Press Releases

Friday, May 15, 2020 / Categories: Press Releases

Press Release - Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update for Whitecourt May 15, 2020

The Town of Whitecourt continues to monitor the COVID-19 health emergency across Alberta.  As we head into the Victoria Day long weekend, Whitecourt has some reminders surrounding closures, gatherings and travel for the community.

Whitecourt’s Reopening Strategy
With the guidance and recommendation from the Government of Alberta, Whitecourt will be following a phased in approach to reopen public facilities and amenities.  Community members are asked to follow the Whitecourt Facebook page and website as updates on the reopening of facilities will be posted when available.

The following outdoor areas and amenities remain open for public use in Whitecourt:

  • Parks and Open Spaces (including baseball diamonds, soccer fields) for spontaneous use and unorganized sports only;

  • Off Leash Dog Park;

  • Trails;

  • Riverboat Park Boat Launch;

  • Neighbourhood courts (basketball, tennis) for spontaneous, non-contact, unorganized sport only.

When enjoying outdoor public spaces this long weekend, remember to continue to follow public health guidelines:

  • Maintain a 6 foot distance from people in different households. 

  • Mass gathering restrictions remain in effect (15 people or less).

  • When participating in recreational activities bring your own equipment and avoid activities that require shared equipment. For sports like basketball and baseball where 6 foot distancing cannot be achieved, play is only allowed with your immediate family or family cohort. For sports like horseshoes, bocce ball, tennis and pickleball where there is a shared equipment, players are only permitted to touch their own balls and equipment.

  • Wash/sanitize your hands often.  It is recommended that you carry personal hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes, and wipe down any high touch surfaces (benches, carts, picnic tables, etc.) prior to and after use.  As soon as you return home, wash your hand with soap and water.

For more information on how you and your family can safely enjoy the outdoors this season visit www.alberta.ca/guidance-on-outdoor-activities.aspx.

Per the current public health guidelines, the following recreational amenities remain closed for public use:

  • Playground structures in Town-owned parks;

  • Skate Park;

  • Whitecourt River Slides and Splash Park: Per the Province’s guidelines, the Whitecourt River Slides and Splashpark will remain closed.  Both water features are considered pools and are required to remain closed as any potential  reopening is included in stage 3 of Alberta’s Relaunch Strategy.

The Town anticipates a reopening decision for playground structures may be made within the next two weeks, once the Province releases operating guidelines that allow the Town to establish appropriate safe use measures that are consistent with their recommendations.

Campfires
There is currently no fire ban within the Town of Whitecourt.  Fires are allowed in permitted fire pits.  If you are travelling outside of Whitecourt, please visit www.albertafirebans.ca for information on fire restrictions and bans in other jurisdictions.

Garage/Yard Sales
It is strongly recommended that garage/yard sales not be held at this time due to the
current provincial restrictions on gatherings and the recommendation for all Albertans
to practice physical distancing.  

Help Prevent The Spread
As more businesses and areas open up, residents are asked to help prevent the spread, and take the following precautions to protect yourself and others:

  • Practice physical distancing: keep at least 6 feet from others; limit the amount of times you leave your house for errands; and try to avoid crowded areas.  This includes when you are dining out; per Provincial regulations tables will be spaced to allow for 6 feet distancing, and the maximum amount of people permitted at a single table is 6 people within the same household or cohort family.  

  • Practice good hygiene: wash hands often for at least 20 seconds, cover coughs and sneezes, and avoid touching face.  When out, carry personal hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes, and wipe down any high touch surfaces (benches, carts, picnic tables, etc.) prior to and after use.  As soon as you return home, wash your hand with soap and water.

  • Monitor for symptoms: cough, fever, shortness of breath, runny nose or sore throat, and take the COVID-19 online self-assessment to access testing.

  • Self-isolate for the legally-required 10 days if you have any symptoms that are not related to a pre-existing illness or medical condition.

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

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