March 25, 2020

COVID-19 Update

Good afternoon Grande Prairie Constituents,

I would like to take some time this morning to update you on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Yesterday, our Chief Medical Officer Doctor Deena Hinshaw updated us that 61 additional cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed, bringing the total number of cases in the province to 419. 20 individuals are currently hospitalized, including 6 admitted to ICU. Now is the time to stay home, and work together to stop the spread.

Aggressive public health measures continue to be implemented to limit the spread of COVID-19. Albertans’ health is, and will always be, our top priority. We must do everything we can to protect Albertans through this pandemic. Currently, in the north zone we have 23 cases of COVID-19, and despite aggressive measures already in place, additional actions are needed to protect our most vulnerable Albertans. Aggregate data is available here: Alberta.ca/covid19statistics.

Effective yesterday, the CMOH ordered additional directions to all health care operators and service providers. These are in place to protect our seniors and most vulnerable Albertans during this time. These new mandatory guidelines include:

  • Every facility must follow enhanced guidelines around cleaning, the use of shared spaces and group activities.
  • Mandatory health screening protocols for all staff, residents and essential visitors entering a facility.

Additionally, measures have also been put in place to ensure people are following public health orders.

Enforcement of Public Health Orders

Public health orders subject to fines for violation include:

  • Mandatory self-isolation for travellers returning from outside of Canada.
  • Self-isolation for close contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases.
  • Any individual with COVID-19 symptoms, which consist of a cough, fever, shortness of breath, runny nose, or sore throat should self-isolate
  • Mass gatherings must be limited to no more than 50 attendees.
  • Access to public recreational facilities, private entertainment facilities, bars and nightclubs is prohibited.
  • Visitation to long-term care and other continuing care facilities is limited to essential visitors only.
  • Fines for violating an order have increased from up to $100 per day to a prescribed fine of $1,000 per occurrence.
  • Courts will also have increased powers to administer fines of up to $100,000 for a first offence and up to $500,000 for a subsequent offence for more serious violations.

Mental Health

It is important to take care of our mental health, as it can be a very stressful and anxious time. Alberta Health Services has provided some tips.

  • Maintaining regular routines as much as possible
  • Focusing on what needs to happen today – make a list of what to do in the next day or week
  • Keeping household routine is especially important when children are confined to home

We are all in this together, and we will get through this. It is our individual actions that will get us through the COVID-19 pandemic. Please remember to wash your hands regularly, stay home if you are sick, practice physical distancing, and take the online assessment at www.ahs.ca/covid if you are feeling ill.

For the most up to date information please visit www.alberta.ca/covid19.

Take good care Grande Prairie.

Blessings for better days ahead.

MLA Tracy Allard

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