Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer addressed the city in a Facebook Live video Wednesday and asked citizens to continue to be diligent in the battle against COVID-19. (File photo by Advocate staff).

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer addressed the city in a Facebook Live video Wednesday and asked citizens to continue to be diligent in the battle against COVID-19. (File photo by Advocate staff).

‘It’s affecting us all’: Veer encourages city to come together in response to COVID-19

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer is gravely concerned about the growing COVID-19 active case numbers in the city.

With the province’s public health measures set to come into place this week and over the weekend, she hopes that will help stem the tide and prevent a strain on hospital capacity.

“With the rising and I will note the all-time high number of COVID-19 cases in our community and with a significant concern around the rate of spread, it’s affecting us all,” Veer said in a press conference Wednesday.

“Although we are all incredibly pandemic weary, we need to continue to be diligent in terms of doing all that we can ensure that we limit the spread of this virus.”

There are currently 881 active cases of COVID-19 in Red Deer and the city has added more than 150 active cases in May alone.

Related:

UPDATE: Kenney says COVID-19 cases growing by 1.8 per cent daily

Overall, the Central zone has 2,888 active cases, with 63 COVID-19 patients in hospital, including nine in the ICU.

On the surface, that is only an increase of three ICU patients over the past week, but Veer added that cases haven’t translated proportionally to hospitalizations and they might still do so.

She noted COVID-19 patients in the region are being repatriated to the Red Deer Hospital.

“That is a critical number for us to be looking at because it’s not just capacity at the local hospital, for anyone who needs to go to the hospital for an emergency, so we’re trying to protect general capacity at the hospital,” she said.

“Specifically, ICU capacity because those are no doubt patients who are on ventilators fighting for their lives. The fact that that number has gone up, is of grave concern.”

With new COVID-19 restrictions set to come into effect, city manager Allan Seabrooke explained the RCMP will be actively enforcing those measures. Red Deer will be working to increase enforcement of the new restrictions, particularly with repeat offenders.

“Those that continue to not follow health regulations and put Albertans and Red Deerians at risk. Repeat offenders will be dealt with,” he said, adding that the province has increased fines for COVID-19 public health violations from $1,000 to $2,000.

Seabrooke said that includes businesses that violate public health measures. He says the city has strict bylaws that business must follow.

Related:

AHS shuts down Whistle Stop Cafe for defying health orders

“We will take whatever action is necessary to ensure that the law is enforced,” he said.

He was also asked about city employees who violate COVID-19 measures. He noted city staff have and must follow public health orders on the job and outside of work, but represent the city in a responsible manner.

“Our staff are responsible during their work time to follow the rules. However, we also have codes of conduct that city employees that are representing the city, are to represent the city outside the workplace with respect and following the law,” he said.

Veer added city officials recognize the disappointment in the community with new public health measures but are hopeful people can rally around their fellow citizens over the next three weeks.

“We know this is an incredibly challenging time for many people. Yet again businesses are faced with uncertainty and some are faced with imminent closures. We have many individuals who are fighting for their lives and are fearful for their loved ones,” she said.

“Our pandemic response is very personal for people and as much as possible, I appeal to our community on behalf of council and the city operations team that we will pull together and do what we can. We have a circuit breaker and hopefully, it will be effective province-wide and for our city. We just encourage everybody to abide by the public health orders in order to mitigate community spread.”



Send your news tips

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

CMHA
Mental health support centre in central Alberta to receive funding

Shoppers Drug Mart is lending support to the Canadian Mental Health Association.… Continue reading

Downtown Red Deer was packed with people who lined the streets to watch the Westerner Days parade on Wednesday. (Photo by SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)
Westerner Days parade cancelled, full details on modified event coming June 28

The 2021 edition of Westerner Days will look much different than any… Continue reading

City council wants to hear from the public at a May 25 hearing about whether the temporary homeless shelter should be allowed to remain in the downtown for another year. (Advocate file photo).
City of Red Deer staff to recommend another extension to allow operations at current temporary shelter site

Following some more research city administration has received no other new locations… Continue reading

A scene from the short Western ‘Cheaters, Robbers and Outlaws,’ written and directed by Jason Steele, with support from Telus Storyhive. (Contributed image)
Red Deerians make ‘Cheaters, Robbers and Outlaws’ short Western film

Writer and director Jason Steele received a $20,000 Storyhive grant from Telus

Residents in several neighbourhoods reported little to no water pressure Tuesday night. (File photo by Advocate staff)
City hall to reopen for payments and customer service

Red Deer City Hall will reopen on June 21 for utility and… Continue reading

Harley Hay
Harley Hay: You can’t trust Mondays

Monday isn’t my favourite day. It insists on occurring right after a… Continue reading

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price stops Vegas Golden Knights' William Karlsson as he is covered by Canadiens' Joel Edmundson during first period of Game 3 of the NHL Stanley Cup semifinal Friday, June 18, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Andreson’s timely scoring, Price’s goaltending give Habs 2-1 series lead over Vegas

Canadiens 3 Golden Knights 2 (OT) (Montreal leads series 2-1) MONTREAL —… Continue reading

Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) is defended by Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons (25) as he looks for an opening during the first half of Game 6 of an NBA basketball Eastern Conference semifinal series Friday, June 18, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Curry, Harris help 76ers stay alive, hold off Hawks 104-99

76ers 104 Hawks 99 (Series tied 3-3) ATLANTA — Seth Curry hit… Continue reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s promise of a two-dose fall is… Continue reading

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, speaks during a press conference in Ottawa, Thursday, May 13, 2021. Mendicino has announced a new policy to help settle 500 refugees and their families in a news conference today. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year: Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino

Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino announced plans to expedite applications and increase the… Continue reading

Louis Oosthuizen, of South Africa, plays his shot from the third tee during the second round of the U.S. Open Golf Championship, Friday, June 18, 2021, at Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Bland leads at Torrey and shows the US Open is truly open

SAN DIEGO — The U.S. Open prides itself on being the most… Continue reading

The Prime Minister's car waits outside the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg Tuesday, May 19, 2009. The head of the Public Health Agency of Canada is showing no sign he'll release unredacted documents about the firing of two scientists at Canada's highest security laboratory — despite the prospect of being publicly shamed in the House of Commons for his refusal to turn them over. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods
PHAC head maintains he’s bound by law not to release docs on fired scientists

OTTAWA — The head of the Public Health Agency of Canada is… Continue reading

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant in Canada

OTTAWA — The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly… Continue reading

Most Read