The City of Wetaskiwin is no longer under a state of local emergency, effective as of 4:25 pm on Wednesday, June 17, 2020.
Originally declared at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24, Wetaskiwin’s state of local emergency had been in effect for a total of 85 consecutive days—a record for the municipality. Declaring a state of local emergency allowed the City to access resources needed to address any potential outbreaks of COVID-19 within the community, as well as enforce any additional restrictions and closures required to protect public health.
“I want to thank everyone who helped us get through the emergency portion of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Wetaskiwin Mayor Tyler Gandam. “I know it wasn’t easy for anyone, and the fact we were able to keep our local number of cases low is a testament to the sacrifices you made as a community. Thank you for your ongoing support.”
The City’s Emergency Operations Centre remains functional, though meetings are now held less frequently and consist primarily of planning out the eventual re-opening of all City facilities to the public. No timelines are available yet for when each City facility will re-open its doors, but these details will be announced on the City’s website and social media pages once they are finalized.
“Now that we are moving into Phase 2 of the provincial re-launch strategy, the emergency response phase of the COVID-19 pandemic is over,” said Robert Osmond, City of Wetaskiwin Director of Emergency Management. “This does not mean, however, that the pandemic itself is over. We still need to abide by all provincial public health orders—including adhering to physical distancing requirements.”
Wetaskiwin City Council took a number of steps throughout the first few months of the pandemic to help residents and local business owners, including: cancelling water disconnects and late charges for utility payments until June 30, 2020 extending the property tax payment deadline to September 30, 2020 amending the Plastic Checkout Bag Bylaw to allow for the Director of Emergency Management to suspend enforcement of the bylaw when necessary to protect the public’s health launching an Economic Recovery Strategy and contacting local businesses to check in deferring penalties for resident businesses regarding business licenses until August 31, 2020 deferring intermodal container fees to Q4 temporarily suspending the enforcement of the Plastic Checkout Bag Ban Bylaw allowing noise bylaw permits to be issued for businesses outside of normal hours
The City of Wetaskiwin continues to plan for the eventual re-opening of its facilities with restrictions as mandated by the province. At the Emergency Advisory Committee meeting held at 3:30 pm on June 17, City Council directed Administration to bring back options and timelines for resuming normal City operations in a staged approach with restrictions. This will be discussed in detail at the regular June 22, 2020 Wetaskiwin City Council meeting. A virtual link to the meeting will be available online at www.wetaskiwin.ca.
For local COVID-19 updates, please continue to visit this website. Visit www.alberta.ca/covid19 for provincial updates.