Slowly...but surely (Stage 2).
As we work in tandem with the Government of Alberta's re-entry strategy, it is critical that we do so with an abundance of caution and common sense. Please remember:
- We’re still not out of the woods; COVID-19 continues to be a very real, very dangerous public health crisis
- Rushing to re-open could seriously backfire, leaving our community worse off than when COVID-19 began
- The Director of Emergency Management and Emergency Operations Centre staff meet daily to review COVID-19 data, and to determine how it relates to local re-entry strategies and timelines; the re-opening of City-owned facilities may not align with the province in all cases
- Each stage of re-entry will require careful evaluation in consultation with public health authorities
- The City's primary responsibility is to ensure the safety of the community
Some important takeaways from Alberta's relaunch strategy
Safety first. While we ease into re-entry, we can't waste the sacrifices we've made to contain the pandemic in our community.
This is a staged relaunch. Getting to each stage depends on our ability to keep our guard up, and keep infection rates down.
We should be proud of how we have supported each other throughout this dark and uncertain time. Our continued caution will pay off.
Countdown to final stage of Phase 2 re-opening!
Early Re-entry Actions from the Government of Alberta
As of June 29, mini-leagues within the same geographical region will be allowed on sports fields with restrictions. The Multiplex facility will re-open to lease holders at 8:00 am on June 29 with restrictions as well. A full list of restrictions for these facilities will be published in the coming days.
As of July 6, rental spaces at the Drill Hall, Memorial Arts Centre, and By-the-Lake Park Hall will be available for booking with restrictions in place. A list of restrictions accompanying the use of these facilities will be published in the coming days.
As of July 13, Wetaskiwin City Hall, the Public Works Office, the Wetaskiwin Airport Office, and the Wetaskiwin Archives will re-open to the public with temporary hours and restrictions in place. Additional information will be published in the coming days.
As of July 24, the fitness area of the Manluk Centre: Wetaskiwin Regional Aquatics & Fitness will re-open at 6:00 am with restrictions in place. A list of these restrictions and rules of use will be published in the coming days.
As of July 31, the pool area of the Manluk Centre: Wetaskiwin Regional Aquatics & Fitness will re-open at 6:00 am with restrictions in place. A list of these restrictions and rules of use will be published in the coming days.
On August 24, the Civic Centre Twin Arenas will open for the season but with restrictions in place. A list of these restrictions and rules of use will be published in the coming days.
Alberta's Relaunch Strategy Puts Safety First
Stage 1 allows some businesses and facilities to resume full operations as early as May 14 with enhanced infection prevention and controls in place. Mask use will be strongly recommended in crowded public spaces, like mass transit, that do not allow for physical distancing of 2-metres apart.
Between May 1 and May 4, 2020:
- Boat launch access in select provincial parks was permitted to reopen
- Vehicle access to parking lots and staging areas on public lands and parks was permitted to reopen
- Golf courses were permitted to reopen, with restrictions to keep clubhouses and pro shops closed. On-site shops and restaurants were permitted to reopen, consistent with other businesses and retailers.
- Alberta Health Services was permitted to resume some scheduled, non-urgent surgeries
- Dental and other regulated healthcare workers such as physiotherapists, speech language pathologists, respiratory therapists, audiologists, social workers, occupational therapists, dieticians and more were permitted to resume services as long as they follow approved guidelines set by their professional colleges
As of May 14, 2020:
- Alberta Parks' online campground reservation system will open for bookings at select campgrounds starting June 1, onward with some restrictions in place. Out-of-province bookings will not be processed.
Lifted restrictions for Stage 1
- Some retail businesses like clothing, furniture and book stores
- All farmers' market vendors
- Some personal services like hairstyling and barber shops
- More scheduled surgeries and dental procedures
- Cafes, restaurants, pubs and bars can reopen for public seating at 50% capacity, but people will not be able to go to the bar to order drinks, they will need to be served at the table
- Museums and art galleries
- Some additional outdoor recreation
- Daycares and out-of-school care, with occupancy limits
- Summer camps, with occupancy limits (this could include summer school)
- Post-secondary institutions will continue course delivery, but method (online, in-person or blend) will depend on the restrictions in place at each phase
Continuing restrictions for Stage 1
- Gatherings of more than 15 people indoors will not permitted
- Gatherings of more than 50 people outdoors will not permitted
- All gatherings must follow physical distancing and other public health guidelines
- Public attendance at businesses, facilities and events that have close physical contact will not be permitted, including: arts and culture festivals, major sporting events and concerts
- Movie theatres, pools, recreation centres, arenas, spas, nightclubs and gyms will remain closed
- Visiting patients in healthcare facilities will remain limited
- In-school classes for kindergarten to Grade 12 students will remain prohibited
Recommendations for Stage 1
- Non-essential travel, especially outside the province, will continue to not be recommended
- Remote working is advised where possible
- Progression to Stage 2 will be determined by the success of Stage 1, considering healthcare system capacity, hospitalization and ICU cases, and infection rates
Stage 2 will allow additional businesses and services to reopen and resume operations starting June 12 with 2 metre physical distancing requirements and other public health guidelines in place.
Business operators, sport and recreation services can determine if they are ready to open and ensure all guidance for workplaces is met.
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, cosmetics skin and body treatments, manicures, pedicures, waxing, facial treatments, artificial tanning)
- Movie theatres and theatres
- Community halls
- Team sports
- Indoor recreation, fitness and sports, including gyms and arenas
- Pools for leisure swimming
- VLTs in restaurants and bars
- Bingo halls and casinos (but not table games)
- Instrumental concerts
- Provincial campgrounds at full capacity
Events and gatherings can be larger in Stage 2
A gathering is any situation that brings people together in the same space at the same time for the same purpose. Check with your local municipality for additional restrictions in your area.
Unless otherwise identified in public health orders, the following gathering restrictions are in place:
- 50 people maximum for indoor social gatherings, including wedding and funeral receptions and birthday parties
- 100 people maximum for other outdoor events and indoor seated/audience events, including wedding ceremonies, funeral services, movie theatres, indoor arts and culture performances and other indoor spectator events where people remain seated
- 200 people maximum for audience-type community outdoor events, such as festivals, firework displays, rodeos and sporting events, and outdoor performances
No cap on the number of people (with public health measures in place):
- Worship gatherings
- Restaurants, cafes, lounges and bars
- Casinos and bingo halls
More flexibility for cohort groups. Small groups of people whose members do not always keep 2 metres apart:
- Households can increase their 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 can be part of a sports/performing cohort and a household cohort at the same time
Still not approved in Stage 2
- 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 won't be lifted until stage 3 of the relaunch strategy
The success of Stage 2 will determine when Alberta progresses to Stage 3. Factors are active cases, health-care system capacity, hospitalization and intensive care unit (ICU) cases, and infection rates.
Stage 3 timing will be determined based on health indicators. Some restrictions and enhanced protection controls will remain in place.
Lifted restrictions for Stage 3
- Fully reopening all businesses and services, with some restrictions
- Larger gatherings permitted (number of people to be determined)
- Arts and culture festivals, concerts and major sporting events will be permitted with restrictions
- Nightclubs, gyms, pools, recreation centres and arenas will reopen, with restrictions
- Industry conferences can resume, with restrictions
- No restrictions on non-essential travel
Continuing restrictions for Stage 3
- Physical distancing restrictions will be maintained
The City of Wetaskiwin has ended its State of Local Emergency (SOLE).
How does the Province plan to roll out its re-entry strategy?
We're working hard to lay out the highlights of the province's new staged re-entry strategy, and to communicate how this strategy may affect some of the present restrictions in place here at home. Thank you for your patience as we make these updates to the COVID-19 information portal.