The City of Red Deer’s illness rates among staff continues to rise in alignment with the rise in cases in our community and province, which may result in further interruptions to services over the coming weeks. With the inability to differentiate symptoms between a regular cold or flu and COVID, any staff member who experiences symptoms must stay home and follow City process as well as provincial isolation requirements.
“Our priority is to have staff stay home when sick and take care of themselves until they’ve recovered fully, whether they have COVID-19 or not,” said Tara Lodewyk, Interim City Manager. “As a municipality, we have the responsibility to maintain a certain level of critical services to the community, and as of today, there are service impacts to Transit due to staffing shortages caused by illness. We continue to monitor the situation daily with all services we provide in the community.”
Starting January 12, Transit will be operating on reduced service after 7:45 p.m. Monday to Saturday with the exception of the Route 1 Rapid Bus and Route 12 for Gasoline Alley connecting at Bower Mall. Dynamic Shuttle Service will once again be offered beginning at 8 p.m., taking riders from Sorensen Station to their bus stop of choice within the city. There will be no impact to school routes or the Action Bus. Transit users are encouraged to visit , the Transit app or call 403-342-8225 to help plan your trip.
In an effort to maintain critical City services, areas where staff are available for redeployment may temporarily take place. Where redeployment isn’t an option, staff members will take on extra hours to maintain critical services, such as Emergency Services, Water and Wastewater, and Electric Light & Power.
“While staff may need to work additional hours, we are also acutely aware that burnout can happen, and we need to protect our staff’s health – mental, physical and emotional,” said Lodewyk. “With increasing staff absences, we are continually monitoring what services are absolutely required, and how our staff can maintain them.”
“Seeing the rising COVID cases in our community, as well as illness rates in our organization is alarming, we all need to do our part in reducing the spread to protect ourselves and safeguard our healthcare system,” said Mayor Ken Johnston. “We can’t predict how this wave will impact each individual, so we all need to take the necessary steps to protect ourselves; stay home when sick, mask up in public places, sanitize, and get immunized. It’s not just a one-step process, it’s several simple steps that work together to keep us safe, and it’s up to all of us to do it.”
Over the coming weeks, if service interruptions occur, information will be available through a variety of City sources. There will be updated service interruption information on The City’s website at www.reddeer.ca/know. We also encourage all Red Deerians who have not signed up to receive The City's COVID-19 updates to do so by signing up through Notify Red Deer. Visit www.reddeer.ca/notify for information on registering and opting into specific notifications.
For more information, please contact:
The City of Red Deer