Red Deer is temporarily cancelling recreation and culture programming at city facilities to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
According to Alberta Health (AHS), there are currently no confirmed cases of the virus in Red Deer, and the risk to residents remains low, the city said in a press release Friday evening.
In addition to the decision to cancel recreation and culture programming, Red Deer has already taken a number of preventative measures in the interest of social distancing:
- Activation of a City of Red Deer Emergency Operations Centre;
- Cancellation of city programs in public facilities, including but not limited to, fitness classes, swimming lessons, educational and cultural courses;
- Closure of hot tubs, steam rooms and saunas;
- Closure of child minding services at the G.H. Dawe Community Centre and Collicutt Centre;
- Revised cancellation policies for recreation facility passes, programs and rentals;
- A shift from in-person to online City of Red Deer public participation and consultation activities;
- Enhanced cleaning and janitorial services in high traffic areas and touch points;
- Continued focus on hygiene;
- Mandatory 14-day isolation period for all City of Red Deer employees who are symptomatic and/or who travelled internationally, effective March 12 at 4:00 p.m.;
- Activation of a City of Red Deer call centre for residents to make non-emergency inquiries about City policies and facilities (403-342-8111), operation 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily until further notice;
- The City is in communication and sharing information with contractors operating City facilities (i.e. Heritage Ranch, Museum & Art Gallery, Bower Ponds, and neighbourhood activity centres), however, business decisions remain with those individual operators.
“The health and safety of our residents is priority number one,” said Karen Mann, Situational Monitoring Centre director, with the City of Red Deer.
“We know some of these measures may cause frustration and disrupt the routines of individuals and families who engage in in our many programs and services. However, we strongly believe these are necessary steps in minimizing the potential spread of COVID-19 in our community.”
At this time all city recreation facilities remain open, such as the Collicutt Centre, G.H. Dawe Community Centre.
Public facilities like City Hall, downtown RCMP and Emergency Services Counter Service remain open. Residents are reminded not to attend city facilities or any public place if they’re feeling ill.