March 20, 2020
COVID-19: Information Updates
The COVID 19 situation is changing rapidly

Visit highriver.ca/covid19 for the most up to date information about the Town’s Response, Event Cancellations and Facility Closures. Updates will continue to be shared on the Town website and on social media.

Alberta Government Additional Measures Announced March 17

A State of Public Health Emergency has been declared under the Public Health Act. All events over 50 people to be cancelled; no attendance at recreation centres, bars, theatres and other facilities; sit-down restaurants can remain open at lower capacity. Visit the Alberta Government’s websites for accurate information: alberta.ca/covid19.

This issue of the Town Crier is up to date as of March 19
Reduce the Risk and Help Prevent the Spread of COVID-19
“We need to ensure that we do all we can to help slow the infection rate of COVID-19 in our community. Even if you feel safe, your actions can impact those who are more vulnerable – the young, the elderly, and people with pre-disposing conditions. Let’s do our part as a community to help flatten the curve. We can reduce the risk and reduce the burden on our health care system.”
-Mayor Craig Snodgrass

New information is available that COVID-19 can be spread within the community with no traceable links. The Town’s response is to cancel all public gatherings to help reduce the spread. All community groups and organizations are strongly encouraged to reconsider all public events and gatherings, even in small numbers.

Pandemics are difficult to predict. The Town of High River is taking steps to react appropriately rather than underplay the risks. High River is a small community. Even in small gatherings, there is a risk of spread which can impact our residents. The priority now is to care for your family and neighbours. Everyone plays a role to protect our community. Thank you for doing all you can to care for your own health and the health and safety of your family, friends and our community.

“We are fortunate to live in a community where people look out for each other. The Town would like to assure you that our number one priority is the health and wellbeing of our community. Our Emergency Team is meeting daily to review the most current information and best practices. The steps we take are with High River’s best interests
in mind.”
-Peter Genereux, Manager of Emergency Management and Protective Services
The Town's Response
The Town is pausing many of its regular activities. The #1 priority is to stop the spread of COVID-19. Emergency response and maintaining essential services are the focus. Town of High River staff work protocols are in place to reduce the risk to staff who provide these services.

The Town is working within a 6-week operational window for decision-making. The first window started on March 13 and ends on April 24. During this time we will continue to review our response and decisions and keep the community updated.

Some of the Town’s maintenance work may continue or be modified in the coming months. This includes regular park maintenance, maintenance of our facilities and infrastructure, customer service, and administrative work related to finances and planning.

“Our collective actions are to help reduce the spread of this virus. This will help our health care system to cope. It is not about what the health care system can do for us, but what we can do to help the health care system – which benefits everyone.”
-Peter Genereux, Manager of Emergency Management and Protective Services

Be sure to follow Alberta Health Services recommended health and safety practices. Visit the Alberta Health Services Website for a complete list of precautions. If you are concerned about your well-being, and you are unsure if you need to be tested for the virus, complete this self-assessment from Alberta Health Services:


If you are sick, please call Health Link 8-1-1.
Help a Neighbour and Reach out for Support
Remember that this is a frightening time for some, especially those who are more vulnerable. Kindness and compassion go a long way.

If you know of anyone who is ill, call to check on them or drop some groceries off at the door. Consider writing notes to your neighbours offering to help if they need anything.

It is important to continue enjoying life, especially if this becomes the “new normal” in coming months. Remember, we are fortunate to live in a beautiful community with amazing trails where we can enjoy nature. To stay healthy, it is important to stay active and positive. Keep enjoying activities as a family. Get outside. Find fun ways to spend time at home. Use this opportunity to work on projects you’ve been putting off.

This early period requires some adjustments for everyone and can be stressful. We wish to continue to support families during this time. Please visit the Town’s web page for updates about resources for emotional support and
counselling: highriver.ca/covid19
Support Local Businesses
While we practice social distancing, there are things we can do to support the local economy. How about ordering take-out, going through the drive-through, or giving gift certificates for future shopping?

“This is a time when we must all be at our best and stand together. The Town is making decisions based on the best science from public health experts in Alberta and across Canada. And to be frank, these are not tough decisions. When the wellbeing of not just our community, but of all Canadians is at stake, we do the right thing at the right time.”
-Mayor Craig Snodgrass
Note from Parks and Recreation

Staff at the Parks and Recreation department are taking the following steps after closing the facility earlier this week:

Note from Family Community Support Services
As of March 23, the FCSS Resource Centre will reduce from five days/week, to four days/week. The Resource Centre will be open 8:30 – 4:00, Monday – Thursday (until further notice).

Staff will continue to support residents with all the typical needs, as well as with filing Income Tax (for low income earners) and providing support for EI applications.

An official Town of High River publication. For more information:
contact the Town of High River Office at 403.652.2110 or email communications@highriver.ca