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Wednesday, November 25, 2020 / Categories: Press Releases

Press Release - COVID-19 Update for Whitecourt November 25, 2020

The Government of Alberta declared a state of public health emergency to bring in aggressive new measures to address growing cases.

Effectively immediately, the following mandatory restrictions apply across Alberta, including Whitecourt:

  • No indoor social gatherings in any setting (private homes, public spaces or workplaces).
    • Indoor close contacts must be limited to people in the same household.
    • People who live alone can have up to the same 2 non-household contacts for the duration of the restriction.
    • Work and support group meetings are not social gatherings, but attendance should be limited and public health measures followed.
    • This does not apply to service visits from caregivers, health or child care providers and co-parenting arrangements.
  • 10-person limit on outdoor gatherings.
    • Backyard gatherings that require movement in/out of homes are not permitted
    • Attendees should remain distanced at all times and follow public health measures
  • Festivals and events are prohibited (indoors and outdoors)
  • 10-person limit for wedding and funeral services, no receptions permitted.
  • Changes to in-person learning schedules for K-12 students.
    • Grades 7-12 students
      • Move to at-home learning November 30, 2020 to January 8, 2021 (except during winter break).
      • Resume in-person classes January 11, 2021.
      • Diploma exams are optional for rest of the school year. Students and families can choose to write an exam or receive an exemption for the January, April, June and August 2021 exams.
    • Grades K-6 students (including Early Childhood Services)
      • Continue in-person learning until their scheduled winter break (generally December 18).
      • Move to at-home learning after the winter break until January 8, 2021.
      • Resume in-person classes January 11, 2021.
  • Working from home should be considered, where possible.

As Whitecourt is currently under the “open” status on the Alberta COVID-19 status map, no further restrictions are in place for our community.  Should caseloads within the community reach 10 active cases, our community will move into the “watch” status and other enhanced public health measures will come into effect.

“I ask that the community as a whole work together and continue to be diligent on following provincial health guidelines and preventative measures,” added Whitecourt Mayor Maryann Chichak.  “As long as our community stays below the 10  caseload threshold and out of the “watch” status, local businesses will continue to operate throughout the holiday season without enhanced limitations or restrictions.”

The Town of Whitecourt is evaluating scheduled programs and events, and cancellations or postponements will be advertised.  Birthday parties and party bookings at the Allan & Jean Millar Centre are cancelled; those with bookings will be notified directly.

Temporary Mandatory Face Coverings Bylaw 1560 remains in effect until further notice.  Masks or face coverings are required in all indoor, enclosed public spaces and public vehicles.

  • Residents are reminded that wearing a face covering does not replace other health measures, such as proper hand washing or sanitizing.  It is important to practice physical distancing and keep two-metre distance even when wearing a mask. Wearing a face covering is an additional measure to stop the spread of COVID-19 by reducing the spread of any infectious respiratory droplets, should an individual be unknowingly infected.
  • Posters are available for businesses to download at www.whitecourt.ca/COVID-19 for posting at storefronts to remind customers of the face covering requirement.
  • Bylaw 1560 includes exemptions, including those who cannot wear a mask for medical reasons, children that are 5 years and younger, and other accommodations under the Alberta Human Rights Act.  The Bylaw also permits the temporary removal of a mask or face covering when receiving certain services, having a meal, or engaging in athletic or fitness activity.  There’s no requirement for people to prove they are exempt.

While masking has been a polarizing issue, we ask that people are treated with kindness and consideration both in the public and online.

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

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