Playgrounds and golf courses will remain closed in Red Deer until the Alberta government releases its recovery plan, says the city manager.
With the premiers of Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Ontario and Quebec forging ahead to announce their reopening schedules, Allan Seabrooke anticipates Alberta’s recovery plan will be coming soon.
“Until we get direction, playgrounds will remain closed,” said Seabrooke, as will golf courses — although he thinks it could be possible for courses to reopen with some provincially set restrictions.
COVID-19-related shut-downs are also apply to organized sports leagues. Seabrooke said it’s impossible to have less than 15 people and adequate physical distancing space at soccer or baseball games.
Coun. Frank Wong asked the city manager to clarify rules around garage sales at Monday’s city council meeting.
While the province hasn’t formally banned them, garage sales are being strongly discouraged, responded Seabrooke.
The 15-person or less gathering rule would apply for any garage sale that is held, as well as physical distancing of two metres, and having a hand sanitizing station, he added.
“I would want to make the public aware of the risks, and that they do need to follow provincial regulations in all the activities they do.”
When the province announces a staged re-opening plan for businesses, the city will work to assist, said Seabrooke, who added the City of Red Deer is eager to take advantage of infrastructure stimulus packages the provincial government will be offering.
“We have a number of capital projects that we would have to proceed with …. any additional money will enable us to put more (builders and engineers) to work.”
Several councillors spoke of having citizens ask them why Red Deer largely remains shut-down when there are so few local cases of the novel coronavirus.
Coun. Vesna Higham encouraged people to keep social distancing measures up so there isn’t a backwards slide.
“We have not yet reached a peak in Alberta or in Red Deer, so we have to stay vigilant.”
Seabrooke praised Red Deerians for their generosity, saying many people who can afford to contribute are donating to social service organizations, such as the food bank, Salvation Army, The Mustard Seed and Golden Circle.
These groups are making 4,000 meals a week for local families in need.