The rise in active COVID-19 cases could mean a delay of reopening for the City of Red Deer.
In a release Tuesday afternoon, the city asked Red Deerians to be diligent and limit the spread of the virus and to bring the local case numbers down.
Red Deer reported 559 active cases of COVID-19 Tuesday, up nearly 100 in the past week. Red Deer has nearly 75 per cent of the active cases in the Central zone.
“If Red Deer’s numbers remain high, we may not be included in the next phase of reopening outlined by the province of Alberta and remain under tighter restrictions than the rest of the Alberta. It is up to all of us to ensure this doesn’t happen,” Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer said in a statement Tuesday.
In the release, the city said they are closely monitoring the situation and working with Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services to respond to COVID-19 activity in the community. They added that the outbreak at Olymel is not the sole contributor to rising cases in the city over the past several weeks.
Outbreaks in Red Deer have been reported at the Red Deer Remand Centre, several acute care and continuing care centres, multiple units within Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre as well as several school-related cases.
“The city is assisting Olymel, Alberta Health, AHS and our community agency partners to co-ordinate supports for the over 1,800 workers, and their families. This includes helping them arrange safe housing if they can’t isolate at home, connecting them to community support groups and offering information in a variety of languages,” said emergency operations centre director, Karen Mann.
“This outbreak does not represent all our case numbers, and the numbers related to this outbreak have begun to flatten. This is a reminder that COVID-19 is still a real risk to our community and something we can’t take lightly.”
Veer added the city does not make decisions on business closures, rather it relies on AHS to help make those calls.
“We understand COVID-19 restrictions can be difficult and this is a stressful time for many. Many Albertans and Red Deerians are experiencing COVID fatigue,” added Veer.
“We’ve been in the pandemic for nearly a year now, but we all need to work together to follow public health guidelines to protect capacity at our local hospital and to ensure we are on track for safe re-start of our local economy.”
The province has not requested Red Deer take additional measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 as of Tuesday.