Press Releases

Wednesday, October 28, 2020 / Categories: Press Releases

Press Release - COVID-19 Update for Whitecourt October 28, 2020

Confirmed COVID-19 cases are increasing in Alberta and as a province we are experiencing the highest levels of active cases to date. Recognizing how COVID-19 is impacting Whitecourt and our region, community members are asked to remain vigilant in mitigating the risk of getting sick or spreading COVID-19 locally. 

The Town of Whitecourt continues to follow the Province of Alberta’s public health guidelines, and monitors the COVID-19 statistics daily to determine how our community is being impacted by the virus and how we may be impacted in the future. 

How you can help

To help mitigate COVID-19 infections in our community and across the province, people must continue practicing physical distancing to help limit the spread of COVID-19 and reduce the risk of getting sick. Physical distancing involves taking steps to limit the number of people you come into close contact with. To protect yourself and others:

  • Keep at least 2 metres (about the length of a hockey stick) distance from people outside your household or cohort group.   As part of the Province’s gathering restrictions people should establish a COVID-19 cohort consisting of a small group of up to 15 of the same people who can interact regularly without staying 2 metres apart. A person in an established cohort should have little to no close contact with other people outside of their cohort. Maintaining a cohort is extremely important as it keeps the same people together, rather than mixing and mingling, which helps reduce a person’s chance of getting sick, and makes it easier to track exposure when someone does get sick. Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer has recently recommended that a person should limit themselves to no more than 3 cohorts (i.e. personal cohort, work cohort, sports cohort, school cohort, etc.). It is safest to limit the number of other cohorts you belong to reduce the risk of getting sick or spreading COVID-19.
  • Limit the number of times you leave your home for errands; try to limit grocery store visits to once a week.
  • Try to have only one person in the household do the shopping, and shop at less busy times.
  • Go for a walk in your neighbourhood or park while maintaining distance from others.
  • Avoid overcrowding in elevators or other enclosed spaces.
  • Follow Alberta’s mandatory restrictions on gatherings.
  • Wash or sanitize your hands after touching communal surfaces.

All people must continue taking personal steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. To protect yourself and others:

  • Wear a mask in public when distancing is not possible.
  • Download and use the ABTraceTogether mobile contact tracing app while out in public.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer.  Use gloves properly if you choose to wear them (they are not necessary).
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your elbow.
  • Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid travel outside Canada.
  • Watch for COVID-19 symptoms (see the full symptom list
  • Get tested when:
    • you are exhibiting any symptom of COVID-19,
    • you have no symptoms but are a close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case,
    • you are linked to an outbreak at a specific outbreak site.
  • Follow mandatory isolation requirements:
    • 10 days minimum if you develop any COVID-19 symptoms, or until the symptoms resolve, whichever is longer.
    • 14 days if you recently returned from travel outside of Canada or are a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, plus an additional 10 days from the onset of symptoms, should they occur, whichever is longer.

When people share the responsibility to establish appropriate cohorts, practice physical distancing, and take personal steps to limit the spread of COVID-19, we are better positioned to protect our health and limit the magnitude and effect of the virus on our community.

Tips for a Safe Halloween

With Halloween just around the corner, people are encouraged to visit the Province’s Halloween website and tip sheet for guidance and resources to safely celebrate the spookiest time of year without the fear of spreading COVID-19. Printable posters are available on the Province’s website at to show if you are, or are not, handing out treats.   The Whitecourt RCMP and Whitecourt Crime Prevention suggest that trick or treaters be out between 5:30 and 8:00 p.m. on Halloween. Motorists are asked to be extra careful on the roads as children will be out collecting candy.

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