City of Edmonton services remain top priority as Omicron cases climb

Public Service Announcement

City services remain top priority as Omicron cases climb

Like other Edmonton employers, the City of Edmonton is concerned about the potential impact that the highly transmissible Omicron variant of COVID-19 will have on City employees and all Edmontonians.

Due to increasing COVID-19 cases across City departments, minor adjustments are being considered across all departments to continue delivering priority services to Edmontonians. The City is committed to keeping its critical and vital services accessible to Edmontonians throughout the fifth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The City of Edmonton has a robust continuity process for assessing, evaluating and adjusting work to deliver priority services, such as snow and ice control, transit, recreation centres, waste services and emergency services, in times of disruption. 

There are no service reductions that the City would like to announce today, but reductions to City services will continue to be considered should Omicron cases cause disruption to the City workforce. Service adjustments will be communicated as any changes occur. 

As of January 4, there are about 200 active COVID-19 cases in the City of Edmonton workforce. This is a fluid situation and these reported numbers are expected to change day-to-day.

The City’s business continuity process is currently guiding the decisions of leaders across the City of Edmonton as priority services and operations are reviewed in light of staffing shortages. If adjustments to resident-facing services are required, Edmontonians will be notified as soon as possible.

At Edmonton Fire Rescue Services, approximately 51 of the over 1,100 firefighters are off due to COVID-19. That makes up about 4.5 per cent of the total number of firefighters in Edmonton. 

Protecting Edmontonians from fire is a vital service to this city. Edmonton Fire Rescue Services continues to move people and supplement different shifts to ensure that this core service is properly staffed. 

Effective January 3, the Government of Alberta changed COVID-19 isolation requirements. Fully vaccinated individuals must isolate for five days from the start of symptoms or until they resolve, whichever is longer. For five days following isolation, they must wear a mask at all times when around others outside of their home. Anyone who is not fully vaccinated must isolate for 10 days from the start of symptoms or until they resolve, whichever is longer.

Currently, there are no essential workers who the City is allowing to return to work before their isolation period is over, even though provincial rules permit that to happen. We will reevaluate that decision if and when it may be needed. 

As the COVID-19 pandemic rapidly changes, the City of Edmonton remains committed to working side-by-side with the Government of Alberta, which is the health authority on COVID-19, along with those in the Ministry of Health to keep employees, Edmontonians, businesses and community groups safe.

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