The City of Chestermere is reviewing business continuity plans as the Omicron variant continues to be a concern.
As the variant developed before the holidays, and with the return of essential staff, the city is expecting a staff shortage.
“We have confirmed positive cases in staff members. The city can expect to see more impacts to staffing than in any other previous waves,” deputy director of emergency management, and office administrator Tara Zawyrucha said in the Jan. 11 Committee of the Whole meeting.
“The goal is to prevent the impacts from occurring all at once. It will be important to spread out the rate of infection so we can manage operations,” she said.
The most important message Zawyrucha had was for any city worker who is sick to stay at home and follow provincial guidelines for return to work based on vaccination status and symptoms.
The city is continuing to work with the province and following all measures in place with mandatory masking in all indoor settings, physical distancing, and working from home when possible.
“The most significant risk continues to be gathering indoors especially in groups,” Zawyrucha said.
When the Emergency Command Centre (ECC) was deactivated and members transitioned back into their roles at the city while adhering to public health orders, the emergency management team continued weekly COVID debriefings to maintain situational awareness, provide accurate information when asked, and act as advisors to the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO).
Going forward, the city will monitor the information presented by the province and advise the CAO and council members with any updates that could impact the organization.
“Last week when we returned to work, our case count for active cases in Chestermere was 108, and now active cases we’re at 312,” Zawyrucha said. “We are significantly jumping in case counts. We will be hit with this, we need to be preventive, and get some plans in place so we don’t see a big of a hit.”