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City councillor urges residents to continue taking COVID-19 precautions

City of Grande Prairie Councillor Dylan Bressey is advising residents to be conscious of their actions while out and about in the community. As the number of COVID-19 cases rises in the community, he stresses the importance of following health protocols and good sanitary practices.

“I think we should be watching more closely what we’re doing, making sure we’re doing a good job of washing our hands, staying home when we’re sick, social distancing when we can and let’s do our part to make sure these cases don’t become way bigger in our community,” he says.

Between the City and County of Grande Prairie, there is now more than half the number of active COVID-19 cases to meet the local mandatory mask use bylaw threshold of 100 combined, with 49 in the city and six in the county. The bylaw would also be triggered if the city is put under “enhanced,” status by the province, which could mean extra public health measures.

Bressey says city staff are working with provincial resources to determine the safest course of action for the community.

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“What our staff are doing right now is they’re in contact with provincial health authorities who have the medical expertise and public health data that we don’t have in the city and they’re consulting with them to figure out what does our community need to do to make sure that our hospital capacity is protected and our residents are safe?”

Bressey also argues the wearing of masks, as a point of source control, is beneficial to the overall wellness of the community.

“I know that I will be wearing a mask when I’m going into a store or public place where I know I can’t social distance,” he says. “Personally I [find] it worth the trouble when I can’t social distance.”

Bressey adds he believes AHS has made the importance of contact tracing explicitly clear, as well as staying at home and getting tested if symptomatic. He says the city of Grande Prairie should take pride in its ability to maintain relative control of the COVID-19 case numbers through the pandemic so far.

“I think our [case] numbers speak for themselves in terms of, we have done really good as a community. As the numbers go up, that is concerning if they grow to an uncontrollable rate so I think that right now is a time to watch what we’re doing and make sure we keep on doing the good work that we already have been doing for the past bunch of months.”

Though the use of masks has not yet been made mandatory via bylaw, businesses maintain a degree of autonomy and many have already elected to mandate the wearing of masks while customers are within the establishment. Many businesses also offer measures such as hand sanitizer at the door.

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