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Tuesday, December 1, 2020 / Categories: Press Releases

Press Release - COVID-19 Update for Whitecourt December 1, 2020

Due to increasing COVID-19 caseloads, Whitecourt’s status has now changed to enhanced and our community is shaded purple on the COVID-19 Relaunch Status Map.    With this change in status, enhanced public health restrictions are now in effect until at least December 15, 2020, even if our caseload numbers drop below ten (10).

Mandatory Business and Service Restrictions

In addition to the mandatory gathering restrictions announced by the Government of Alberta on November 24 for all Albertans, Whitecourt must now comply with business and service restrictions as detailed on the Government of Alberta website.  Provincial restrictions and guidelines vary depending on the type of business and service provided.  Restrictions will come into effect on Wednesday, December 2, 2020.

Some businesses, including retail, grocery, pharmacies, clothing stores, hardware, indoor entertainment and indoor fitness, private or public swimming pools, recreation, sports and physical activity centres (including dance and yoga studios, martial arts, gymnastics for one-on-one indoor training with a trainer or coach) can remain open with capacity limited to 25% of the occupancy set under the Alberta Fire Code.  To calculate occupancy limits please refer to the Province’s Reduced Capacity and Occupant Loads guidance document.  

Indoor group physical activities including team sports, fitness classes and training sessions are prohibited unless:

  • the group only involves members of the same household;
  • the activity involves students at a school or post-secondary institution as part of an education program;
  • the activity involves students at a post-secondary institution.

Mandatory Restriction for Places of Worship

In addition to restrictions listed above, faith services are limited to a maximum in-person attendance of one-third the  occupancy set under the Alberta Fire Code.  Further details on restrictions for places of worship can be found online and include the following:

  • Must hold service at their normal location, including rental spaces like a community hall;
  • Maintain physical distancing between households;
  • Mask use is mandatory;
  • Online services are encouraged.

Town of Whitecourt Operations

Due to enhanced public health restrictions, the following changes in service and operation will take effect Wednesday, December 2, 2020:

  • Access to the Allan & Jean Millar Centre, Town Office and Whitecourt Public Library will be limited based on occupancy.  Facility users may experience wait times to access these facilities, and we appreciate your cooperation and  understanding.
  • All in-person group fitness classes and group swimming lessons at the Allan & Jean Millar Centre are cancelled.  Those registered will be provided a prorated account credit for the remainder of the set.  Allan & Jean Millar Centre members are encouraged to join the Allan & Jean Millar Centre Members Only Workout Facebook Group to access virtual classes that can be completed at home.
  • All public swim times will be changed to family swim at the SemCAMS Midstream Aquatic Centre at the Allan & Jean Millar Centre.  Customers must stay with their own household while swimming. 
  • The Scott Safety Centre will be closed to the general public and will only be available for private bookings that involve members of the same household.
  • The Forest Interpretive Centre is unavailable for meeting use; those with facility bookings will be contacted directly.  Capacity limits at the building will apply for those accessing tourism information services.

The following facilities remain closed to public access, however there is no change in service level to the community:

  • Whitecourt Fire Department
  • Public Works Shop
  • RCMP Detachment

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.  For details on the bylaw visit www.whitecourt.ca/COVID-19.

Community members are asked to continue to be vigilant in following preventative health practices, including physical distancing, cohorting, good hand hygiene, staying home when sick, and increased cleaning of surfaces.  For tips on how you can protect yourself and others visit www.alberta.ca/prevent-the-spread.aspx.

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

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