As the number of confirmed cases in Chestermere increases to 15, as announced on April 2, the Province of Alberta and the city are working together to close non-essential businesses in the community to limit the spread of COVID-19.
“We are nowhere close to seeing the end of this pandemic, but we can control the spread
together as a community, we can do this,” said the Chestermere Emergency Management Agency (CHEMA) Director, Bernie Morton.
“While our confirmed cases have increased, we can keep it from rising, we can keep people from getting sick,” he said.
Moving forward, all of the businesses that are permitted to remain in operation in Chestermere during the state of local emergency must follow strict protocols, such as having hand sanitizing stations available to patrons when entering the premises, practice physical distancing, refuse entry to anyone displaying symptoms of illness, and sanitizing and disinfecting all keypads, payment terminals, automated teller machines, and automatic transaction machines after each use.
“We are working with all sectors to ensure that they are taking every possible precaution to keep our citizens safe,” said Mayor Marshall Chalmers.
Under the new measures, specific regulations were added to taxis, ride-sharing services, and car washes to keep the community safe.
Car washes can continue to operate only if spray guns, handles, vacuum stations, and keypads are sanitized and disinfected after each use.
All coin-operated machines and keypads must be sanitized and disinfected after each use, and any coins removed from the machine must also be sanitized, disinfected and dried daily.
Taxis and ride-sharing services can also continue to operate in Chestermere only if the interior of the vehicle is fully and regularly sanitized and disinfected.
There must only be one passenger per vehicle, the passenger has to sit in the rear seat, and that seat must be sanitized and disinfected after each passenger pick-up and drop off.
Any taxi or ride-sharing passenger displaying signs of illness must be refused service and no driver is permitted to drive if they are ill.
An exception will be made for service providers transporting someone to a medical care facility as a patient, then the transport must be reported to the CHEMA and Alberta Health Services at 8-1-1.
“These new measures are to protect you, to protect all of us,” Morton said.
Any business that breaches the closure or operational requirements, could have the business license suspended or revoked, and may be subject to a fine of up to $10,000.
“For the most part, we have had very good physical and social distancing practices in the community,” Morton said.
Adding, “There have been individuals not following the practices. To you, I say this is no longer a request, a best practice, and something you should do, it’s now something that you must do for yourself, for your family, and for your community. Social distancing is now a requirement, along with sanitizing hands when entering a business.”
Along with the new regulations, the City of Chestermere has started a social media initiative where residents are encouraged to share posts of positivity using the hashtag #wecandoitchestermere.
“Help us brighten up our feeds by posting positive stories and pictures of how your neighbourhood, friends, family, and local organizations are supporting one another during COVID-19 and we will do the same,” Chalmers said.
“I need to send out my immense gratitude for all Chestermerians and businesses for your partnership and your resilience in the face of this crisis, to our dedicated team of city staff, our emergency command centre, and emergency management team, to all of you I say a sincere thank you,” Morton said.
Adding, “I’m proud of how well we’ve worked together as a team for the entire community.”
For more information on the City of Chestermere’s COVID-19 updates please visit, www.chestermere.ca/covid19, or to view provincial support services and restrictions visit, www.alberta.ca/covid19.