Officials with the County of Grande Prairie are taking recommendations from the province to heart, as a number of changes are coming to day-to-day operations at the municipal level.
Community Services Director Dan Lemieux says, for a start, they’re using data gathered from the Grande Prairie Regional Emergency Partnership, which sees community partners including the City of Grande Prairie, Town of Wembley and Town of Sexsmith, which includes planning from the 2002 SARS scare, and 2009 H1N1 pandemic as a guide as to how to proceed.
“We’ve dusted off some of the plans, and business plans we had from 2009 and we are revamping those plans and learning as we go,” he says. “We are certainly prepared to continue to provide critical municipal services.”
The County also cancelled all work-related travel outside of Alberta for employees. It has also put measures in place that will see employees travelling on their personal time be assessed before they return to work. Lemieux adds that employees will be told to self-isolate if they deem it needed if workers are returning from outside of Canada.
“We said all along this is a health emergency, and as a municipality, we are going to follow the recommendations from Alberta Health Services.”
Lemieux adds, as an extra layer of precaution, the County will also be cancelling all public events of 250 people or more and gatherings of more than 50 people that include international participants, critical infrastructure staff, seniors, or other high-risk populations, until further notice.
GPREP was last activated in the County of Grande Prairie as part of the province-wide response to the High Level, and northwestern Alberta wildfires in the spring and summer of 2019.