Crowds in Sylvan Lake “commonplace” during summer months

The Town of Sylvan Lake looking for solutions from Province for large crowds not social distancing

Sylvan Lake Mayor Sean McIntyre’s response on Facebook to a resident’s disappointment about the crowded lake.

The packed beach over the weekend was a cause for concern for man, and has caused the Town of Sylvan Lake to search for clear direction from the Province on situations such as this.

In a press release issued July 13, the Town said they have reached out to the Province for “clear direction” and to identify potential solutions which will allow for the continued enjoyment of the lake and have local businesses continue to operate.

READ MORE:Sylvan Lake beachgoers spark safety concerns

Concern for public well-being was sparked after pictures taken on Saturday circulated on social media. The photo depicted a busy beach front with many not social distancing and no masks being worn.

Comments from the social media posts say the image is reminiscent of those seen in Florida, which is seeing huge daily increases of those testing positive for COVID-19.

The images and comments had Sylvan Lake trending on Twitter Sunday as a result.

The Town says large crowds in Sylvan Lake during the summer are “commonplace” and they expect the number of visitors in the lakefront area was close, or at, to capacity.

“While the Town is disappointed with those who did not follow best health and safety practices on the weekend; we are aware of, and observed first hand, many that were enjoying the waterfront responsibly, so thank you,” the Town is in a press release.

The press release goes on to say those who are unable or unwilling to follow to the protocols set by Alberta Health, keeping two metre social or physical distance from those outside the family cohort, “must reconsider visiting our community.”

CAO Wally Ferris said only RCMP and Alberta Health are able to enforce how visitors comply with the social distancing mandate.

“Controlling social behaviour is tremendously difficult; we neither have the jurisdiction, nor the resources, to manage and enforce behaviour… but we want to be clear: from what we observed on the weekend – the sheer number of people, enforcement alone is not the solution,” Ferris said.

Over the weekend Sylvan Lake Mayor Sean McIntyre responded to a comment on his Facebook page that said the Town should do better at controlling the number of people at the lake.

McIntyre’s response said the Town does not have the authority to keep people off of the beach.

“The province also increased the size of groups to up to 200. It is difficult to tell where one group begins and the other group ends,” McIntyre said on Facebook.

McIntyre, who was down at the beach on Saturday, said that the area may have looked jam-packed, but there were actually gaps in between families.

“The public has been told they can form family cohorts of up to 15, to stay-cation within the province, and to support their local economies. With this, larger crowds at destinations like Sylvan Lake, are bound to happen, and we’re committed to working together to identify possible solutions to make our public spaces safer,” the Town said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Lacombe resident creates labyrinth near Breton

Marsha Duggan encourages others to use their imagination

1 in 7 Albertans have been tested for COVID-19

56 additional cases Thursday, 1,107 active cases remain in the province

#EndBikeTheft campaign comes to Lacombe

CACPC and 529 Garage partner to register bikes in central Alberta

PHOTOS: North Viewpoint Bridge opened at Ellis Bird Farm

A grant from Dow Canada allowed the project to go forward

94 new cases of COVID-19 in Alberta on Wednesday, two more deaths

1,146 active cases with 9,891 recovered cases

Protestors for Indigenous Lives Matter gather in Wetaskiwin

Protestors gathered along 56 St Wetaskiwin, Alta. August 4, 2020 for Indigenous Lives Matter.

Maskwacis teen charged in 10-year-old boy’s death

The RCMP Major Crimes Unit have laid a manslaughter charge against a 14-year-old boy from Maskwacis.

‘Caught up in the frenzy:’ Oilers 50/50 draw breaking ticket sale records

Previous record was held by Toronto Raptors fans when a 50/50 raffle reached $2 million

Alberta jury trials to resume next month at offsite locations due to COVID-19

About 12 locations across Alberta may host the trials in halls, hotels and community centres

Alberta school curriculum to focus on basics, keep out political bias: minister

NDP education critic says the kindergarten to Grade 4 changes should have been implemented a year ago

Statistics Canada says country gained 419,000 jobs in July

National unemployment rate was 10.9 per cent in July, down from the 12.3 per cent recorded in June

Canada plans $3.6 billion in retaliatory tariffs on U.S. in aluminium dispute

The new Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement that replaced NAFTA went into force on July 1

Walmart to make face masks mandatory for customers across Canada

Requirement goes into effect on Wednesday, Aug. 12 across Canada

Canada ‘profoundly concerned’ over China death sentence for citizen in drug case

Police later confiscated more than 120 kilograms of the drug from Xu Weihongโ€™s home

Most Read