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Wednesday, May 5, 2021 / Categories: Press Releases

Press Release - COVID-19 Update for Whitecourt May 5, 2021

The Government of Alberta announced that as of May 5, 2021 additional restrictions come into effect for regions with at least 50 cases per 100,000 people, and at least 30 active cases.  These restrictions will be in place for at least 3 weeks, and will be extended if necessary.

Based on the criteria mentioned above, additional public health restrictions will apply in our community.  Case numbers for Whitecourt (as of May 4, 2021) are as follows:

  • Active case rate per 100,000 population: 750.9
  • Active Cases: 107

This is the highest active case number Whitecourt has experienced throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and the community must remain vigilant in following public health restrictions and preventative practices.  Simple steps can slow the spread of COVID-19: wash your hands, physically distance, wear a mask and, if you’re even slightly showing symptoms, stay home and get tested.

Effective May 5, 2021:

  • Masks or face covers remain mandatory in indoor public places, workspaces, places of worship and when 2-metre physical distancing cannot be maintained.
  • All indoor gatherings remain prohibited.
  • All outdoor social gatherings must be limited to no more than 5 people and a maximum of 2 household cohorts.            Mandatory physical distancing must be maintained at all times between members of different households.
  • Retail services must limit customer capacity to 10% of fire code occupancy or a minimum of 5 customers.  To find out how to calculate fire code occupancy, visit: https://open.alberta.ca/publications/calculating-occupancy-requirements-cmoh-order-42
  • Faith services are limited to 15 in-person attendees.
  • Funerals are limited to 10-people maximum; receptions are not permitted.
  • Any workplace, except work camps and essential and critical services, with transmission of 3 or more cases will be required by health officials to close for 10 days.  
  • Working from home remains mandatory unless the employer requires the employee’s physical presence to operate effectively.

Effective May 7, 2021:

  • Students from kindergarten to grade 12 will shift temporarily to at-home learning.  Students will return to in-class learning on May 25.

Effective 11:59 p.m. on May 9, 2021:

  • All indoor sport, performance and recreation activities for youth and adults are prohibited.  Indoor fitness and recreation facilities must close, including for 1-on-1 training.  All outdoor sports and recreation activities are prohibited, except with members of your household. 
  • Personal and wellness services, including hair salons, barbers, nail salons, estheticians, tattoos and piercing, must close.
  • All in-person dining, including patios, is prohibited.  Restaurants, pubs, bars, lounges, cafes and  food courts can open for takeout, curbside pickup and delivery only.
  • Regulated and non-regulated health services, such as physicians, dentists, chiropractors and massage therapists, can remain open by appointment only.
  • Professional services, such as lawyers and photographers, can remain open by appointment only.

Strengthening Enforcement

Those that violate a public health order may be subject to a $2,000 fine, and could be prosecuted for up to $100,000 for a first offense.  If you are concerned someone is not following public health orders, you can:

  • Remind them that not following orders is against the law and puts people at risk.
  • Request service from AHS public health inspectors online or call 1-833-415-9179.

Changes to Town Facility Operations

As of May 9, 2021 the Allan & Jean Millar Centre will close to the public.  All memberships will remain on-hold.  Scheduled outdoor fitness classes will also be cancelled; registered participants will be notified directly.  

The Forest Interpretive Centre, RCMP Detachment, Whitecourt Fire Hall and Whitecourt Public Works Shop remain closed to the public.  The Town Office continues to be open regular office hours; however, occupancy in the building is limited.

Typically, the Whitecourt River Slides and Splash Park at Rotary Park would open on May long weekend (weather permitting).  The Whitecourt River Slides will remain closed until further notice as operations cannot meet current  physical distancing requirements mandated by the Province.  The Splash Park will open as scheduled (weather permitting) on May long weekend (May 22); however, facility users must follow current public health guidelines and ensure physical distancing is maintained between households.  For more information on Rotary Park, please visit our website.

Alberta Vaccination Program

Everyone 40+ and many Albertans 12+ with health conditions can book now to receive a vaccine.  For more information visit www.alberta.ca/covid19-vaccine.aspx

As indicated by Alberta Health Services, until most Albertans are protected, fully vaccinated people must still follow all health measures: no indoor gatherings, keep 2 metres apart, wear a mask in public, and stay home when sick.

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

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