Claresholm starts enhanced measures

By Rob Vogt, Local Press Writer
The Municipal District of Willow Creek, which includes Claresholm, has been placed in the purple zone on the Alberta Health map for enhanced measures to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
The latest geospatial map shows there are five active cases in the Claresholm area, with 42 recovered cases.
The enhanced measures according to Alberta Health are:
• No social gatherings inside your home or outside of your community.
Social gatherings are currently a key driver of COVID-19 spread in Alberta.
Do not hold social gatherings inside your home. Instead, socialize outdoors or in structured settings, like restaurants or other business that are subject to legal limits and take steps to prevent transmission.
Do not move social gatherings to communities with no restrictions as it puts you and others at risk.
• A 15-person limit on family and social gatherings where people are mixing and mingling.
Social gatherings are where people: move freely to mix with others; have two-way conversations; and share food, laugh, play games.
Examples of social gatherings include: wedding or funeral receptions; induction or award ceremonies; luncheons or potlucks; and parties such as birthday, retirement, baby showers, and house/backyard.
• A limit of three cohorts, plus child care.
Limit of three cohorts: your core household, your school, and one other sport or social cohort.
Young children who attend child care can be part of four cohorts.
• Mask use is encouraged in all indoor places.
Wear a mask in all indoor work settings, except when alone in a workspace or an appropriate barrier is in place. This includes: while attending in-person meetings; and any time you leave your desk or barrier/partition such as when in the washroom; getting a coffee; heating up your lunch; or moving in a hallway.
• Employers in office settings to reduce employees in the workplace at one time.
Employers are strongly encouraged to implement options such as rotating schedules or enabling staff to work remotely to reduce the number of employees in a workplace at a time.
• Restaurants/pubs stop liquor sales by 10 p.m. and close by 11 p.m., which is in effect from Nov. 13 to 27.
Operators are working hard to follow guidance and protect patrons, however, extended drinking and socializing in these settings, which primarily occurs late at night, can facilitate risky behaviours that spread COVID-19.
These rules apply to restaurants, bars, lounges and pubs with Class A, B or C licences.
This restriction does not apply to facilities that do not have a liquor licence.
Restaurants, bars, lounges and pubs may continue to offer take-out and delivery food and beverage services after 11 p.m.
Casinos, bingo halls, pool halls and indoor recreation centres must stop alcohol service at 10 p.m. but do not need to close public access.
• A 50-person limit on wedding and funeral services, both indoor and outdoor.
This measure will help limit exposure, reduce outbreaks and protect vulnerable attendees.
The 50-person limit applies to attendees of wedding ceremonies and funeral services held indoors or outdoors, seated or non-seated.
This applies to any facility, including places of worship and funeral homes.
It does not apply to staff, organizers, performers or groups not considered an invited guest.
Wedding and funeral receptions are limited to 15 people.
• Faith-based gatherings are limited to one-third capacity.
Faith communities are often significant aspects of people’s lives, and include intimate and close contact between members.
Faith leaders may hold multiple services.
This does not apply to meetings that are structured where distancing and masking are used, such as leadership meetings, or mutual support meetings that may be hosted such as Alcoholics Anonymous.
This measure will help limit exposure at these activities, reducing outbreaks and protecting vulnerable members who attend.