All City of Red Deer operated recreation and culture facilities will temporarily close to the public to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) effective at closing time of each facility today, Sunday, March 15, 2020.
The decision was made in alignment with Alberta Health’s recommendation to cancel all K-12 and post-secondary classes in the province and to promote social distancing and minimize the potential spread of COVID-19. There are no confirmed cases of the virus in Red Deer, according to Alberta Health Services, and the risk to residents remains low.
City facilities affected by the temporarily closures include:
- Collicutt Centre
- G.H. Dawe Community Centre
- Recreation Centre
- Michener Aquatic Centre
- Servus Arena
- Kinsmen Community Arenas
- Kinex Arena
- Setters Place at Great Chief Park
- Intermediate School Site (Culture Services Centre)
- All leased spaces within City operated recreation and culture facilities including food vendors, retail stores, and private recreation providers, will be closed. This does not include those spaces that have an external public access (i.e. Red Deer Public Library GH Dawe branch, Exalta Gymnastics and Red Deer Minor Hockey Association office).
In addition, Red Deer’s Northside Community Centre closed to the public today, Sunday, March 15, 2020, under direction from The YMCA of Northern Alberta. The City is in communication and sharing information with contractors operating City facilities (including Heritage Ranch, Bower Ponds, Red Deer Museum & Art Gallery and neighbourhood activity centres), however business decisions remain with the individual operators.
“This was a difficult decision, but it’s in the best interest of our residents and City employees,” said Karen Mann, Emergency Operations Centre Director with The City of Red Deer. “While we don’t know how long these closures will last, we want to assure residents and staff that our first priority is, and always will be, your health and safety. We will continue to be guided by the province’s public health officials in taking actions to protect the public.”
Other measures being taken by The City at this time include:
- Continued activation of The City of Red Deer Emergency Operations Centre
- Continued activation of The City of Red Deer call centre daily from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. for residents to make non-emergency inquiries about City services and policies (403-342-8111)
- Enhanced cleaning and janitorial services in high traffic areas
- Mandatory 14-day isolation period for City employees who are symptomatic and/or have returned from international travel after March 12, 2020.
- Notifying customers affected by program cancellations at City facilities including fitness classes, swimming lessons, educational and cultural courses and childminding minding services.
- Revised cancellation policies for passes, programs and room rentals. Details are posted at www.reddeer.ca.
Security and staff will remain on site at the closed facilities to support the management of the city assets.
In addition, the following City facilities remain open to the public at this time, however with potentially amended service levels.
- City Hall and Professional Building
- Sorenson Station and Red Deer Transit service
- RCMP detachments
“Our staff are the backbone of what we do at The City of Red Deer and we are dedicated to supporting them in this time of uncertainty,” said Allan Seabrooke, City Manager. “During the next several days, we will ask some employees to step outside their regular duties and provide support in other areas or departments to help with the increased workload COVID-19 has placed upon us.”
Residents are reminded not to attend City facilities or any public facilities if they are feeling ill. Call Alberta Healthlink at 8-1-1 for non-emergency health information about COVID-19 and 9-1-1 only in the case of a life-threatening emergency or crime in progress.
The COVID-19 outbreak remains a fluid situation and information can change quickly and often. The City of Red Deer is prepared to make additional changes to policies as required in order to keep residents safe and reduce the risk of spreading the virus. Residents are urged to visit the Alberta Health Services website at www.ahs.ca for the most up to date information.
Communications & Strategic Planning
The City of Red Deer