Members of the public can no longer walk into Red Deer’s downtown RCMP station, the City of Red Deer’s civic yards, or most other municipal departments.
City Hall will remain open to the public for now — but only the main floor. And residents are urged to call ahead to see if alternatives can be found to showing up there in person.
These latest temporary measures to try to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus were announced by Mayor Tara Veer and emergency management co-ordinator Karen Mann during Tuesday’s video conference.
Veer said a shift to online and telephone customer service is being made to strengthen Alberta Health guidelines for social distancing.
While the viral risk to residents remains low — AHS has not told Red Deer city officials that the third Central Zone case of COVID-19 is in Red Deer, so Mann assumes the city is still free of diagnosed virus cases — she said pro-active steps are being taken to prevent community spread.
Effective Wednesday, the City’s Civic Yards facility (7721 40 Ave.) and City departments located within Professional Building at 4808 50th St. — including Human Resources, Corporate Services and Community Services — will close to the public.
The City’s Land and Economic Development office at 5000 51 Ave. will also be shut to public access.
While City Hall’s main floor will remain open, residents are encouraged to do business online or by phone as much as possible. (Online services can be accessed through www.reddeer.ca/mycity.)
Cemetery services, Waste Management Facility, and Sorensen Station Transit customer service remains open to the public. Transit continues to operate with enhanced cleaning. Dedicated school bus services are not running.
Also starting Wednesday, the downtown RCMP detachment’s front counter will be closed.
All reports of vehicle collisions, and information related to investigations, as well as reports of crimes and suspicious activity can be made through email or telephone (403-343-5575, or Kreddeer@rcmp-grc.gc.ca.) Non-emergency reports are accepted between 8 a.m. until 10 p.m., seven days a week.
For emergencies call 9-1-1 — but warn the dispatcher if experiencing cold or flu like symptoms.
All non-essential police services, such as fingerprinting and criminal record checks are cancelled for now.
“The safety and security of the public has always and will continue to be the top priority for Red Deer RCMP, which is why we are increasing our online and telephone customer service options,” said Supt. Gerald Grobmeier.
The City is working with Alberta Health Services on a response plan for those living in shelters, said Mann — including finding more room for social distancing and potentially isolation spaces.
The provincial government announced funding through Family and Community Support Services for community support organization that incur additional expenses in trying to curb the spread of the virus.
Both levels of government pledged financial help for businesses and individuals experiencing hardship because of the virus. City officials suggest contacting Service Canada.
Veer encourages citizens to follow the recommendations of Alberta Health Services. (For the latest information on COVID-19 visit alberta.ca/covid19 or to learn how City services are impacted, visit reddeer.ca/covid19.)
The city’s call centre is open 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. to answer public questions (403-342-8111).