By Justin Seward
Despite the recent positive COVID-19 cases at the Redcliff Legion and the Redcliff Family Dental Centre, the municipality is going to stick to Alberta Health’s guidelines and not make any rational decisions for mandatory COVID-19 protocols just yet.
“Our numbers jumped a lot from that one case,” said Redcliff Mayor Dwight Kilpatrick.
“Those people I’m sure didn’t do it on purpose. It’s just unfortunate sometimes it can spread very quickly and with the amount of people in this area, it doesn’t take very many people to get our numbers up into an area of interest.”
Redcliff is included under Cypress County for cases, which saw an uptick in cases to 35 active cases as of Nov.14.
“We don’t have any bylaws in place and neither does the City of Medicine Hat,” said Kilpatrick.
With Alberta’s new guidelines taking effect on Nov.13, both Redcliff and the County are now under the enhanced group.
Medicine Hat also reached that group last week.
The new voluntary measures include no social gatherings inside your home or outside of your community , a limit of three cohorts that includes child care, mask use encouraged in all indoor work places, employers in office settings are required to reduce employees in the workplace at one time and faith-based groups cutting down to one-third of its capacity.
Mandatory measures include restaurants and pubs to stop liquor sales by 10 p.m. (Nov. 13-27), weddings and funeral services putting a cap on attendance at 50 people and a 15-person limit on family and social gatherings.
Also, the groups are determine by the regions with at least 10 active cases and a rate of 50 active cases per a 100,000 population are considered a threshold.
“We’ve moved from ‘nice and quiet’ to a ‘matter of interest.’ Of course if the counts keep going higher, then the third level is the province steps in and gives us restrictions,” said Kilpatrick.
“They’re (the province) suggesting even families shouldn’t even be really getting together-maybe limited to two or three people.”
The Town has shut down public skating as attendees turned out and did not do physical distancing or wear a mask.
“We can only control so many things and we have started to limit what we do,” he said.
“ I guess if it gets worse (and)all recreational facilities were closed (like) last spring, so that announcement could come again. They’re not trying too because of course if you close recreational facilities, you’re closing gyms and that’s people’s livelihoods.”
The town will make more changes if it appears the COVID situation changes drastically and the community is feeling threatened.
“We don’t have a whole bunch of employees,” he said.
“If some of our employees start getting sick and had to go home, we would have to start shutting things down. We only have so many people that run the arena and the water treatment plant. We’ve already tried to bring the scheduling in to play where they minimize their contact with each other-there is no guaranteed with that either. We could be back to last spring.”