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Mayor Clayton disappointed over lack of reopening progress

Grande Prairie Mayor Jackie Clayton says she isn’t surprised by a lack of reopening movement, but she is hopeful that the province will soon carry on with its staged COVID-19 economic reopening strategy.

“I’m disappointed that there wasn’t any layer of phase three,” she says.

Clayton says the announcement by Health Minister Tyler Shandro on Monday that saw the province remain in phase two of four, didn’t come as a total shock given the overall COVID-19 picture in the province, but she has council was pulling for at least some kind of positive momentum.

“Council was hopeful to see some of phase three opening, but within a week we hope the province will announce another layer of phase three potentially,” she adds.

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On Monday afternoon, Health Minister Tyler Shandro said to move into Step 3 of the province’s Path Forward, hospitalizations have to be below 300 and declining.

He says hospitalizations have been rising as of late, reaching 280 as of Sunday, adding he expects that number to hit 300 within a week.

Clayton says whatever the timeline ends up looking like, council simply wants to know that local businesses and residents are getting clear and consistent information on expectations during the reopening.

“Our local businesses are very eager to hear from the province about what they can expect during this reopening, and today’s announcement, I’m sure, was disappointing to many businesses.”

The province hasn’t provided details on when the public can expect an updated decision on the next phase.

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