Mayor Grant Creasey is pleased to see a cautious-staged approach to the Province of Alberta’s COVID-19 relaunch plan.
“I consider the plan we have here at the City to be similar in nature and I think people will be happy to know that some municipal facilities will be reopening around May 19.,” he said. “City Hall will once again reopen so that people will be able to access bill paying, development permits and those types of items. Public works will also open up again.”
Premier Jason Kenney introduced Alberta’s phased relaunch plan on April 30 during a press conference. The plan will see Alberta Health Services resume some scheduled, non-urgent surgeries as soon as Monday, along with allowing dental and other health-care workers, such as physiotherapists, speech language pathologists, dietitians and more, will be allowed to also resume services starting Monday.
Golf courses and access to provincial parks and public lands can begin Monday.
A more detailed look at Phase 1 and the rest of the relaunch plan, which begins on May 14 can be found at: https://www.lacombeexpress.com/news/alberta-releases-staged-covid-19-relaunch-strategy/.
Lacombe Chief Administrative Officer Matthew Goudy said the City is looking at opening more facilities in the City but are awaiting further guidance from the Province.
“We are looking at getting the LMC open as soon as possible to provide access to the Library, FCSS and the recently renovated cafe in there,” he said.
Creasey added the City will be bringing back some City employees who were laid off at the onset of the crisis, but further opening of some of the City’s larger facilities will be further down the road.
“I think that may be ambitious for our sport-oriented facilities such as the Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex and the Kinsmen Aquatic Centre. I think that will be down the road a bit further and that will be regulated by the outcomes of pandemic itself. If we continue to see low numbers,” he said.
Creasey said he is pleased with the Provinces cautious, phased-in approach.
“I will say that all of the choices the have made will not necessarily suit everyone but I am pleased at the way they have reacted to input from municipalities. They have been able to adjust relatively quickly when circumstances have warranted it,” he said.
Goudy added the vigilance of Lacombe’s citizens throughout the pandemic has allowed Lacombe to be in the position to relaunch.
“We are really pleased people have put us in that position,” he said
Creasey added he was pleased that Lacombe was not one of the horrific examples of COVID-19 outbreaks seen in the news.
“I am grateful to say that has not been our experience here in Lacombe and people have not only been compliant, but I would suggest they have gone above and beyond. I would suggest our amount of positive cases prove that,” he said.
In terms of cost, Goudy said he hopes stimulus spending will go to small businesses and residents since the City is in a position where it will not need to be bailed out by the Province and the Government of Canada.
“If there is some stimulus spending, we want that to be an opportunity to get Lacombe area residents back to work sooner, faster, for longer,” he said.
Creasey reminded Lacombe residents to continue to follow public health orders.
“I want to caution people to still be vigilant, pay attention to physical distancing and keep washing your hands. I know they have heard that a million times but it is equally important now as it ever was,” he said.