In light of the community impact of COVID-19, the City of Lethbridge has declared a State of Local Emergency as of 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 18. This is an important step in helping Lethbridge access additional resources, particularly to support our vulnerable populations. It also enables local authorities the power to execute special orders in accordance with the Emergency Management Act.
"Our focus remains on the health and wellness of our residents and employees. This declaration is another step in helping protect our community," says Mayor Chris Spearman. "The State of Local Emergency helps us better coordinate between the different agencies and levels of government working to respond to COVID-19."
While the risk to Lethbridge residents remains low, now is the time to take firm measures to prevent further transmission. Residents are encouraged to be diligent in following the direction of health authorities. More information on self-isolation, symptoms and reported cases is available at www.alberta.ca/covid19.
The City of Lethbridge took the proactive measure of closing all recreation and culture facilities as of Monday, March 16, following the Province of Alberta's decision to close K-12 schools. This decision was made to align with the provincial recommendation of encouraging social distancing. Since that time, the Province has also announced additional public health measures to limit the time Albertans spend in large crowds. Earlier today, the Canadian/US border was closed to all non-essential travel.
"We want to thank our residents for their patience and understanding," says Marc Rathwell, Director of Emergency Management. "We know it isn't an easy situation and it will take the efforts of everyone in our community, across the province and the country to help us manage the spread of COVID-19."
At this time, all essential City services are being maintained with the required staffing and supplies. Contingency plans are being developed to ensure the needs of the community are met should the current status change.
A full list of important resources and updates on the City's response to the COVID-19 situation visit www.lethbridge.ca/covid19.