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Local COVID-19 developments: March 24

Updates on related local cancellations, changes in practice
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As COVID-19 continues to impact events, businesses and health and safety practices in the region, MountainViewToday.ca will provide periodic updates on related local event cancellations, postponements and changes in practices in Sundre, Carstairs, Cremona, Didsbury, Olds, Bowden, Innisfail, Penhold, Mountain View County and parts of Red Deer County.

March 24

Penhold

• The Town of Penhold announced today that playgrounds are also now included in the closure of all municipal facilities to the public. While walking trails are open, residents are reminded to maintain physical distancing while encountering other people on the trails.

• Penhold Youth Club – PYC has been working hard to modify PYC and keep youth engaged while they are home. Virtual PYC will be starting March 25. Sessions will be held Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3-4 p.m.

Innisfail

• Parkland Foundation announced yesterday its updated changes to visitors at seniors' sites including Dodd’s Lake Manor and Autumn Glen Lodge.

No social visits or pet visits are permitted. An essential visitor may be designated by the resident or guardian (or other alternate decision-maker) and may be a family member, friend or paid caregiver over 18 years of age. Visits from children are restricted, as children do not necessarily show symptoms of COVID-19.

Visits from a designated essential visitor are limited to situations where: direct care is being provided to the resident (i.e. feeding, constant observation for safety or participating in care when sites can’t meet resident care needs), or a resident is dying. Exceptions to the above for residents who are dying must have the prior approval of the facility manager.

Olds

Effective yesterday, all Town of Olds outdoor facilities are now closed to the public until further notice in a bid to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The closure affects playground structures, ball diamonds, the skateboard park, and O.R. Hedges Campground.

Signage will be hung in the following days, according to Monica Leatherdale, the Town of Olds’ communications coordinator.

Enforcement will be monitoring, she added.

“At this time there are no penalties as we are relying on the public to adhere to all rules and regulations put in place during these unprecedented times,” said Leatherdale.

People can still be in the town’s parks and greenspaces as long as they’re adhering to Alberta Health Services’ recommendations to maintain the two metre social distancing protocol, she confirmed.

Didsbury

• Yesterday, Essentials for our Community prepared over 300 nutritious freezer meals and buns. Anyone requiring food hamper assistance is asked to call 403-586-5836.

Sundre

Town of Sundre officials decided today to close its playgrounds to the public. The town will be monitoring these areas to ensure this message is shared and in the unlikely event that there is opposition, the town says it will enforce as necessary.

Mountain View County

Effective March 24, the Westward Ho Campers Association has closed the campground.

Year-round campers can access their trailer for removal, but facilities, including toilets, showers, laundry, playgrounds, picnic shelters, and the hall are closed.  

All events and programs have been cancelled. Procedures are in place to practise appropriate social distancing and reduce the potential of exposure to COVID-19. Anyone wishing to access the campground is required to contact the campground manager at 403-556-2568 for further instructions prior to entry.

The Westward Ho Campers Association will continue to assess impacts of COVID-19 for the upcoming season. Individuals wishing to cancel their current reservations must contact the campground manager at the above number.

March 21

Cremona

• Cremona FCSS is offering a call service for anyone who is alone and would like to receive occasional phone calls to see that you are OK or just to have someone check on you to see if you need anything. Send your phone number to fcss@cremona.ca and Cremona FCSS will connect you with a volunteer.

Didsbury

• Essentials for our Community Didsbury announced today that there is a sector of the community that isn't able to get the hygiene products they need during this time.

Essentials is making hygiene kits for them and delivering them as soon as possible. Organizers are asking for the public's help. They are looking for the following donations:  LYSOL wipes, hand sanitizer, Vitamin C (new, unopened), masks (home sewn is OK) and rubber cleaning gloves.

Items can be dropped off at 2131 18th Avenue in Didsbury.

• Mainstreet Unique announced today that effective tomorrow, March 22, the store will be closed to the public. Anyone in need of essentials like pet food can call 403-335-2071 and the store will try to accommodate requests. The store is one of many to close in recent days including JD’s Restaurant and Pub which closed on March 17.

• Westbound Outdoors is among many businesses to shorten hours and number of days open. On Friday, it was announced the store would be operating on the shortened hours for the forseeable future.

House of Hair and New Look Hair Design are also curbing hours.

Caitlan Hunter Hair is no longer offering salon services but launched an on-line store for hair products.

Didsbury AG Foods announced yesterday it would also be temporarily adjusting store hours to ensure staff have adequate time to properly clean and sanitize and stock shelves. On March 19 the store began offering preferred shopping for the first hour the store is open to customers who wish assistance or extra consideration, including seniors and those living with disabilities.

• Didsbury Dental Centre and Didsbury Smiles are open only for urgent dental emergencies effective March 18 as long as all other screening measures are met.

• Didsbury Chiropractic and Massage is restricting patients to acute and emergency care only.

The Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors (ACAC) strongly recommended that chiropractors suspend all chiropractic services except those limited to emergent care only effective starting Monday, March 23.

The ACAC has completely suspended the practice of mobile care (defined as in-person chiropractic care provided in locations other than a fixed, non-mobile clinic space)

• Didsbury Minor Softball and Didsbury Minor Baseball have put their seasons on hold until April 14.

Softball Alberta announced on March 16 that it was suspending all of its activities effective until that date and recommended all members do the same. It is unclear at this time if the umpire clinic scheduled to take place in Carstairs on April 18 will go head.

• The Didsbury Chargers Lacrosse season has been put on hold for the time being.

On March 14, Alberta Lacrosse Association suspended all sanctioned “in-person” lacrosse events immediately until April 5. This includes but is not limited to practices, camps, tryouts, coaching clinics, officials’ clinics, Alberta Summer Games, Team Alberta and any previously sanctioned events such as camps and travel permits. This does not mean that the season is cancelled.

  • Didsbury Aqua-Jets will find out later next month what the season has in store for members. Swim Alberta has extended its moratorium on sanctioned events until  at least April 30.

• Today’s Didsbury Figure Skating Club’s carnival was cancelled.

Innisfail

• In a bid to further ensure the well being of the Innisfail community and its residents in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Town of Innisfail declared a state of local emergency on Friday, March 20.

• Innisfail Minor Soccer Association announced today that registrations for the spring 2020 season are still being taken. Central Alberta Soccer Association has instucted associations to continue to take registrations and keep planning for the season. The Innisfail association is hopeful there will be a season.

• Innisfail Minor Lacrosse Association’s season has been put on hold for the time being.

On March 14, Alberta Lacrosse Association suspended all sanctioned “in-person” lacrosse events immediately until April 5. This includes but is not limited to practices, camps, tryouts, coaching clinics, officials’ clinics, Alberta Summer Games, Team Alberta and any previously sanctioned events such as camps and travel permits.

Penhold

• The Town of Penhold announced yesterday that the Recreation Area Concept Plan Open House originally scheduled for March 21 has been changed to a Virtual Open House.

Town of Penhold staff invites all local area residents and recreation users to review the plans and submit feedback. Plans can be viewed at www.townofpenhold.ca/p/current-town-planning-projects. Comments can be sent to development@townofpenhold.ca using the form on the website.

Proposed changes include new middle school, baseball diamonds, soccer pitches, concession and washroom area, town square for events and gatherings, playground, walking trails and additional parking.

Olds

• Olds Minor Soccer Club has postponed its annual general meeting originally planned for March 25. In a message the club members issued on March 19, the club still expects the season to continue starting in May.

Currently all sanctioned soccer events including referee and coaches training, tryouts, and camps are postponed until further notice. The club is encouraging all interested to proceed with registration so that the club can be ready for the season should it get the green light to proceed.

• Collegiate Sports Medicine Olds has moved to a web-based TeleHealth service. On the morning of March 17, Collegiate Sports announced all in-clinic therapy services had ceased.

• Everything Olds closed its Uptowne office today. Re-opening will be re-assessed after Easter. Staff will be working remotely and accessible by phone.

March 19

All communities
Parkland Regional Library -- of which libraries in Carstairs, Cremona, Sundre, Didsbury, Olds, Innisfail and Penhold are a member of -- updated its practices today.

Van deliveries are suspended until until further notice beginning Monday, March 23 and new eBooks and eAudiobooks are being purchased to meet the expected growth in demand.

The regional library system is suspending the ability for patrons to place new holds in the PAC.

This will reduce an overwhelming number of items on pick lists and the volume of material on vans when libraries begin to resume public services for physical material, the statement reads.

The reigonal librray system will continue to extend due dates for items that are checked out.

Mountain View County

• Mountain View County officials have instituted a work from home procedure for county staff whose job duties can be continued from a remote setting.

A statement released from the county today says the change in service delivery model may have an impact on response time to public inquiries and those calling or emailing the county being asked to expect some delays.

“As staff adjust to this new reality in service delivery the expectation is response time, depending on volumes, will be updated and improved,” the statement reads.

Outside staff continue to adapt their work routines around social distancing and enhanced hygiene practices. Service-wise, Operations staff continues to monitor county roadways as the spring cycle of freeze-thaw takes its annual toll on infrastructure.

“We also ask for the public’s understanding and patience as staff adapt to these new service models. Currently, the best way to contact the county during business hours is at 403-335-3311 or email at info@mvcounty.com,” the statement reads.

Olds

• Effective immediately, Olds RCMP are only providing essential services.

In order to prioritize services and reduce unnecessary personal contact, you are asked to call (403) 556-3324 to speak directly with an RCMP employee.
Police advise that if assistance can be provided over the phone, an employee or officer will do so.

If your request requires personal contact with an offier, an employee will be with you shortly and bring you into the detachment.

For safety, you may be asked to wear a mask while in the detachment.

If you need officer assitance and believe you may be ill, you asked to advise police when you make the call so officers can be prepared ahead of time. Police advise people to not be alarmed if you see employees wearing extra potection.

Only fingerprinting and Criminal record checks that are time sensitive for critcal employment are being processed at this time.

Sundre

• Effective yesterday at 4 p.m., the Town of Sundre municipal office closed to the public. This includes  also inlcudes the Town of Sundre Operations shop and Community Services office.

Service is still available 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. by calling 403-638-3551.

Bowden

• The Town of Bowden’s  administration office is closed until further notice. Town employees are, however, still working and available to assist residents in any queries regarding town services.

If you require assistance, or advice on utility payments, please contact town staff during normal office hours as follows: (403) 224-3395 or by email at info@bowden.ca.

The closure is in addition closures and cancellations already announced on Monday afternoon which include: the cancellation of all activities at the Igloo Arena, closure of the FCSS facilities and events coordinated through FCSS, and closure of the Bowden library.

All public works buildings are off-limits to the public.

March 18

Red Deer County

• As of 4:30 p.m. on March 18, Red Deer County municipal buildings are closed to the public, according to a press release issued by the county.
Closures to the public include:

- Red Deer County Centre at 38106 Range Road 275

- all Red Deer County Community Services satellite offices

- all County Fire Stations

- Protective Services building Station 6 at 249 Clearview Drive

- Public access to the Agricultural Services building located to the rear of Red Deer County Centre

Olds

• The Community Volunteer Income Tax program that was being offered at the Olds Royal Canadian Legion from March 12 to April 30 has been cancelled.

• Olds Regional Exhibition (ORE) has closed its facilities to the public effective yesterday until April 30 or until further notice.

The following ORE events have been cancelled or postponed:

Team Roping Jackpot -  postponed

Best of the West Shorthorn Bull Sale - DLMS online

Riverstone Bull Sale - DLMS online

Gymkhana Finals - postoned

Country Road RV Sale - postponed     

CRY - cancelled

Spring Classic - postponed

Picket Fence Market - cancelled

ORE Team Roping Jackpot Finals - postponed

• More businesses in Olds have closed their doors or are changing the way they operate.

While Tasty Thai’s dining room is now closed, starting today, owners are offering take-out and delivery between certain times.

Fast food restaurants  and some coffee shops  - including Tim Hortons, McDonald’s and A&W are offering only drive-thru service and many businesses including financial institutions are altering their hours.

Penhold

• Effective today, the Town of Penhold municipal office will be closed to the public until further notice.

“Customer service remains our priority therefore staff will be able to assist over the phone or by email. Staff is committed to keeping our critical infrastructure systems operating during this trying time,” Penhold's mayor, Mike Yargeau, said in a statement.

Carstairs

• The Town of Carstairs has cancelled its council meetings and all council standing committees until after Easter (April 14).
The next scheduled council meeting would be on Tuesday, April 14.

Carstairs/Didsbury

• Effective today, Essentials for Our Community is modifying its Konnection Kitchen service. Until further notice, meals on Thursday evenings at 6 p.m. will be on a pick up or delivery  service only.

A hot meal will be provided in a take out container, and available grocery items will be handed out at the door of the Didsbury train station.

Didsbury

• The Didsbury & District Chamber of Commerce announced today that the Didsbury Art, Travel & Trade Expo scheduled for April has been cancelled.

Innisfail

• Effective yesterday,  the Town of Innisfail closed its administrative office to the public. The office will remain staffed and anyone wishing to conduct business with the town can do so by phone at 403-227-3376 or by email at townhall@innisfail.ca.

Residents wanting to pay their utility bills can do so at innisfail.ca/epayment.

• Innisfail Ski Hill has suspended operations until further notice.

Carstairs/Olds/Didsbury/Sundre

• Effective yesterday, Mountain View Seniors’ Housing officials are requiring that only essential visitors be permitted into the residences in Carstairs, Didsbury, Sundre and Olds.

Alberta Health is identifying essential visitors as those providing care and companionship services necessary for the well-being of the resident and visitors attending to a resident who is dying.

“Essential visitors must comply with active screening measures, and those who fail screening or who refuse screening will not be permitted to enter. No other visitors will be permitted to enter our residences; instead they will be asked to keep in touch with loved ones by phone or other technologies, as available,” the housing authority stated in a March 17 announcement.

March 17

Carstairs

• The Snowy Owl Medical Clinic in Carstairs announced yesterday that a pediatrician at the clinic has self-isolated.

Dr. From will not be in clinic for the next two weeks due to self-isolation protocols. The clinic is notifying any patients with previously scheduled appointments.

On Sunday, the clinic advised that all non-essential appointments at the clinic  (healthy physicals, well baby checks) should be postponed. If patients have an upcoming appointment that can wait, they are asked to call  and reschedule.

The clinic has also implementing increased cleaning procedures and advises patients to not be offended if requested to wait in your vehicle until you can be taken directly to a room.

• The Town of Carstairs is inviting any interested residents that have any mobility concerns, are elderly or have other applicable conditions to register for the town’s community outreach program.

To register go online to www.carstairs.ca. The form can be found under Inside Town Hall - Documents & Forms - Application Forms (Protective Services) - Carstairs Community Outreach Program.

Once the form is filled out return it by email to peace officer Arlene Andrews at arlenea@carstairs.ca. From there residents will be contacted by one of the town’s peace officers for further information.

• Effective today, the Town of Carstairs has closed many of its facilities to the public. Town staff continue to work; however, many facilities are closed to all public access.

They include: Carstairs Memorial Arena; Town of Carstairs Public Works; Town of Carstairs Parks Building; Town of Carstairs Library; Carstairs Museum;  and Carstairs Golf Club.

The town’s CAO further advised today that the Town of Carstairs municipal office will still be open to the public at this time; however this may change without notice. Residents are asked to ensure if they attending the building that you are not experiencing any symptoms including, coughing, sore throat and fever.

Cremona

• Effective yesterday, the following Village of Cremona facilities are closed to the public: Village administrative front desk, Cremona Library, the arena and the community hall.

Village staff remain on duty and are focused on maintaining critical services for residents, according to the town’s notice posted March 16.

Didsbury

• In addition to the Town of Didsbury’s facility closures announced in the past few days, effective today, the Town of Didsbury administration office is also now closed to the public.  

The town’s statement says staff are still working inside, to ensure essential services are not affected.

Scroll down to March 15 to see facility closures. In addition to that list is the closure of DOSCA Before and After School Care program until further notice.

Olds

• Effective 3:30 p.m. on March 16, the Town of Olds activated the Emergency Operations Center (EOC). The town says this is normal protocol and occurs when there’s a situation that requires enhancing monitoring.

“Activating the Emergency Operations Centre is just more of a formal step that supports the Town of Olds in its co-ordination with neighbouring jurisdictions as well as the provincial government to centralize all organizational conversations around planning and monitoring,” reads the town’s statement.

At this time the Town of Olds is not considering a local state of emergency.

• The number of businesses closing until further notice in Olds grew overnight.

Our Flames Restaurant  and Lounge announced its closure today until further notice.

The restaurant’s announcement included a note that Our Flames is teaming up with other local restaurants and businesses to safely deliver food and services.

Details are to be announced soon.

Following the closure of Cineplex and Landmark Cinemas, Mayfair Cinema announced last night its closure from March 16 - April 2.

March 16

5:20 Mountain View County
• This afternoon, Mountain View County officials announced the closure of all Mountain View County facilities including the administration office from March 17 until April 1. The situation will be reviewed at that time.  

Additionally, the regular council meeting scheduled for Wednesday, March 25 has been cancelled, along with the Agricultural Service Board meeting for Monday, March 23.

County services will continue to be available via telephone, email and other electronic means. County staff can be reached during regular office hours at 403-335-3311 or email info@mvcounty.com. If residents know the staff they have been working with they can continue to contact them directly, county officials say.

5:20 Carstairs/Olds
Starting this Thursday, March 19, the Carstairs and Olds Westview Co-op food stores will be opening an hour earlier to serve seniors, the communities’ vulnerable or those with mobility concerns.

This will be held on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from 7 - 8 a.m. with the stores being open regular hours for the rest of customers.


5:20 Olds
• Several businesses have announced they are temporarily closing effective today, including Tracks Pub and Grouchy Daddy’s.

5:20 Penhold

Today, the Town of Penhold has closed the Penhold Regional Multiplex effective immediately until further notice.
This includes the Penhold Multiplex Fitness Centre (including 24 hour fob access), Penhold Multiplex Track and Penhold & District Library. Wednesday morning Drop-In Playgroup at Memorial Hall is also cancelled until further notice.  
Other event cancellation/postponements include:
• YAC Budget Workshop in Subway Club Room scheduled for March 21 .
• Vape  & Cannabis Info Session at Penhold Crossing Library on March 26.
• The Welcome to Penhold Night in Penhold Library scheduled for March 31.
• Making the Most of Your Tax Return in Subway Club Room scheduled for April 6.
• Volunteer Appreciation at Memorial Hall scheduled for April 16.

3 p.m. Innisfail

• Effective immediately, all Town of Innisfail municipal programs and events have suspended and all town recreational facilities will be closed to the public until further notice, town officials announced in a statement issued this afternoon.

This includes the Innisfail Arena, the Innisfail Aquatic Centre, the Library Learning Centre and the school gym space — and the programs/events scheduled to take place within them.

Existing registrations will be entitled to a refund reflecting programs/classes missed. The Seniors Drop-In Centre (located inside the Lundgren Centre) also remains closed at this time.

• The Innisfail & District Chamber of Commerce has announced the 2020 Spring Trade Expo planned for April 3-4 is being postponed.

3 p.m. Olds

• Town of Olds officials announced today that in addition to the Sportsplex and Aquatic Centre closures announced on March 13 other municipal buildings are also now closed to the public.

They now include the Town of Olds administration building,  the Fire Services building, the Operations Centre, Olds Municipal Library, Olds Curling Club and Nu2U thirft store, and Mountain View Museum.

Town staff and the fire department continue to work, though.

Mayor Michael Muzychka and Coun. Heather Ryan have been out of the country and will self-isolate upon their return for the suggested 14-day period.

• The Olds Municipal Library is closed until further notice.

Any items due during the closure will not accumulate fines, according to library officials, and patrons can feel free to keep the books as long as necessary.

If you would like materials mailed to you, you can contact the library via email and staff will do their best to get them to you via Canada Post with return shipping provided.

3 p.m. Mountain View County

• As of today, Mountain View County municipal officials say there are no service level reductions, changes or cancellations to be communicated to residents and all regularly scheduled council meetings are planned to be held as normal.

With the health and safety of staff and residents in mind, county officials are asking residents who are ill or have any cold or flu-like symptoms to avoid the county office and to contact them during regular office hours at 403-335-3311 or email info@mvcounty.com.

If residents know the staff they have been working with they can contact them directly.

Guests to the county office can access hand washing facilities in the two public washrooms in the main lobby and guests are asked to observe social distancing where possible to help reduce the potential spread of COVID-19.

March 15

5:14 p.m. All communities

Effective immediately, the provincial government is  prohibiting attendance at schools in Chinook’s Edge School Division and Red Deer Regional Catholic Schools. Effective immediately, students will no longer be attending classes in K-12 schools and post-secondary institutions until further notice, according to a provincial press release issued this afternoon.

The release states post-secondary classes are cancelled. That includes Olds College. Campuses will remain open, according to the provincial release.

All licensed child care facilities, out-of-school care programs and preschool programs are closed indefinitely, the release states.

All long-term care and other continuing care facilities are advised to limit visitation to essential visitors only.

Places of worship are no longer exempt from restrictions on mass gatherings.

2:30 p.m.: All communities: Chinook’s Edge School Division schools

• When Chinook’s Edge School Division (CESD) schools resume tomorrow, there will be zero tolerance for anyone entering CESD schools if they are ill with respiratory illness (fever, runny nose, sore throat, dry cough, fatigue.)

“Please DO NOT send your child to school or onto a school bus if they have any of these symptoms. Please notify your child’s school if they will be absent, and contact your family doctor or Alberta Health Services if you have concerns about your child’s condition,” a March 15 statement from Kurt Sacher, superintendent of schools reads.

Students, staff and visitors (including parents) who are ill with respiratory symptoms (even mild symptoms) are asked not to come to school.

If a student starts to exhibit these symptoms during the school day, in the case of students, they will be isolated and parents will be phoned to pick up their child from school immediately. Children exhibiting these symptoms will not be permitted to travel on school buses.

If staff or visitors begin to show symptoms while at school, they will be asked to go home.

Without exception, all visitors must sign in at the front office. Any visitor or parent exhibiting any symptoms will not be permitted in the school and will be asked to leave. Staff, students, visitors who are showing symptoms are not permitted to return to school until 14 days after the symptoms start. If a negative test for COVID-19 is given, direction from Alberta Health will be given in regards to returning to school.

In addition, all staff and students returning from out-of-country travel will not be permitted to attend school until they have completed a 14-day self-isolation period.

Until further notice, all extracurricular sport activities (such as basketball, football, rugby, volleyball, etc.) that involve high contact or group settings are postponed.

Activities during the school day that involve high levels of student contact will not be permitted.

Appropriate activities in physical education, foods classes, and band programs will be planned by teachers to minimize contact between students.

School administration teams are working to minimize the number of students in hallways and student gathering areas to keep them below the recommended 250 maximum. Strategies in schools will vary depending on the size of the school. These strategies could include implementing staggered class changes, breaks, lunch and dismissal times.

Parent Teacher Interviews will be postponed until further notice.

All out-of-school field trips (including swimming lessons) will be postponed until further notice.

 

2:30 Olds/Innisfail: Red Deer Regional Catholic Schools

• Holy Trinity Catholic School in Olds and St. Marguerite Bourgeoys Catholic School in Innisfail will be under new protocols when school resumes tomorrow.

Red Deer Regional Catholic Schools announced today that the school division will have a zero-tolerance policy for any children with any respiratory symptoms attending school.

Teachers will be asked to closely monitor their classrooms and if any student is having respiratory symptoms such as cough or symptoms of a mild cold, the following steps should be followed:

If a student, child or staff develops respiratory symptoms while at school, they should be removed from the school environment.

Schools promptly separate the student/child or staff with symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g. fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, fatigue, headache, muscle aches and including symptoms that may seem like a mild cold) in an area separate from others, with adequate supervision until they can go home.

To help prevent transmission, the division says the most important steps are to reinforce strict respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene practices and to have the ill student/child or staff stay two metres away from others.

If possible, the student should be placed in a separate room from other students/children with a closed door. Any rooms they have been in while symptomatic will be cleaned and disinfected before others enter them.

Schools will notify parents/guardians if their child begins to experience respiratory symptoms while at school and arrange for immediate pickup.

Schools will clean and disinfect any rooms the student/child was in while symptomatic. The division says there is no need to take any further special precautions or to close the school.

Students/children or staff who develop respiratory symptoms should be kept home for 14 days after the start of the symptoms.

If students/children are tested for COVID-19, those who test negative will be advised individually about return to school.

If a child is sick, they must be kept at home from school. If a child has symptoms, like a dry cough, fever, fatigue or difficulty breathing they are required to stay at home for 14 days, limit their contact with others and should self-isolate, the division says.

The following events have been cancelled: Stations of the Cross, sporting events, Youth Ministry events and school-wide Lent and Easter mass celebrations.

 

2:30 p.m. Sundre

• When Moose & Squirrel Clinic opens tomorrow, there will be many changes to the clinic’s operations.

In order to minimize transmission of the virus and increase ability to respond to emergencies as needed, Moose & Squirrel Medical Clinic is reducing the number of physicians who will be working in the clinic and will be reducing its available appointments to only absolutely essential in-person visits.

Patients with a scheduled appointment in the next four weeks that is related to a non-urgent medical issue, are urged to consider cancelling the appointment by calling the clinic.

If a patient has a scheduled appointment, they can expect to receive a call from either their physician or one of the clinic’s staff to reschedule the appointment if possible, or for the patient’s concern to be handled remotely over the phone or via video if possible. This will be at physician discretion for now, the clinic says.

Patients are encouraged to check the status of any regular medications and ensure that supply is sufficient for the next four weeks minimum.

Anyone in need of a medication refill is asked to phone their pharmacy and request a refill. Pharmacists are working with the clinic to ensure patients are given refills of medications (sedatives and controlled medications will require a physician prescription).

If a prescription refill is needed, the pharmacist will fax a request to your physician for that to be done remotely.

Upon arriving at the clinic for appointments, patients are asked to remain in their vehicle to wait for their appointment time, rather than waiting in the clinic’s waiting room. Patients are asked to send a text message to 587-320-0841 when they arrive to check in including your name and appointment time in the text message.

If a patient’s phone does not allow text messages, they may also call and check in for your appointment via this line.

The patient will then be called or sent a text message when the physician is ready to see them and asked to come into the clinic.

 

2:30 p.m. Sundre/Olds

• Peaks to Prairies Primary Care Network is postponing Walking Group in Olds, Walking Group in Sundre and Moving on with Persistent Pain Group until further notice.

 

2:30 p.m. Innisfail

• In addition to the programs previously cancelled by the Town of Innisfail on March 13 (scroll down to March 13) all swim lessons and Aquafit have now also been cancelled at the Innisfail Aquatic Centre. The hot tub and steam room are also closed.

• The planned 50th anniversary of the Innisfail Music Program for March 22 has been postponed to a new, undetermined date.

• Effective Monday, March 16 until at least April 5, 2020, all Scouts Canada section programs across Canada are to cease, including regular meetings, outdoor adventures, tours/visits and camps.

This impacts the upcoming 1st Innisfail Scouts truck, Cub car and Beaver races planned for March 31, from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Innisfail United Church. Chris Bushell, the commissioner for 1st Innisfail Scouts, said they will be rescheduled at a yet to be determined date.

All Scouts Canada events and activities such as Scouter Cons, Kub Kar rallies, training, and any/all Scouter meetings will be suspended or postponed. All Scout properties will be closed and associated events cancelled or postponed. All March break camps have been cancelled. All Scout Shops will be closed; Scoutshop.ca will remain available. All Scouts Canada offices will be closed and employees asked to work remotely; offices will be available as-needed for essential work. All non-essential Scouting-related travel will be cancelled.

 

2:30 p.m. Didsbury

• The Town of Didsbury announced yesterday that Didsbury Memorial Complex is closed to the public until further notice. This includes all use of the Didsbury Aquatic Centre, arena and multi-purpose room. The Didsbury Curling Rink will remain open for the duration of the club’s current bonspiel, which ends tonight.

The Didsbury Aquatic Centre was previously closed at 7 p.m. on Friday night.

The town’s Public Works building is closed to any walk-in traffic to protect essential service operational staff.

• The Didsbury Seniors Support Services weekly program has been cancelled until the fall.

• The Knox United Church ham supper on March 21 has been postponed to a later date.

 

2:30 p.m. Olds

• Olds College remains open, with classes operating as usual, according to a March 15 update from the college.

In order to stay consistent with the college’s partner, Bow Valley College, classes at the Fashion Institute (located at the college’s Calgary campus) have been suspended for Monday, March 16, Tuesday, March 17, Wednesday, March 18, Thursday, March 19 and Friday, March 20.

As of Monday, March 23, the college will transition to online or alternate delivery of all Fashion Institute programs through the end of the semester.
Over the next five days staff and faculty will be working on this transition. Details will be provided to all Fashion students as soon as possible. As per the government of Alberta’s direction, the Calgary campus will remain open during the class suspension.

• All Community Learning Campus events and activities scheduled from March 15 to April 30, 2020 will be cancelled. This will impact all recreation fitness programs including group fitness classes, intramurals, youth programs, camps and all other drop-in activities. These are all cancelled up to April 30.

All individuals currently registered in fitness classes, recreation programs, camps, etc., impacted by the cancellations will receive a CLC Fitness Centre prorated account credit for the remaining sessions. This credit will not have an expiry date. The credit amount will be communicated via email in the next two weeks.

• The  Dueling Pianos Extreme event planned for the Olds Royal Canadian Legion last night has been postponed to Friday, May 29, 2020.

 

March 14

Innisfail

• The Innisfail Royal Canadian Legion has announced several suspensions of events and activities.

All public programs in the auditorium have been suspended until at least April 15. The suspensions include The Boob Tour, originally planned for April 1. The new date for The Boob Tour event is now Sept. 15.

The Thursday evening bingos will still go ahead in the auditorium.

As for events and activities in the clubroom, the meat draws and horse races on Friday evenings and Saturday afternoons will still go on.

Entertainment activities, including those for live bands, are suspended until April 15, and will be reassessed then.

The Chase the Queen ticket draw held Wednesday evenings has also been suspended until April 15.

Don Harrison, a director for the local legion’s executive, said the suspension of activities and events will be reviewed on April 15. The suspensions could be lifted or extended, depending on the recommendations of Alberta Health Services.

All other activities in the clubroom will continue for now but legion officials are urging citizens to take special precautions, such as washing their hands regularly and using hand sanitizers.

Olds

• Home Church will not be having any in-person church services on Sunday, March 15 at any of its Alberta locations including Olds/Mountain View. Services will be live-streamed from Red Deer.

• Mountain View Film Group has cancelled its Sunday, March 15 showings of The Song of Names at Mayfair Cinema.

• Olds HealthCare Fundraising Committee has cancelled its 3rd Annual Barn Dance on March 21. The fundraiser for the Olds Hospital and Care Centre was to be held at Paterson Community Centre in Bowden. The committee says it hopes to reschedule to another date.

Olds/Innisfail

• All public gatherings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are being temporarily suspended worldwide until further notice. This includes stake conferences, leadership conferences and other large gatherings. It includes all public worship services, including sacrament meetings, branch, ward and stake activities. Where possible, leaders are encouraged to conduct any essential leadership meetings via technology.

Also, bishops are encouraged to counsel with their stake president to determine how to make the sacrament available to members at least once a month.

March 13

Sundre

• The Sundre Oilmen's bonspiel scheduled to start tonight at the Sundre Curling Club has been cancelled.

• The Seniors Protected and Respected Under Community Engagement SPRUCE It Up! seniors talent show scheduled for Saturday, March 14 at the Sundre Arts Centre has been cancelled.

• Effective March 15, Sundre Municipal Library is postponing all library-run programs until the end of spring break (April 18). The Red Hot Science: Short Circuits session scheduled for Saturday, March 14 has also been postponed. At this time, Sundre Municipal Library remains open during regular hours.

Carstairs, Sundre, Olds, Didsbury

Mountain View Seniors’ Housing (MVSH) has started implementing its pandemic plan, according to a statement released today.

It has facilities in Carstairs, Sundre, Olds and Didsbury.

Effective immediately, MVSH has restricted access to its facilities to protect seniors and staff by permitting entry, until further notice, to only the following;

• residents and tenants

• staff and volunteers

• family and close friends

• contractors or service providers

MVSH will require contractors or service providers to sign-in and enter the facilities through the front entrance ways only.

Any activities planned for resident seniors outside the facililities have been cancelled.

Penhold

• Penhold’s Easter Extravaganza on April 4 has been cancelled.

• Penhold ATB Financial’s Spring Meltdown that was scheduled for Saturday, March 21 at the Penhold Regional Multiplex has been postponed to a later undtermined date.

• The Penhold Community Safety & Crime Awareness Committee’s Crime Prevention Town Hall and pancake breakfast originally scheduled for March 21 has been postponed to a later undtermined date.

• The March 21 Recreation Area Concept Plan open house at the Penhold Memorial Hall is cancelled.

• All Red Deer Rustlers and Central Alberta Amazons playoff games have been cancelled.

All areas

• The area’s minor hockey season – along with the rest of Canada’s – including planned provincials in Bowden and Sundre have been cancelled effective today.

Hockey Canada officials announced yesterday that all Hockey Canada-sanctioned activities have been cancelled effective March 13 until further notice.

Hockey Canada-sanctioned activities include all Hockey Alberta-sanctioned activities. They include league games, playoffs, practices, camps and provincial, regional and national championships at the minor, female, junior, senior and sledge levels.

Sundre Minor Hockey Association says the Hockey Alberta Bantam Tier 4 Provincial Championship Tournament and all affiliated activities have been cancelled, adding the events will not be rescheduled.

Bowden was to host the atom C provincial championship on the same weekend, March 19-22.

Carstairs

• This weekend’s Carstairs Ice Fest 2020 has been cancelled.

The synchronized skating competition hosted by the Carstairs Skating Club was to take place Saturday, March 14 at the Carstairs Memorial Arena. It had entries from around the province including from Edmonton and Lethbridge.

 The club’s Solstice Synchronized Skating group made the announcement last night.

Didsbury

•  The Mountain View Colts playoff game scheduled for tonight on home ice has been cancelled as has the rest of the team’s season, according to a statement from the team.

The Didsbury-based junior B hockey team was to face off against Sylvan Lake on March 13 in Game 4 of the best-of-seven series in the Heritage Junior Hockey League’s north division final. Sylvan Lake led the series 2-1.

Hockey Canada announced yesterday that effective March 13 it was cancelling any Hockey Canada-sanctioned activities, including those associated with the junior program until further notice. The Colts confirmed the end to the season last night.

Innisfail

• The Town of Innisfail has immediately suspended the  following town programs and events until further notice: Children’s Indoor Playspace Program (CHIPS); Movers & Groovers; Innisfail Interagency Network; Who Helps the Helper Workshop; Badminton, Drop-In (Monday Night); Volleyball, Drop-In (Tuesday Night); Climb Innisfail; Pickleball & Badminton Drop-In (Thursday Night); Basketball, Drop-In (Friday Night); Youth Action Committee programming; and Pickleball Start.

• Innisfail Public Library has cancelled the following until further notice: Ladies Night Movie; Family Builders; Tea & Talk Time; Live Music in the Library; Books Before Lunch; Wiggles & Giggles; LEGO Club; Mucky Madness; School's Out Activities; Nailed It/Failed It (will reschedule at a later date); and Music & Movement. Other programming has not been affected at this time.

• Innisfail Minor Hockey Association’s awards ceremony planned for March 31 at the Innisfail Royal Canadian Legion has been cancelled.

• The Innisfail Eagles provincial playoff run to the Allan Cup has ended until further notice.

The team’s Game 4 of the senior men’s AAA hockey provincial playdowns against the Stony Plain Eagles on Saturday March 14 has been cancelled.

Hockey Canada announced yesterday that all Hockey Canada-sanctioned activities have been cancelled effective March 13 until further notice.

Innisfail led the series 3-0.

The winner of the seven-game series was to earn a direct berth to the compete in the Allan Cup -- Canada’s oldest amateur hockey championship -- in Hamilton

and Dundas, Ontario April 6 to 11.That competition is also cancelled until further notice.

• Tonight’s 6th annual Sportsman Dinner at the Innisfail Royal Canadian Legion has been postponed.

The Innisfail Eagles announced the decision last night, adding the event will be rescheduled for a later date and all tickets sold will be good for that event.

Olds

Olds College confirmed today it is cancelling all large gatherings and events that have more than 250 attendees. This includes all external and student events. At this time all events scheduled from today until April 30, 2020 will be impacted.

Events that have already been cancelled include: Residence Appreciation Night on March 18; Athletics Awards Night on April 1; SAOC Last Chance Dance on April 3; Canadian Intercollegiate Rodeo Association Rodeo - on April 4-5; and Homestead Feast on April 17.

The college’s statement says Conference Services will be reaching out to all external event organizers to work on rescheduling events that have over 250 attendees. All Olds College-related international travel by students and staff is not permitted until further notice.

• The Humpty’s Championship Cup originally planned for April 29 – May 2 at the Olds Curling Club has been cancelled, according to a Town of Olds press release issued on the afternoon of March 13. The event was to showcase the top 12 men’s and 12 women’s winning teams from the 2019-20 curling season in one final showdown.

• The Town of Olds has cancelled all public skating, hockey and swimming at the Olds Aquatic Centre and the Sportsplex. The Olds Aquatic Centre and the Sportsplex will be closed until further notice.

• The Town of Olds 20th Annual Volunteer Appreciation Celebration scheduled for April 3 at the Olds Regional Exhibition Cow Palace has been cancelled.

• The Olds Aquatic Centre's Dive-in Movie Night scheduled for March 20 has been cancelled.

• The Shaggin On Sno fundraising tournament planned for March 14 has been postponed.

• Organizers of Dot's Day -- a women's empowerment and wellness conference planned for Saturday, March 14 at the Olds Community Learning Campus -- has

been cancelled.

• The Olds Grizzlys Bantam Identification Camp (March 20-21, 2020) and the Olds Grizzlys Spring Hockey Camp (March 27-29) have been postponed until further notice.

According to the Grizzlys statement issued March 12, if the camps cannot be hosted due to various reasons, refunds will be issued at that time.  Information on how to obtain a refund will be released at that time as well.

Red Deer County

• Red Deer County is postponing the grand opening event for the Family Resource Centre in Springbrook originally scheduled for March 14. The county says the event will take place at a future date.

• Red Deer County’s 2020 Volunteer Appreciation Night originally scheduled for April 8 at Ridgewood Hall has been postponed.

School trip updates:

Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools board of trustees have cancelled École Secondaire Notre Dame High School and St. Joseph High School international trips that were to occur over March spring break.

École Secondaire Notre Dame High School had planned two trips. One group of students was to travel to Germany, Croatia and Spain, while the other group was travelling solely in Spain. St. Joseph High School students were to visit Central Europe (Germany, Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary). All trips were to occur during March 18 – 29.

March 12

Red Deer County and Mountain View County

Mountain View County and Red Deer County council and staff members will no longer be going to the Rural Municipalities of Alberta (RMA) 2020 Spring Convention and Trade Show as it has been cancelled. The event was originally scheduled for March 16 -18 at the Edmonton Convention Centre. The association’s board of directors announced the cancellation of the event today after an emergency meeting of the association’s board of directors.

Olds

• Mountain View Seniors' Housing Foundation has postponed its 5th Annual Powered by the People Gala & Fundraising Event originally scheduled for April 2 at The Heritage Centre in Cremona.

• Foothills Natural Gas Co-op Ltd. has postponed its 2020 annual general meeting originally scheduled for March 18 at Eagle Hill Memorial Community Hall in Mountain View County. The board says an alternative future date will be established when the risk of communicable disease transmission can be determined as much less of a health hazard than currently.

• Wild Rose Medical Centre in Olds has suspended all walk-ins effective March 10. Same day appointments can be made by phoning the clinic after 7:45 a.m. for an appointment after 8:30 a.m. Patients are advised to not enter the clinic if you do not have an appointment. If you are worried that you may have COVID-19, the clinic advises to call Health Link at 811 for further instructions. Call 911 if you are seriously ill, and need immediate medical attention and inform them that you may have COVID-19.

• Olds College has issued a travel directive. Effective March 11, all travel (staff, faculty and students) to locations designated by the government of Canada as level 2 or above (due to COVID-19) is suspended until further notice.

The Olds College COVID-19 Response Team must approve all college-related travel to locations considered to be a level 1 risk for COVID-19.

The response team may further restrict travel to regions that have declared (or are adjacent to regions that have declared) local states of emergency.

Members of the college community who have been advised to self-isolate by Health Link (811) should advise their supervisor of their status. 

All employees who are absent due to COVID-19 illness or advised to self-isolate will be paid for time absent while sick or otherwise self-isolated.  Employees who are instructed to self-isolate, and are not sick or symptomatic, are encouraged to work remotely, if possible.

Sundre

• The Town of Sundre says it is working with the Alberta Emergency Management Agency and Alberta Health Services to monitor COVID-19 and has plans in place to maintain essential services should it become necessary to do so. The town reminds you to download the Town of Sundre app to receive emergency notifications to your phone.

Didsbury

• The town’s annual Maple Leaf Exchange program has been cancelled for this year.  Students from Miki Town, Japan were to be on exchange in Didsbury March 20 -25.

• The Town of Didsbury’s acting director of Emergency Management (DEM) has been in communication with the local AHS (hospital) officials regarding their local plans and preparations. Local staff are monitoring the unfolding situation and are being updated regularly. The town’s acting DEM is meeting with his counterparts with the regional emergency management team to review the regional plans and state of preparation. The public is being advised to monitor the AHS website

Innisfail

• Effective March 11, Chinook’s Edge School Division has cancelled all previously board-endorsed out-of-country travel until the end of April. Today, the school division announced that effective March 13 all out-of-province travel is also cancelled until April 30.

• Innisfail Dental Centre is asking any patients who have travelled in the past 14 days or are experiencing a fever, cough or flu like symptoms to postpone scheduling any appointments or reschedule appointments until you are feeling better. Emergency dental appointments where the patient is experiencing pain or discomfort will be handled on a case-by-case basis, the clinic says. Patients are asked to contact the office should you require emergency care and are experiencing flu-like symptoms.




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