COVID-19 Updates

COVID-19 Updates

Posted on April 01st, 2020

As the situation evolves, emergency and town closure updates will be made directly to this post. Please visit www.edson.ca/covid for the latest information all in one location.

April 1st update from Mayor Zahara (Financial / Staff impacts and temporary layoffs)

 

UPDATE April 1st, 2020

The Town of Edson held a special meeting of the Emergency Management Advisory Committee last night to discuss various issues surrounding the COVID-19 virus outbreak. This included Council and a limited number of Administration.

An update on the COVID-19 situation was provided to the committee, as well as updates on communication actions taking place and measures being taken administratively to help alleviate some pressures moving forward.

The Committee also received an update on some budgetary measures being considered. More details on that will be released later this afternoon.

Again, the Town of Edson is highlighting the importance of residents following the social/physical distancing guidelines. The Town of Edson has set more strict recommendations than the Province at this time, asking for gatherings to remain at 10 people or less. This is for public spaces such as parks and trails.

Many communities have been forced to declare a Local State of Emergency to help deal with enforcement of these public health restrictions. The Town of Edson has not had to take those steps, however, it does remain an option to assist in enforcement if it’s found that residents are not respecting the guidelines set forth.

Playgrounds in Edson remain open to the public at this time as per Provincial recommendations. The Town of Edson would just ask that proper social distancing is taking place and everyone follows guidelines on hygiene, such as washing hands before and after attending playgrounds. 

The committee would also like to remind residents of the utility and tax measures being taken at this time. Council has supported these measures, however, they still need official approval at an upcoming Council meeting.

Utility Penalty Deferral - In these extraordinary times, the Town of Edson recognizes that steps need to be taken to help residents and businesses stay on their feet. If approved, this measure would mean no penalties will be applied for non-payment on utility bills received in the months of March through July. While those payments will still need to be made, customers will have until the end of 2020 to catch up on those balances. Penalties will be reinstated on the August bill, but for new balances only. This will allow customers to spread out those payments over a number of months if necessary.

Please note that automatic payments for utility and tax accounts will continue unless the account holder contacts the finance department with further instructions.

Tax Due Date Adjustment - Council is also looking at pushing back the property tax payment due date. Tax notices will still go out as normal, however, the payment deadline will now be September 30th, 2020.

The COVID-19 situation does have a profound impact on the Town’s budget. Council is also taking a very close look at finances to ensure proper steps are taken to maintain an acceptable level of service while being fiscally responsible to our taxpayers in this difficult time. More details will be forthcoming as Council reviews the budget at an upcoming meeting. As mentioned, some of those initial steps will be announced this afternoon.

The Town of Edson is committed to our public and will continue to review information as it comes in and make decisions in the best interest of our community. We ask everyone to stay informed locally, and with the various other levels of government.

Thank you for doing your part to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Be safe!

Edson – www.edson.ca/covid

Alberta – www.alberta.ca/covid19

Canada – www.canada.ca/covid19

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UPDATE March 25th, 2020

The Town of Edson held a special meeting of the Emergency Management Advisory Committee last night to discuss various issues surrounding the COVID-19 virus outbreak. This included Council, a limited number of Administration, and representatives from Alberta Health Services and the RCMP.

One of the messages coming out of the meeting is the importance of residents following the social/physical distancing guidelines. The Town of Edson has set more strict recommendations than the Province at this time, asking for gatherings to remain at 10 people or less. This is for public spaces like parks and trails and does not apply to restaurants, which fall under Alberta Health regulations.

Many communities have been forced to declare a Local State of Emergency to help deal with enforcement of these public health restrictions. The Town of Edson has not had to take those steps, however, it does remain an option to assist in enforcement if it’s found that residents are not respecting the guidelines set forth.

Playgrounds in Edson remain open to the public at this time as per Provincial recommendations. The Town of Edson would just ask that proper social distancing is taking place and everyone follows guidelines on hygiene, such as washing hands before and after attending playgrounds. 

During last night’s meeting Council received reports from various departments and had in depth discussions on ways the Town of Edson can move forward to responsibly deal with the crisis and potential fallout. The following measures were reviewed, but still require official Council approval.

Utility Penalty Deferral - In these extraordinary times, the Town of Edson recognizes that steps need to be taken to help residents and businesses stay on their feet. If approved, this measure would mean no penalties will occur for non-payment on utility bills for the months of March through July. While those payments will still need to be made, customers will have until the end of 2020 to catch up on those balances. Penalties will be reinstated in August, but for new balances only. This will allow customers to spread out those payments over a number of months if necessary.

Please note that automatic payments for utility and tax accounts will continue unless the account holder contacts the finance department with further instructions.

Tax Due Date Adjustment - Council is also looking at pushing back the property tax payment due date. Tax notices will still go out as normal, however, the payment deadline will now be September 30th, 2020.

The COVID-19 situation does have a profound impact on the Town’s budget. As such, Council is also taking a very close look at finances to ensure proper steps are taken to maintain an acceptable level of service while being fiscally responsible to our taxpayers in this difficult time. More details will be forthcoming as Council reviews the budget at an upcoming meeting.

The Town of Edson is committed to our public and will continue to review information as it comes in and make decisions in the best interest of our community. We ask everyone to stay informed locally, and with the various other levels of government.

Thank you for doing your part to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Be safe!

Edson – www.edson.ca/covid

Alberta – www.alberta.ca/covid19

Canada – www.canada.ca/covid19

____________

UPDATE March 23rd, 2020 16:30

Edson Mayor Kevin Zahara speaks regarding the latest Edson Update

While Alberta Health’s data shows zero cases in the Edson zone right now, we want to ask residents to remain vigilant when it comes to physical distancing and public gatherings. While there are currently no confirmed cases, this does not mean the virus isn’t present at all, nor does it mean the virus won’t spread to the area. The public health measures put in place are meant to “flatten the curve” of the COVID-19 spread, not completely prevent it.

With this said, the Town of Edson would like to ask residents to not hold gatherings of more than 10 people at this time. Public spaces in the Town of Edson will be closed to gatherings larger than 10 people. We understand this is more restrictive than the Provincial measures currently in place, however, we feel it is a prudent step to take at this time as the virus continues to spread. While we encourage people to get out and be active, we want everyone to keep the social/physical distancing practices in mind while doing so.

To follow suit, effective immediately and indefinitely, Council committee meetings will also be cancelled at this time. Regular Council meetings will be reviewed based on urgent/emergency matters that may need to be dealt with. Please be assured Council will still remain involved at a community level in decision making moving forward. Currently our Emergency Coordination Centre (ECC) is meeting twice a day to discuss issues in real time. A special Emergency Management meeting with Council will be held tomorrow night as well. This is closed to the public; however, messaging is expected to be sent out with details from those discussions.

The Town of Edson would like to remind residents of the self-isolation protocols that are currently in place. If you recently returned from travel outside Canada or have symptoms - cough, fever, fatigue or difficulty breathing:

  • stay home – do not go to an ER or clinic
  • take the COVID-19 self-assessment test at www.alberta/ca/covid19
  • call Health Link 8-1-1 for testing and instructions

 Returning from travel means immediate self-isolation. Please do not make stops prior to self-isolation and make other arraignments to have necessities delivered.

The Province has revised protocols regarding the self-isolation measures for those returning from travel and those that were reporting symptoms. Please visit www.alberta.ca/covid19 for full details.

We’ve heard of situations across the world where people have not been adhering to the public health restrictions set in place, and we encourage our residents to help prevent the spread by following recommendations.

As well, we’d like to remind residents to take extra precautions with personal and public property. Over the weekend there were a number of break-ins at local public facilities. Please remember to lock your personal belongings up (including the doors to your vehicles), and to report any suspicious behaviour to the RCMP.

We would like to thank Edson residents for all they’ve done to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 at this time, including our medical professionals, emergency services, and our staff for continuing to work to maintain Edson’s essential services. What you are doing matters and will help slow the spread.

Be safe and remember to keep up to date on current COVID-19 information at all levels of Government.

Edson – www.edson.ca/covid

Alberta – www.alberta.ca/covid19

Canada – www.canada.ca/covid19

___________________

UPDATE March 16th, 2020 15:45

The Town of Edson is taking additional actions following the elevated Provincial response to the COVID-19 situation.

The Emergency Management Plan has been activated and there has been a partial activation of Edson’s Emergency Coordination Centre (ECC). This allows our senior staff to meet regularly to implement strategies to protect and support our residents, staff, and to support Alberta Health through this incident. The ECC activation also allows for greater coordination between agencies and puts dedicated staff in place to help plan and implement strategies on a larger scale.

It should be noted that the risk in Edson is low at this time, but Council is taking this action to ensure we are prepared in the event additional steps need to be taken.

The Town of Edson is in contact with Alberta Health and urges residents to continue to receive health information from reliable sources including the Provincial website set up with the latest information on COVID-19, signs and symptoms, and special precautions people should be taking to help stop the spread of the virus. www.alberta.ca/covid.

A reminder that, until further notice, the Town of Edson has enacted the following closures/cancellations:

  • Repsol Place – Facility closed to the public and removal of ice for the season.
  • Town Office – Closed to the public. Please watch official channels for more information on electronic billing and payments.
  • Emergency Services Building (Fire Hall) – Closed to the public and special measures taken to ensure the continuation of emergency response. No change in level of service.
  • Public Works Building – Closed to the public. Pound will remain operational with special measures put in place for staff safety.
  • ParentLink  – Closed until further notice.
  • Town Programming – Fitness classes, swimming lessons, etc. will be cancelled. Cancelled programs will be refunded. The tax clinic is also on hold with plans to finish the remainder of the current files. For alternative options, please contact Community Development at 780-723-4403.
  • Landfill/Lagoon – Will remain open.
  • Airport – Will remain open with limited access for the general public.

As the situation is evolving there may be changes/additions to the above list as updated information becomes available.

______________

UPDATE March 15th, 2020 21:45

The Town of Edson Administration and Council met tonight to discuss plans moving forward in response to the latest update from Alberta Health regarding the COVID-19 situation. As the virus has moved from travel-based spread to community spread, the Town of Edson is taking measures to be socially responsible and encourage social distancing while trying to maintain a level of business continuity. Effective immediately and until further notice, the Town of Edson will be enacting the following closures/cancellations:

  • Repsol Place – Facility closed to the public and removal of ice for the season.
  • Town Office – Closed to the public. Please watch official channels for more information on electronic billing and payments.
  • Emergency Services Building (Fire Hall) – Closed to the public and special measures taken to ensure the continuation of emergency response. No change in level of service.
  • Public Works Building – Closed to the public. Pound will remain operational with special measures put in place for staff safety.
  • ParentLink  – Closed until further notice.
  • Town Programming – Fitness classes, swimming lessons, etc. will be cancelled. Cancelled programs will be refunded. The tax clinic is also on hold with plans to finish the remainder of the current files. For alternative options, please contact Community Development at 780-723-4403.
  • Landfill/Lagoon – Will remain open.
  • Airport – Will remain open with limited access for the general public.

As the situation is evolving there may be changes/additions to the above list as updated information becomes available.

Residents are encouraged to visit www.alberta.ca/covid for up to date information on the current Provincial situation, precautions to take, and signs and symptoms.

 

_________________________

UPDATE March 15th, 2020 20:00

With the latest information from the Province regarding the COVID-19 situation, the Town of Edson has called in all management and Council to review our business continuity plan and discuss options moving forward. The Town of Edson has an emergency plan in place to ensure all essential services will continue uninterrupted.

Please review the following update from the Province of Alberta regarding new restrictions put in place this evening.

  • Effective immediately, student attendance at schools is prohibited.
  • In-person post-secondary classes are cancelled. Campuses will remain open.
  • All licensed child care facilities, out-of-school care programs and preschool programs are closed indefinitely.
  • All long-term care and other continuing care facilities are advised to limit visitation to essential visitors only.
  • Places of worship are no longer exempt from restrictions on mass gatherings.
  • 17 additional cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Alberta, bringing the total number of cases in the province to 56. Three of the new cases are in the Edmonton zone and 14 are in the Calgary zone.
  • At least two cases identified in the last two days appear to have been acquired through community transmission from an unknown source, and seven cases occurred as a result of a single gathering in the Calgary zone.

More details regarding the Town of Edson’s response will be forthcoming. In the meantime, residents are encouraged to visit www.alberta.ca/covid for up to date information on the current situation, precautions to take, and signs and symptoms.