P.A. emergency response team to make decision Friday on closing city facilities

City manager says decision to come after morning meeting

City manager Jim Toye chats with the Husky pipeline project manager during an open house on JUne 15, 2018 in Prince Albert. (Peter Lozinski/Daily Herald)

The City of Prince Albert will decide this morning whether to keep public facilities like the Alfred Jenkins Field House open during the global Coronavirus outbreak.

The City’s emergency response team, which includes directors of all city departments as well as police and fire representatives, met twice on Thursday to discuss the City’s response. Prince Albert already has a pandemic plan in place, and Thursday’s meetings focused on making small tweaks to that strategy. Any large decisions, however, won’t be made until another meeting this morning.

“We met at the end of the day just to kind of pull the information together and see what more we needed,” Toye said during an interview late Thursday afternoon.” “It’s been a long day already, so we sent everybody home with their homework.”

The emergency response team plans to go through the list “facility by facility” to determine potential risk levels. Toye said those risk levels are low right now, but he emphasized they don’t want to take any chances.

“We don’t have a lot of evidence of anything in PA right now, but we want to make sure that if someone is there (with Coronavirus) that 250 or 300 people aren’t affected because of that,” he explained.

Toye said they’ll release more information on the electronic billboard installed on 15th Street and Second Avenue. He added that most decisions will be made at the provincial and federal level, and he encouraged residents to monitor provincial and federal government websites for the latest updates.

He also reiterated the need for testing, and encouraged residents to call 811 in case of an emergency.

“We’re monitoring the situation very closely and we’re going to provide updates as we learn more and as things progress,” he said.

Some Prince Albert events, like this yesterday’s LunaFest Film Festival at John M. Cuelenaere Public Library, have been cancelled, but not all of them. According to the E.A. Rawlinson’s Facebook page, tonight’s concert featuring Terry Barber will still go ahead, although with extra precautions in place. Staff have encouraged concert patrons to keep a few open seats between themselves and their fellow audience members, in addition to other safety measures.