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Restrictions may be hard but in the public interest: Didsbury mayor

Weekly church services increased to accommodate limits
hunter, rhonda 1
Town of Didsbury Mayor Rhonda Hunter. File photo/MVP Staff

DIDSBURY - Town of Didsbury Mayor Rhonda Hunter says although new temporary pandemic restrictions may be hard on residents and businesses, they are in the public interest.

“We strongly encourage everyone to follow these directives from the provincial government because they are making the directives for a reason and they are doing the very best they can to manage (the pandemic) while continuing to give people their liberties and choices,” said Hunter.

Mountain View County, along with urban centres located geographically within it except Olds, was placed under enhanced status last week. Didsbury is included. New temporary restrictions are to last two weeks.

Under new mandatory measures for enhanced communities, bars, restaurants, lounges and pubs are required to stop liquor sales by 10 p.m. and close by 11 p.m.

Mask use is encouraged in all indoor work settings, except when alone in a workspace or where an appropriate barrier is in place, and there is also a limit of three cohorts.

Employers in office settings are supposed to implement strategies to reduce the number of employees in the workplace at one time.

As well, there is a 15-person limit on family and social gatherings, a 50-person limit on wedding ceremonies and funeral services, and all faith-based organization attendance is limited to one-third capacity.

Bruce Archer is an associate pastor at Zion Evangelical Missionary Church in Didsbury. He says the church is now running two weekly services to ensure the one-third capacity rule is maintained.

“It’s still frustrating but our sanctuary can hold about 450 and we are keeping it at about 150,” said Archer. “That’s able to accommodate things. We’ve had to do some more things with the children’s ministry, just making sure the little groups are small.”