Grande Prairie Mayor Bill Given says he is pleased to see the steps taken by everyone in the city as provincial restrictions surrounding COVID-19 continue to lift. However, he hopes that complacency hasn’t snuck in, as the battle against COVID-19 likely remains far from over.
The first phase of the provincial government’s economic reopen strategy commenced on May 14th, with the proposed second phase, which will see restrictions on more business types lifted, potentially implemented on June 19th. Given says the five weeks in between the two phases potentially going into effect are vital.
“I hope residents, organizations, and businesses in our community will continue to proceed cautiously, but we really are entering a new phase of this pandemic, and it’s one about management about how we go about our daily lives.”
He says that while everyone doing their best will certainly help things in the short term, residents must remain cautious when it comes to a potential second wave of COVID-19. He adds mitigation is key to limiting the amount of potential new cases.
“We all have some influence on whether or not that comes to pass, but it is not completely unlikely that we will see more cases in the future, or potentially in an outbreak. We should also all be prepared to adapt, not just to this new normal that everyone is talking about, but should be prepared to adapt if a situation comes forward where we need to take a step backward for a period of time.”
Given adds, while it may sound like a gloomy outlook, he has full trust in everyone in the region to take health initiatives seriously.
“My hope is it won’t happen, but my greater hope is Grande Prairie residents and businesses will all be prepared to be flexible and adaptable as we enter into this uncharted territory.”
Phase two of the Government of Alberta’s relaunch strategy would see the potential opening of K-12 schools, with restrictions, and the reopening of more personal service businesses, like artificial tanning, esthetics, and cosmetic skin and body treatments.
As of June 1, 2020, the City of Grande Prairie has nine active COVID-19 cases and five recovered.