Masks for Albertans
Albertans are encouraged to wear non-medical masks in public when it’s difficult to maintain physical distancing of 2 metres at all times.Masks should complement – not replace – other prevention measures. Continue physical distancing and good hand hygiene, and stay home when sick.
One package per family member in your household.
Province Announces Stage 2 Of Re-Launch Strategy for Friday, June 12
June 09, 2020
Strong testing data shows active COVID-19 cases in Alberta are lower than expected, meaning stage two of the relaunch strategy can safely begin on June 12, a week sooner than expected.
Albertans can enjoy additional activities in their daily lives while the province continues to open up the economy.
“Albertans have demonstrated the care and common sense needed to move forward with our relaunch earlier than initially planned. Our data tells us our active cases are low, hospitalizations are trending downward and people are taking action to protect those most vulnerable and prevent the spread of the virus. We will continue to move forward together to overcome any tough times ahead, but responsible Albertans should be proud of the vigilance they have shown to date.”
Jason Kenney, Premier
Current data from June 8 show only 355 active cases and 44 people in hospital across Alberta. This is a decrease of almost 70 per cent in active cases since May 14 – when the province began stage one of the Alberta Relaunch Strategy. With its robust approach to testing, Alberta has performed more COVID-19 tests per capita than most other jurisdictions in the world.
As the province enters stage two of relaunch, safety remains the top priority. More businesses, sport and recreation services can open if they are ready. Some larger gatherings for seated audience events will be permitted. In all cases, public health guidance must be followed.
A new interactive map will help Albertans understand the level of risk in their community and learn about any enhanced health measures at the local level, giving additional information on what they need to do to keep themselves and their loved ones safe and protected. Currently, no communities in Alberta need locally targeted enhanced measures.
“More Albertans can now return to work and to the activities so many of us enjoy. However, I encourage you to do it safely. Think of the people in your life who may be at high risk from COVID-19 and protect all those around you as you would want your loved ones protected. Stay home if you are sick. Stay two metres apart and wear a non-medical mask if you can’t. Consider downloading the ABTraceTogether app, and wash your hands often.”
Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Chief Medical Officer of Health
What can open with restrictions
- K-12 schools, for requested diploma exams and summer school, following guidance
- More surgeries
- Wellness services such as massage, acupuncture and reflexology
- Personal services (esthetics, cosmetic skin and body treatments, manicures, pedicures, waxing, facial treatment, artificial tanning)
- Indoor recreation, fitness, and sports, including gyms and arenas
- Movie theatres and theatres
- Community halls
- Team sports
- Pools for leisure swimming
- VLTs in restaurants and bars
- Casinos and bingo halls (but not table games)
- Instrumental concerts
The 50 per cent capacity limit for provincial campgrounds is also being lifted. Over the coming days, the online reservation system will be updated and sites will come online in phases. By July 1, all camping sites will be open for reservations. First-come, first-served sites may open sooner. Information on additional sites will be added to alberta.parks.ca when they become available.
Events and gatherings can be larger in stage two
Maximum 50 people:
- Indoor social gatherings – including wedding and funeral receptions, and birthday parties
Maximum 100 people:
- Outdoor events and indoor seated/audience events – including wedding and funeral ceremonies
No cap on the number of people (with public health measures and physical distancing in place):
- Worship gatherings
- Restaurants, cafés, lounges and bars
- Bingo halls
There is more flexibility for ‘cohort’ groups – small groups of people whose members do not always keep two metres apart:
- A household can increase its close interactions with other households to a maximum of 15 people
- Performers can have a cohort of up to 50 people (cast members or performers)
- Sports teams can play in region-only cohorts of up to 50 players (mini leagues)
- People could be part of a sports/performing and household cohort
Everyone is encouraged to follow public health guidelines and notify others in the cohort(s) if they have symptoms or test positive for COVID-19. If they do test positive or have symptoms, mandatory isolation is required.
Still not approved in stage two
- Social gatherings that exceed above listed maximums
- Regular in-school classes for kindergarten to Grade 12. Classes will resume September 2020
- Vocal concerts (as singing carries a higher risk of transmission)
- Major festivals and concerts, large conferences, trade shows and events (as these are non-seated social events and/or vocal concerts)
- Amusement parks
- Hookah lounges (permitted for food and drink only)
- Major sporting events and tournaments
- Non-essential travel outside the province is not recommended. This recommendation will not be lifted until stage three of the relaunch strategy.
The success of stage two will determine when Alberta progresses to stage three. Factors are active cases, health-care system capacity, hospitalization and intensive care unit (ICU) cases, and infection rates. For more information, visit alberta.ca/RelaunchStrategy.
- Relaunch stages include an evaluation and monitoring period to determine if restrictions should be adjusted. Triggers that will inform decisions include active cases, hospitalizations and intensive care unit (ICU) occupancy.
- Active cases, the percentage of positive results and the rate of infection will be monitored to inform proactive responses in localized areas of the province.
- Decisions will be applied at both provincial and local levels, where necessary. While restrictions are gradually eased across the province, an outbreak may mean that they need to be strengthened temporarily in a local area.
- Physical distancing and good hygiene are the most important measures to prevent respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19.
- Clean your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching your face, cough or sneeze into your elbow or sleeve, and dispose of tissues appropriately.
- Alberta’s relaunch strategy
- COVID-19 status map (PDF)
- Get tested for COVID-19
- Alberta Biz Connect
- ABTraceTogether App
Alberta’s Relaunch Strategy puts safety first while gradually reopening businesses, resuming activities and getting people back to work. With strict safety guidelines in place, Albertans can and should confidently support Alberta businesses as we relaunch the economy.
While we face a long road to recovery, our collective efforts have helped slow the spread of COVID-19.
We must ensure the sacrifices we have already made are not wasted. To be successful, we must stay vigilant to slow the spread: follow public health measures, practice physical distancing and good hygiene, and continue acting responsibly.
Workplace guidance and supports to help businesses and non-profits affected by COVID-19 begin to reopen and resume operations safely. Training Courses During COVID-19 from the Alberta Government.
As businesses prepare to reopen as part of Alberta’s relaunch strategy, resources are available to help keep you, your staff, and your customers safe.
By working together, we can ensure our sacrifices to slow the spread of COVID-19 are not wasted.
To be successful during the economic relaunch, businesses should continue acting responsibly by following public health and physical distancing measures and using good hygiene and disinfecting practices.
Guidelines for Community Halls & Recreation Centres
Community Halls and Recreation Centres are crucial to community life in the Central Peace and all rural areas of the Province. Municipalities do not set or enforce restrictions for the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.
While Central Peace Regional Emergency Management (CPREM) does not speak for the Alberta Government, the Alberta Government’s Re-Launch Strategy does offer some guidance for Community Groups. According to the Government’s strategy, Community Halls and Recreation Centres are to re-open in Stage 3 – for which no date has yet been set.
However, the restrictions in place in Stage One do allow for many of the activities our Community Halls and Recreation Centers host and support.
Restrictions Which Have Been Lifted during Stage One include:
- Retail businesses Guidelines like clothing, furniture, and bookstores.
- All farmers’ market vendors.
- Daycares and out-of-school care, with occupancy limits.
- Day camps, including summer school, with occupancy limits.
- Post-secondary institutions will continue course delivery, with flexibility for in-person delivery once the existing public health order prohibiting in-person classes is lifted.
- Places of worship and funeral services, if they follow sector-specific guidance
What This Means:
If you are following Retail businesses Guidelines set by the Province, (e.g. – social distancing, maximum numbers of people, proper use of masks, Avoiding common touch surfaces, Increase cleaning and disinfecting etc.), then non-profit retail operations, meetings and other activities such as Church Services and gatherings of small groups (maximum 50 people and less than 50% occupancy) and many other community activities which are held at Community Halls and Recreation Centres are permitted under Stage One
The Re-Launch timing is being rolled out based on the reduction in new cases, and specific details and guidelines are being drafted as we go through each stage.
Progression from Stage to Stage of the Re-Launch Strategy will be determined by the success of Stage 1, considering health care system capacity, hospitalization and ICU cases, and infection rates.
Suggested Sources of Information:
- Government of Alberta
- Alberta Health Services
- Government of Canada
- World Health Organization
- CPREM website
- CPREM Facebook Page
Guidelines for Businesses
PREPARE YOUR WORKSPACE
- Define appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for your workplace. Consider policies and procedures you can implement to prevent the spread when defining appropriate PPE.
- Develop a screening protocol for your employees to take before every shift.
- Perform a deep clean of your workspace. Alberta Health Services has guidelines for cleaning of public spaces. Consider hiring a professional cleaner to perform an initial deep clean of your workspace.
- Implement procedures for increased frequency of cleaning and disinfecting of high traffic areas including; common areas, public washrooms, and showering facilities.
- Create a proper physical distancing set up, establish rules, and set up your business accordingly. Leverage signage and spatial markings to ensure co-workers always operate at six feet apart.
- Post external signs indicating COVID-19 physical distancing protocols, along with floor markings where service is provided or lines form.
- Regulate entry into the business, including lines, to prevent congestion.
- Set up your business with a single point of entry.
- No more than 15 people may gather in common areas. Actively discourage congregations of people.
Cleaning and disinfecting public spaces during COVID-19: Guidance from the Government of Canada on cleaning and disinfecting of public settings, including schools, universities, public libraries, museums, public transit, communal residences and workplaces.
Practicing physical distancing: Physical distancing involves taking steps to limit the number of people you come into close contact with.
Prepare Your Employees
- Screen your employees before every shift to ensure they are healthy and have not been in contact with anyone with COVID-19. Employees exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms must stay home and follow isolation guidelines.
- Provide PPE for all employees including masks, gloves, hand sanitizer and possibly face shields.
- Provide employees with everything they need to keep their work surfaces clean, including disposable wipes, hand soap, paper towels, disinfectants, and alcohol-based sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
- Educate your staff on physical distancing.
- Discourage employees from sharing equipment including phones, computers and tools.
- Train staff in proper hygiene procedures.
- Reduce the number of employees on-site through alternating workdays or shifts.
- Communicate weekly with your employees to ensure compliance.
- Check-in regularly on the mental health of employees.
Prepare Your Customers
- Post guidelines at the entrance of your business regarding your expectations for customer behaviour including physical distancing, PPE usage and to not enter if they are exhibiting any symptoms.
- Require that customers use hand sanitizer upon entering.
- Limit the number of people in your business to ensure six feet physical distancing can be maintained.
- Place tape in high traffic areas to direct flow and keep six feet between customers.
- Update your website to reflect the new rules and any other operating changes.
- No more than 15 people may gather in common areas or at one table.
Prepare For Transactions
- Sales registers should be six feet apart.
- Avoid cash exchanges and encourage tap payment when possible.
- Install screens between staff and customers if necessary.
- Disinfect transaction areas after each transaction.
- Consider home delivery, take out, drive through and curbside pick-up options where applicable.
- Post a sign for deliveries outlining expectations (PPE, hand sanitizer, masks).
Mental health support information posters
Use these downloadable posters to share information on mental health resources that are available to assist in dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak.
Other resources to consider:
- Lunch Room Etiquette: https://www.ccohs.ca/bestpractice/resources/1089-Lunch-Room-Etiquette.pdf
- Decision Tree: https://www.ccohs.ca/bestpractice/resources/1089-COVID-Decision-Tree—Draft.pdf
- Reduce the Spread Handwashing Poster: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/publications/diseases-conditions/reduce-spread-covid-19-wash-your-hands.html
- Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety https://www.ccohs.ca/outbreaks/
Resources For Businesses
- Government of Alberta: COVID-19 information for Albertans
- Government of Alberta: Support for Employers
- Government of Canada: COVID-19 Resources for Canadian Businesses
- Grande Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce: COVID-19 Business Resiliency
- Canadian Chamber of Commerce: COVID-19 Business Resiliency
Assistance to entrepreneurs provided by BDC through small business loans, working capital loans and purchase order financing: COVID-19 Special Support.
Emergency Financial Assistance
Government of Alberta financial assistance for unexpected emergencies (for all Albertans, not specific to businesses): Emergency Financial Assistance.
Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
If you have stopped working because of COVID-19, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) may provide you with temporary income support. The CERB provides $500 a week for up to 16 weeks.
Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
As a Canadian employer whose business has been affected by COVID-19, you may be eligible for a subsidy of 75% of employee wages for up to 12 weeks, retroactive from March 15, 2020, to June 6, 2020.
Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)
To ensure that small businesses have access to the capital they need to see them through the current challenges, the Government of Canada has launched the new Canada Emergency Business Account, which has been implemented by eligible financial institutions in cooperation with Export Development Canada (EDC).
Program to help employers and employees avoid layoffs when there is a temporary reduction in the normal level of business activity that is beyond the control of the employer: Work-Sharing Program.
Please refer to the following Trusted Sources of Information on COVID-19.
To dispel some of the myths and misinformation about COVID-19 the World Health Organization has posted a page about the virus called Myth busters