On November 24, 2020, Premier Jason Kenny declared a second state of Public Health Emergency, and aggressive measures have been put in place to protect the health system and reduce the rising spread of COVID-19 cases. We want to assure you that the interest of community health and safety is our priority. Currently, Big Lakes County is not in the enhanced areas, which means that only the following mandatory public health measures apply to our County:
- Effective immediately, no indoor social gatherings will be permitted. Individuals who live alone may have up to 2 non-household close contacts who are able to visit in their homes. They must be the same two people throughout the duration of these measures.
- Social gatherings in indoor workplaces, such as lunchroom gatherings, are also not allowed.
- Outdoor social gatherings are permitted to a maximum of 10 people.
- Funeral services and wedding ceremonies must follow all public health guidance and are limited to a maximum of 10 in-person attendees. Receptions will not be permitted.
- No festivals or events.
- In all schools, grades 7-12 will move to at-home learning on November 30, ending in-person classes early. Students in Early Childhood Services and Grades K-6 will remain learning in-person until December 18.
- All students will return to at-home learning after their winter break and resume in-person learning on January 11, 2021. This measure is mandatory.
- Alberta’s government is making diploma exams optional for the rest of the school year. Students and their parents can choose whether to write the exam or receive an exemption for the April, June, and August 2021 exam sessions.
Not following the mandatory restrictions could result in fines and enforcement. The Emergency Alert System will be used to ensure Albertans are aware of the mandatory requirements.
Effective immediately, the County is taking the following steps to help reduce the risk to our residents, visitors, and employees. Big Lakes County will continue to fully operate core services, including Fire Services, Utilities, Solid Waste, Airports, and Road Safety throughout the duration of this pandemic.
Changes to County Operations Big Lakes County Administration Buildings – OPEN
Effective immediately, the Big Lakes County Administration Buildings in High Prairie and Kinuso will remain open to residents who need to pay their bills. Payment can also be left in the drop boxes that are located outside of the admin offices. Please book an appointment if you need to meet with our staff. Information and services will be available by phone (780-523-5955) and email ([email protected]). The County staff directory can be found here: https://www.biglakescounty.ca/contact/county-directory. The Kinuso Administration Building is open Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
Big Lakes Family and Community Support Services Offices – BY APPOINTMENT ONLY
The Big Lakes Family and Community Support Services Offices will be open by appointment only. To book an appointment with an FCSS Outreach Worker, please call:
- Kinuso at 780-775-3666
- Faust at 780-355-3896
- Joussard at 780-776-3811
- Grouard at 780-751-3806
- Enilda at 780-523-5925
- High Prairie at 780-536-0062
Big Lakes Bus
The Big Lakes Bus is operating under the following COVID-19 safety protocols, which have been implemented to keep our passengers and staff safe:
- Maximum capacity is 6 riders, plus one wheelchair
- All passengers and bus driver must wear a mask
- Social distancing will be enforced, some seats will not be available
- Hand sanitizer will be available on the bus. Passengers must sanitize their hands each time they board the bus
- Passengers will be asked to complete a COVID-19 screening when booking and again at pick-up
- Any passengers with symptoms of COVID-19 will not be permitted to board the bus. Symptoms include: fever, new or worsening chronic cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, sore throat, runny nose, stuffy nose, painful swallowing, headache, chills, muscle or joint aches, feeling unwell in general or severe exhaustion, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or unexplained loss of appetite, loss of sense of smell or taste, or conjunctivitis (commonly knowns as pink eye)
To book a trip on the bus, please call 1-877-925-2537.
Before Visiting Our Office
The health and safety of our staff and residents is our top priority. Therefore, please do not visit our offices if you have a fever, new or worsening chronic cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, sore throat, runny nose, stuffy nose, painful swallowing, headache, chills, muscle or joint aches, feeling unwell in general or severe exhaustion, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or unexplained loss of appetite, loss of sense of smell or taste, or conjunctivitis (commonly knowns as pink eye). Please be advised of the following mitigation procedures:
- The number of individuals within the main Administration Building lobby shall be restricted to 6 at any one time
- Hand sanitizer is located at all entry points of the facilities for use upon entry
- Members of the public shall maintain a 2-meter separation as indicated by markings placed on the lobby floor
- Physical barriers have been installed at the main reception desks
- Countertops and debit machines will be sanitized after each use
- Businesses cards, pamphlets, reports, etc., have been removed from the reception desks; however, they are available upon request
- Since Big Lakes County is not in the enhanced areas, masks are not mandatory for indoor workplaces; however, they are encouraged
All Albertans are encouraged to take personal steps to help prevent the spread
Albertans must continue following existing public health measures to keep everyone safe:
- Stay 2 metres apart when you can, wear a mask when you can’t
- Practice good hygiene: wash your hands often and cover coughs and sneezes
- Monitor your symptoms every day
- If sick, stay home, get tested, and follow mandatory isolation requirements while waiting for results:
– if positive, isolate from others for 10 days or until symptoms are gone, whichever is longer
– if negative, stay home until you’re better
- Avoid non-essential travel
- Get the flu shot to keep influenza cases low so health workers can focus on the COVID-19 pandemic
- Download and use the ABTraceTogether contact tracing app when out in public
Important Updates from Credible Sources
- Alberta’s situation and action plan
- Alberta Health Services latest health information and advice for Alberta
- Cases of COVID-19 in Canada and around the world
- Travel, preparations and the national plan from Health Canada
- Review emergency updates from the World Health Organization
- COVID-19 information for Albertans
Big Lakes County will continue to follow the Alberta Public Health Guidelines and closely monitor the COVID-19 cases in our County. If you have questions about County business, please contact the Administration office at 780-523-5955 or email [email protected]. For up-to-date information, please visit the Big Lakes County Facebook page or www.biglakescounty.ca or tune into REAL Country 93.5 or BOOM FM 92.7.
Big Lakes County Reeve
For more information, please contact:
Victoria Zahacy, Big Lakes County Communications Coordinator
P: 780-523-5955 E: [email protected]