funding for the provision of portable toilets, and a dumpster and garbage cans with regular waste collection. The City is also working with Homeward Trust to provide those in the camp who are experiencing homelessness with a pathway to secure permanent housing.
Resources are also being mobilized to help support the Rossdale community. Peace Officers are monitoring the encampment to ensure it does not extend past current boundaries, a Neighbourhood Resource Coordinator is helping to facilitate communication with residents of Rossdale, and the Neighbourhood Empowerment Team (NET) has been dispatched to conduct community outreach and determine the full scope of issues that would benefit from proactive and preventative solutions.
Reopening of City Hall
The reopening of City Hall will take place over several phases, to ensure the safety of Council, employees and the public.
The Hallway Cafe will reopen on August 17, but public access to the building will remain closed. Councillors may begin to host meetings with members of the public in their offices, by appointment only at the end of August. Should City Council approve the plan at its meeting on Monday August 17, members of the public who are pre-registered to speak or attend a Council or Committee meeting, can do so starting with the September 14 Public Hearing. Plans for the return of employees to their City Hall workspaces, and the reopening of the building and parkade to the public are still being developed. For more information:edmonton.ca/COVID-19