Community Engagements during COVID-19

As you are aware, an outbreak of a new strain of pneumonia was identified in Wuhan, China on December 31, 2019, called the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). As of March 20, 2020) there are 146 confirmed cases in Alberta: most cases are directly related to travel abroad or contact with those who have travelled and are currently quarantined at home.

The current risk level in Alberta remains low. Risk is determined by assessing how likely Albertans are to be exposed to the virus in the province. While the worldwide risk is rising, the risk of contracting COVID-19 in Alberta is still low. The risk level will be adjusted if this changes in the coming weeks.

Alberta Health in a press release March 12, 2020 at 3:30pm stated:

“There is a window of opportunity for Alberta to slow the spread of the virus, and thereby protect the health of Albertans. Other countries who have faced this crisis have proven that immediate public measures are necessary to prevent the spread of the virus and protect public health.

The steps we take now and in the days ahead will help determine the severity of this outbreak for Alberta.

These are extraordinary circumstances, and our public health response must rise to the challenge we face. That is why, effective immediately, we are asking all large gatherings or international events in the province to be cancelled and advising Albertans against travel outside of the country.

By “mass gathering”, we mean any mass gatherings of more than 250 people. This includes large sporting events, conferences and community events.”

Related to smaller gatherings, the Public Health Agency of Canada has released a community risk assessment for community gatherings and based on this risk assessment and the advice of Public Health Officials in Alberta, the MNA is taking precautionary measures and postponing or modifying up coming smaller community engagements and gatherings.

We recognize that Métis Albertans may be disappointed to hear of these cancellations. This is a serious decision and it is not made lightly. It is based on ongoing review of recommendations from public health experts.

At this moment in time, we do not know how long these restrictions and modifications will be in place.  Updates will be provided as the situation evolves.

It is important to remember if you have symptoms, stay at home and take the COVID-19 self-assessment test or call Health Link 811.

For the latest and most up-to-date information for Albertans visit:  www.alberta.ca/covid19