With new provincial COVID-19 measures set to go into place Sunday, the City of Red Deer updated residents on how the new regulations will affect the community.
In a media availability Wednesday, City Manager Allan Seabrooke said that all indoor city recreation facilities will close at the end of day on Dec. 12 and be shut down until at least Jan. 12.
He noted with those closures, there will be staffing impacts to city employees similar to earlier in the COVID-19 pandemic.
“While the province indicated these restrictions are in place until at least Jan. 12, we will be extending the facility closures possibly to January 30, but that remains open, depending on restrictions and provincial advice,” he said.
Seabrooke also noted that there will be changes to transit as businesses close due to the new measures. The exact changes were not available Wednesday.
There will be patrols by both correctional peace officers and RCMP to enforce the new restrictions, but Seabrooke emphasized that education will be put ahead of fines and enforcement.
“We don’t get through this by having to write tickets, by people not protecting each other and being grateful to each other, so that is our ask, Seabrooke said.
“Make our enforcement – people that are out there trying to protect you and let’s not make their job more difficult, let’s just follow the rules.”
City officials also noted that trails and parks are still open, but citizens must try to maintain social distance when using them.
Outdoor rinks across the city, as well as Bower Ponds will still be open. The maximum capacity at outdoor rinks is 10 people per rink and users should maintain two metres from people outside of their household.
The city continues to face challenges with the pandemic with active cases at 385 Wednesday.
Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer said it is important that Red Deerians remain vigilant with the new COVID-19 measures, so we can move forward together into 2021.
“We need to come together to support our community in whatever way we can,” said Veer.
At 4 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 11, in-person customer service operations at the Recreation Centre will temporarily close. Friday will be the last day to make in-person payments and the city will work with the public to facilitate other forms of payment.