Media Release April 9, 2020 | 2:00 p.m.
Update #10: COVID-19 Pandemic
Residents Reminded to Adhere to Physical Distancing Measures When in Public, State of Local Emergency Renewed for Third Time
Residents of the Peace Region are reminded that a key practice to prevent the spread of COVID–19 is to practice physical distancing.
Essential workers are reporting to GPREP that a number of residents are visiting stores out of boredom and not adhering to provincial health orders nor to the measures put in place by stores to ensure proper physical distancing. This practice must stop.
Under the order of provincial health authorities, Albertans are to limit the number of times they leave their home for errands. If there is an essential need to go into public spaces, such as to shop for food, medication, or sanitation supplies, it is critical all residents adhere to physical distancing measures and remain responsive to the direction of frontline workers.
“Adhering to physical distancing measures requires all of us to exercise a high degree of patience when entering grocery stores,” said Chris Manuel, Director of Emergency Management. “If you are caught not adhering to measures in place by Public Health Authorities, you may be charged and if you don’t abide by store rules you can be trespassed and banned.”
Those choosing to use masks and gloves when in public must not litter and are required to properly dispose of these items in a garbage bin.
“This week, we heard from the Premier that the peak of this pandemic in Alberta could be as late as the end of May,” says Manuel. “The community has done an incredible job to date, that being said, this is no time to become complacent in our efforts to prevent the spread of COVID19 in our region.”
State of Local Emergency
GPREP’s six partner municipalities have renewed the State of Local Emergency in the City of Grande Prairie, County of Grande Prairie, Towns of Beaverlodge, Sexsmith, and Wembley, and the Villiage of Hythe.
The state of local emergency was initially declared on March 18, 2020 and since then has been renewed three times due to the legislative requirement to renew after 7 days under the Alberta Emergency Management Act.
“We are hopeful that recent legislation tabled in the Alberta Legislature will allow us to call a State of Local Emergency for a duration of 90 days,” said Jennifer Wood, Manager of GPREP. “If approved, it will eliminate the need for us to renew the state of local emergency with the province and publicly declare the renewal each week.”
For the latest information on GPREP’s emergency response in the region, visit gprep.ca.