Press Releases

Saturday, March 28, 2020 / Categories: Press Releases

Press Release - Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update for Whitecourt - March 28, 2020

As announced by the Government of Alberta on March 27, 2020, restrictions regarding mass gatherings have changed.  The new restrictions apply to public and private gatherings where people are brought together in a single room or space at the same time, including funerals, weddings, family dinners, birthday parties and other informal events.  This does not include workspaces that are not otherwise restricted or ordered to close. These workspaces can have more than 15 workers on a worksite as long as they follow all public health guidance.  Further details on gathering restrictions are available

Also announced by the Government of Alberta, all non-essential businesses, including retail and dine in restaurant services, are suspended effective immediately.  Restrictions are now in place for the following businesses:

  • Close contact businesses including hair salons and barbershops, tattoo and piercing studios, esthetic services, as well as wellness studios and clinics and non-emergency and non-critical health services provided by regulated health professionals or registered professionals including dentistry, physiotherapy, massage; podiatry, chiropractic and optometry services.
  • Dine-in restaurants will no longer be able to offer service. Take-out and delivery services will continue to be available.
  • Non-essential retail services that fall into the categories of clothing, computers and gaming stores, and services in shopping malls and shopping centres such as hobby and toys, gift and specialty items and furniture.  These businesses may choose to offer online shopping and curb-side pick-up.

Workplaces that have been deemed essential and have not been ordered to close must maintain public health measures, including two metre social distancing, hygiene enforcement, and processes that ensure that any person who is ill does not attend these spaces.  Detailed information outlining both essential and non-essential services as identified by the Government of Alberta can be found on

There are a number of new and existing resources that are available to local businesses that will provide support at this time.  Whitecourt and our partners have compiled information to provide easy access to our community, and the information is accessible on the Whitecourt website at

To protect the health and safety of Albertans, other preventative measures were enacted by the Government of Alberta on March 27, 2020:

  • Alberta Parks has closed vehicle access to all Alberta public parks and public lands effective April 1.
  • There will be no evictions due to failure to pay rent and rent increases are also suspended for the duration of the public health emergency.
  • Effective immediately, Alberta Health Services (AHS) is postponing some non-urgent diagnostic imaging procedures and non-essential/routine lab work.

Additionally, the Government of Canada announced on March 27, 2020:

  • Subsidies for small/medium sized business to cover 75% of wages, rather than the previously announced 10%.  This will be backdated to March 15, 2020.
  • Canada Emergency Business Account announced:
    • Banks offering $40,000 loans to businesses (interest free for 1 year).
    • $10,000 forgivable under certain conditions.
  • GST/HST payments are deferred to June 2020.

COVID-19 information and updates are publicly available on the Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services websites: