City of Prince Albert facilities to remain open

Kris Olson

The City of Prince Albert has enacted its Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) and continues to meet to evaluate the impacts of COVID-19 measures on City services and employees. For now, city facilities will remain open.

The majority of third party events have been cancelled including sports groups and tournaments and cleaning of high touch surfaces continues.

“Our EOC has been meeting since last Thursday,” Prince Albert Fire Chief Kris Olson. “We got together and being a health issue we have been following Sask. Health and their recommendations. So their recommendations initially on the outset were gatherings of 250 or greater would be restricted. We followed that lead and some of the organizers of some of the planned events had pulled out based on that information right away.”

He explained that he was getting calls about cancellations of events as late as Sunday.

The EOC is operational and meeting to monitor the situation.

“We are meeting daily so as information is rolled out of Sask Health we are meeting as a committee and as it’s an ever changing or evolving situation so stay tuned,” he said.

“Attendance at facilities is very low and we are able to achieve parameters of social distancing,” Olsen said in the city’s release.

“Given announcements from other municipalities, we will be evaluating the impact of closures on our staff and the public and expect to have more information soon.”

The City of Prince Albert is following the lead of Saskatchewan Health in terms of recommendations on public gatherings and direction to staff.

At present there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Prince Albert and there is no evidence of community transmission. Olson explained that there is some confusion because all municipalities are taking different approaches.

“Right from the onset we said we are going to follow the recommendations of Sask Health so that’s what we are doing,” Olson said.

Prince Albert Mayor Greg Dionne addressed the issue during the regular council meeting on Monday, March 16.

“I want to ensure all residents that we are taking the safety of our public very seriously, and we will evaluate the COVID-19 measures on a daily basis, and we’ll keep you updated,” Dionne said.

The public was allowed at the meeting but that may change in the future, Dionne said.

The situation continues to change quickly. The EOC will be meeting daily to review new developments and new information will be made available regularly.

The federal government has released new restrictions on international travel. Residents should review travel advisories in effect.