EDMONTON— City is introducing additional measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 and help protect the people of Edmonton, in response to the voluntary health restrictions introduced in the Edmonton Health Zone by the province.
“We continue to be concerned by the continuing increase in case numbers. We need all Edmontonians to adhere to the health precautions and practise them daily to prevent COVID-19 case numbers from increasing any further,” said Interim City Manager Adam Laughlin. “As the COVID-19 pandemic wears on, we will not let it wear down our resolve to protect our city, including our most vulnerable community members.”
Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, announced new voluntary restrictions in Edmonton last week. The City’s response includes enhanced measures in recreation facilities, additional monitoring and enforcement of public compliance to health and safety rules, and adjustments to ETS service levels and cleaning protocols.
“While we haven’t seen it reflected in case numbers yet, we trust Edmontonians are getting the message,” said Laughlin. “Compliance with mask wearing is strong. I trust that Edmontonians will adopt the City’s adjusted measures with the same spirit of shared responsibility. We’ve already heard from some sports organizations who are willing to help us spread the word about new protocols at arenas. By working together, we can tackle the rising case numbers and contain the spread of COVID-19.”
Recreation FacilitiesThe City will make a number of enhancements to protocols and guidelines in recreation facilities and arenas.
- There will be no spectator access in areas without designated spectator seating, such as field houses, gyms and most pools.
- In facilities with designated, controlled spectator areas, like arenas, 25 percent of regular seating capacity will be allowed (up to 50 spectators, 100 in larger arenas). New capacity figures have been posted to arena websites.
- No social event rentals (parties, reunions) or picnic site bookings will be allowed for the remainder of 2020 to discourage larger social gatherings.
- Capacity for other indoor bookings and rentals, such as business meetings, has been reduced to 25 per cent of normal room capacity to a maximum of 50 people.
- Increased security and crowd monitoring will be implemented at facilities to ensure safety protocols are being followed.
Edmonton Transit ServiceNew measures adopted by ETS include:
- Adjustments to ETS service levels, including school service, to support physical distancing and gathering restrictions.
- Revised sales channels for low income transit pass sales that reduce the need for in- person contact.
- Same-day cleaning and disinfecting of bus shelters located near schools when notified of a school outbreak.
Temporary Pandemic AccommodationPreparations are underway for the use of the Edmonton Convention Centre as a temporary pandemic accommodation for individuals experiencing homelessness. People who stay at the convention centre will have a safe, warm place to sleep, receive daily meals and access storage, washrooms, shower facilities and culturally appropriate health, wellness and housing supports. The space is expected to open on October 30 and will scale up week by week to reach a 300-bed capacity and to provide a full spectrum of services.
The City is working with organizers of Camp Pekiwewin to ensure safe, suitable accommodation like the Edmonton Convention Centre for those staying at the camp. An end date for the camp is linked to the activation and full operational setup of the temporary pandemic accommodation.