Press Releases

Tuesday, May 26, 2020 / Categories: Press Releases

Press Release - Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update for Whitecourt

In response to the Alberta Government’s relaunch strategy, the first stage of the Town of Whitecourt’s reopening plan will begin on June 1, 2020.  To ensure the municipality is keeping within the provincial relaunch framework, Whitecourt has  developed its own municipal strategy that mirrors the stages the Province has put in place.

“While facilities and amenities are reopening, members of the public also need to be vigilant and follow the health guidelines and physical distancing protocols,” stated Doug Tymchyshyn, Director of Emergency Management.  “As we have experienced over the last several months, the situation can change quickly and if there is a surge in COVID-19 cases, we could see access to these amenities change or a delay in the opening of facilities as part of Stage 2.  We ask that everyone do their part to help prevent the spread of the virus.”

Stage 1 Relaunch – Monday, June 1, 2020

Stage 1, which starts Monday, June 1, includes re-opening the following amenities and facilities, with health and safety measures in place, as well as continued adherence to physical distance rules:

Town Administration Building

  • Access will be limited to services that cannot be provided via phone, email and online. Access will be by appointment only.

  • General public access will be re-evaluated at a future date.

Neighbourhood Playground Structures

  • Residents are encouraged to utilize the playground in their immediate neighbourhood, and physical distancing protocols of 2-metres must be maintained when using the equipment. 

  • Users will be responsible for bringing and using their own sanitizers to sanitize equipment and hands prior to and after use, and are recommended to wash hands with soap and water when returning home.

Rotary Park Playground

  • The playground structure will be open for use to everyone; however, physical distancing protocols of 2-metres must be maintained when using the equipment. 

  • Users will be responsible for bringing and using their own sanitizers to sanitize equipment (tables, benches, etc.) and hands prior to and after use, and are recommended to wash hands with soap and water when returning home. 

  • Parking at Rotary Park will be limited to every other stall. 

  • The Whitecourt River Slides and Splash Park remain closed at this time; reopening of these components are planned for Stage 3 of the Province’s reopening plan but this opening will be dependent on how successful the relaunch process impacts the COVID-19 pandemic across the province.

Skate Park

  • Physical distancing protocols of 2-metres must be maintained when using the facility.

  • Users will be responsible for bringing and using their own sanitizers to sanitize equipment (tables, benches, etc.) and hands prior to and after use, and are recommended to wash hands with soap and water when returning home.

Forest Interpretive Centre Visitor Information Centre and Heritage Museum

  • Reopening with physical distancing protocols in place.

  • Meeting spaces will not be available for rent at this time and outbuildings remain closed; reopening of these components will be re-evaluated at a future date. 

Sani Dump Station at the Forest Interpretive Centre

  • Reopening with the following requirements:

  • Users must remain in their vehicle until the vehicle in front is finished and has left.

  • Gloves must be worn while using the dump station and properly disposed of when finished.

  • Users are advised to properly sanitize their hands before leaving the dump station.

Changes to operations will also be made to the following services/programs:

  • Whitecourt Public Transit and Dial-A-Bus – Service will continue; however, all users will be required to wear masks or face coverings before being allowed on the bus.

  • Community Garden – The facility will be accessible to those that have purchased garden plots; however, users are not to share gardening equipment and tools, and physical distancing protocols of 2-metres must be maintained.

Parks, open spaces, pathways and the Off Leash Dog Park continue to be open with physical distancing requirements.  All playing fields and diamonds are closed for organized team games or activities; however, are open for casual use by people with appropriate physical distancing and sharing of equipment is only allowed with members of the same household or cohort family. 

Outdoor fitness classes are being offered through the Allan & Jean Millar Centre, and people can register for the program at https://rec.whitecourt.ca/.  Rotary Unplugged Summer Day Camps will proceed for the summer pursuant to provincial directives.  Watch for program information that will be posted online at the Whitecourt website and on social media pages soon.

All outdoor amenities will follow the guidelines outlined in the Alberta Government’s Outdoor Recreation document.  https://www.alberta.ca/guidance-on-outdoor-activities.aspx.

The Whitecourt Transfer Station and Whitecourt Regional Landfill continue to operate and serve the community at regular operating hours.  For information on hours and items that are accepted please visit www.whitecourt.ca.

Future Relaunch Stages

The Town of Whitecourt will continue to monitor recommendations and guidelines from the Province, and will assess the reopening of other facilities and amenities as permitted during the public health emergency.  At this time the following facilities remain closed:

  • Allan & Jean Millar Centre;

  • Scott Safety Centre;

  • Whitecourt Public Library;

  • Rotary Park Splash Park;

  • Whitecourt River Slides;

  • Carlan Services Community Resource Centre (open only to provide Whitecourt Food Bank services and access to the Whitecourt Early Learning and Childcare Centre).

For current information on Whitecourt’s response to COVID-19, including a copy of Whitecourt’s Relaunch Plan and a status of all Town facilities and services, visit www.whitecourt.ca/COVID-19.

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

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