Province launches first stage of reopening

·2 min read

The province began easing restrictions on in-person dining, child and youth activities and team sports, and one-on-one indoor fitness training Monday, February 8 following a decline in COVID-19 related hospitalizations.

Limitations are still in place to reduce the spread, and further easing of restrictions will not be considered for a minimum of three weeks to allow the province to evaluate ongoing case numbers and trends.

During the Monday, February 8 COVID update, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw said, “We are looking at trends, both provincially and regionally, to assess the impacts of the steps being taken, and to monitor for any change in trends.”

Drumheller Memorial Arena and Drumheller Aquaplex have been reopened with some limitations.

Indoor fitness activities are limited to training sessions, either one-on-one or as a household, by appointment only; no individual workouts are permitted without a trainer. Trainers must also be certified, professional, and/or paid, and must wear a mask throughout the session.

The Badlands Community Facility (BCF) will remain closed until further notice, and reopening will be evaluated as part of Step 2 of the provincial reopen strategy.

During the Monday, February 1 regular council meeting, Town of Drumheller Human Resources manager Nicole Skiftun provided an update on staffing.

38 staff members from the town’s recreational facilities were laid off in May 2020 due to initial closures as COVID-19 restrictions were put in place.

These staff were later recalled in late summer as the facilities reopened; however, as enhanced restrictions were enacted in December 2020, a total of 33 staff members were laid off.

Dr. Hinshaw also announced during Monday’s regular update the regional status map has been removed from the Alberta COVID website. The map was colour-coded to indicate open, watch, and enhanced statuses for each municipality or region.

“We will explore more targeted action if needed, either easing or tightening of measures, at the Health Zone level, should circumstances warrant this in the future,” Dr. Hinshaw said.

As of Monday, February 8, there are 12 active cases of COVID-19 in the Town of Drumheller; there is one active case in Kneehill County, seven in Wheatland County, and nine in Starland County.

Lacie Nairn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Drumheller Mail