Press Release - Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update for Whitecourt - March 17, 2020
The Town of Whitecourt is taking further actions as a precaution to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation.
As a precaution, the Emergency Management Plan has been activated and there has been a partial activation of Whitecourt’s Emergency Coordination Centre (ECC). The ECC activation allows Town management to provide community responses that support Alberta Health recommendations, and protects and assists our residents and staff during this event.
The nature of services offered in some Town facilities result in an inability to enforce recommended social distancing practices. Additionally, there are limited staffing numbers, making service maintenance challenging if illness were to spread. Effective Wednesday, March 18, the follow facilities will be open to staff so that a level of service can be maintained to the community, but closed to the public until further notice:
- Town Office - Staff will be available to answer questions via telephone during regular hours of operation at 780-778-2273. Payments made by cheque can be deposited in the drop box at the front entrance of the Town Office, and residents are encouraged to use the online payment system accessible via www.whitecourt.ca. Any meetings with Town of Whitecourt employees will be moved to phone, online or email based communications.
- Whitecourt Fire Hall - Closed to the public and special measures are being taken to ensure the continuation of emergency response. There is no change in the level of service provided to the community.
- Public Works Shop - Closed to the public; there is no change in the level of service provided to the community.
Effective March 16, the following facilities were closed to the public, and remain closed until further notice:
- Allan & Jean Millar Centre - Account credits will be provided to those affected by registered program postponements. Prorated credits will be given to individuals registered in programs that were already underway. Annual and continuous monthly memberships will be placed on hold during this time (scheduled EFT payments will be suspended until further notice).
- Forest Interpretive Centre
- Public Works Shop
- Scott Safety Centre
- Whitecourt Public Library
The Carlan Services Community Resource Centre remains open to the public to allow for the Whitecourt Food Bank to continue to operate. The Food Bank operates Monday, Wednesday and Friday 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Whitecourt Transit and Dial A Bus services continue with increased safety measures and in place.
Create a household action plan
We know many may be concerned about COVID-19 and want to prepare in case you need to isolate at home. Create a household action plan by taking these steps:
- Ensure you have 72 hours worth of food, water and essentials. You don’t need to stockpile supplies.
- Think about how you could meet your family’s needs if you had to self-isolate (groceries, medical needs, errands).
- Talk to relatives, friends and neighbours about their needs and how you could support each other.
- Make a list of emergency contacts.
Residents are encouraged to read through the Province’s tips on precautions to take, how to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, and how households can prepare at www.alberta.ca/COVID19
As this situation continues to evolve, further updates will be provided to the community. Residents are advised that the Town of Whitecourt has an emergency continuity plan in place to ensure essential services continue uninterrupted.