The Town of Blackfalds has been upgraded to an enhanced status by the province. Lacombe County reached 11 active cases on Nov. 17 and currently has 12 cases as of Nov. 19.
New voluntary and mandatory measures have been put in place by the province this week to help slow the spread of the virus.
The three mandatory measures are a 15-person limit on social gatherings, restaurants and bars must stop liquor sales by 10 p.m. and close by 11 p.m. and a 50-person limit on wedding ceremonies and funeral services.
In a press release on Tuesday the county said, “We must take action now to help slow the virus’s spread and make sure the health system can continue supporting patients with COVID-19, influenza and many other needs.”
In addition, the province is asking county residents to follow the voluntary measures they outlined on Nov. 17. These include:
• Faith based gatherings limited to one-third capacity
Limiting cohorts to no more than three: your core household, your school, and one other sport or social cohort. Young children who attend childcare could be part of four cohorts, since childcare settings have not been a high risk for spread.
• Wear a mask in all indoor work settings, except when alone in a workspace, like an office or cubicle, where you are safely distanced from others, or an appropriate barrier is in place.
• No social gatherings inside your home or outside your community. Instead, socialize outdoors or in structured settings, like restaurants or other businesses that are subject to legal limits and take steps to prevent transmission.
• Employers in office settings should implement measures to reduce the number of employees in the workplace at one time.
The Town of Blackfalds has announced that it will be adhering to all the updated regulations and that this will have a limited effect on operations at their facilities.
Some changes the town has implemented include limiting facility and room rentals to be within the 15 and 50 person guidelines. Additionally, it is strongly recommended masks be used at any municipally owned building.
This includes the following locations:
• Abbey Centre
• Community Centre
• Operations Centre,
• Blackfalds Fire Department,
• Wadey Centre
• Civic Cultural Centre
Disposable masks will be available for the public at these facilities.
The town has said that fitness classes and group sports will not be cancelled at the Abbey Centre. However, if visitors feel uncomfortable attending events they have registered in, because of the rise in cases, refunds with be issued on a case-by-case basis.
In addition to following the above guidelines the county suggests residents continue to follow the basic public health measures.
• Keep two meters apart when you can, wear a mask when you can’t
• Practice good hygiene: wash your hands often and cover coughs and sneezes
• Monitor your symptoms every day
• If sick, stay home, get tested, and follow mandatory isolation requirements while waiting for results:
o if positive, isolate from others for 10 days or until symptoms are gone, whichever is longer
o if negative, stay home until you’re better
• Avoid non-essential travel
• Get the flu shot to keep influenza cases low so health workers can focus on the COVID-19 pandemic
• Stay informed: Stay up to date on the situation and get your information from reliable sources