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Red Deer’s record high COVID-19 case numbers concerning

February 23, 2021 4:01 PM
(Red Deer, Alberta)

Over the last several weeks, the number of active COVID-19 cases in Red Deer continue to rise. This is concerning, especially considering the downward trend being experienced across our province. As a community, we need to continue to be diligent in ensuring we limit the spread of the virus. To successfully bring our local case numbers down, and get ahead of the curve, the entire community must band together.

“Our city is seeing a number of outbreaks in care facilities, schools and businesses that are contributing to our high number of active cases,” said Mayor Tara Veer. “If Red Deer’s numbers remain high, we may not be included in the next phase of reopening outlined by the Province of Alberta and remain under tighter restrictions than the rest of the Alberta. It is up to all of us to ensure this doesn’t happen.”

City Council and The City’s Emergency Operations Centre continues to closely monitor the situation and will continue to work with Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services (AHS) to respond to COVID-19 activity in the community, and to support residents. While the recent outbreak at Olymel has contributed to Red Deer’s overall increase in case numbers, it is not the sole contributor. Community spread, and other local outbreaks, are also key factors. Outbreaks in Red Deer have been reported at the Red Deer Remand Centre, several acute care and continuing care centres, multiple units within Red Deer Regional Hospital as well as several school-related cases. Alberta Health will list outbreaks as outbreaks until 28 days have passed without a new case attributed.

“The City is assisting Olymel, Alberta Health, AHS and our community agency partners to co-ordinate supports for the over 1,800 workers, and their families. This includes helping them arrange safe housing if they can’t isolate at home, connecting them to community support groups and offering information in a variety of languages,” said Emergency Operations Centre Director, Karen Mann. “This outbreak does not represent all our case numbers, and the numbers related to this outbreak have begun to flatten. This is a reminder that COVID-19 is still a real risk to our community and something we can’t take lightly.”

The City of Red Deer is not involved in decisions regarding business closures. Municipalities rely on health experts at Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services to assess what should happen when COVID-19 is spreading throughout a workplace.

“We understand COVID-19 restrictions can be difficult and this is a stressful time for many. Many Albertans and Red Deerians are experiencing COVID fatigue. We’ve been in the pandemic for nearly a year now, but we all need to work together to follow public health guidelines to protect capacity at our local hospital and to ensure we are on track for safe re-start of our local economy,” said Mayor Veer.

The Province has not requested additional measures in our community at this time, and The City of Red Deer will continue to update our community following our ongoing discussions with Alberta Health. Community spread is complicated, and reliant on each individual contract tracing, which is why residents are reminded to follow all Provincial health measures and protocols, like staying home when sick, wearing a mask and being tested if you are experiencing symptoms.

For more information, please contact:

Corporate Communications
The City of Red Deer

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