Be the reason Banff stops COVID

COVID sucks. We get it. It has turned everyone’s world upside down. We know you miss socializing. But we all need to take precautions to help prevent the spread. If we don’t, we are going to miss out on the things that make living in Banff so great. 

Let’s not say “sayonara” to skiing, hikes on the local trails, the holidays, restaurants or access to our favourite businesses. 

Instead, let’s be the reason we can have a ski season. Be the reason we can still get food from restaurants, have a cold one at the end of the day and visit the best places in town. Be the reason we can have holiday activities. And most importantly, be the reason your friends and colleagues in Banff stay safe. 

Each of us needs to act like we have the virus and we need to stop spreading to others. We need to behave as if our friends, colleagues and people who live in our buildings could be COVID positive. 

It's a real drag being required to quarantine for 14 days if you learn that you came in close contact with someone who has just tested positive. Wouldn't you rather be out enjoying Banff's mountains or local après-ski offerings?

You can help stop the spread of COVID-19, avoid quarantine and continue to enjoy Banff's great outdoors with a few preventative measures. 

What you need to do:

  • Keep a 2-metre/6-foot distance (about the length of a ski pole in your outstretched arm) from everyone not in your family or close "cohort",  whether you are inside and outside
  • Don’t have unnecessary visits or gatherings in your home with anyone who does not live with you
  • Stay home if you feel sick - this is the law - you must  stay home for 10 days and should arrange testing if you have a COVID symptom
  • Stay home for 14 days if you are notified that you have been in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID
  • Wear a mask in public places – and wear it properly over your nose and chin
  • Don't join a gathering larger than 15 people – even when outside
  • Interact with only people in 3 cohorts – your household, your school and one sport or social cohort 
  • Wash or sanitize your hands frequently (note some hand sanitizers are not rated to work when cold)

Banff is a tight-knit community. Our work colleagues and former workmates are our friends. We have large networks. But right now we need to limit our close contact - no hugs when we see an old friend. You are doing them a favour.

Feeling Sick or Need to Quarantine?

If you are sick with and of the core COVID symptoms, you need to isolate for at least 10 days from the start of your symptoms or until they are gone, whichever is longer, or until you test negative for COVID-19.

If you have any other symptom of sickness, stay home and limit contact with others until symptoms are gone. Testing is recommended.

If you test positive, you must notify:

  • all people you have been in close contact with in the two days leading up to when you became sick (or two days before you had a COVID-19 swab taken if you didn’t have any symptoms).
  • All people you have been in close contact with any days since you started experiencing symptoms or after you had a swab taken (if you didn’t have any symptoms)
  • COVID-19 Close Contacts Identification Guide
  • For more information about close contact, please refer to updated AHS information at https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/topics/Page17199.aspx 


If you are notified by someone that you were in close contact with someone who tested positive, you must quarantine for 14 days

What is considered close contact?

  • anyone who was within 2 metres of a positive case of COVID-19 for more than 15 minutes, even if a mask was worn during that encounter
  • a close contact is ALSO someone who has had direct contact with bodily fluids of a person who has COVID-19 (e.g., was coughed or sneezed on) 
  • a person who provided direct care for a person who has COVID-19
  • all members of a sports team playing with or against a person who tests positive

COVID Testing

If you have symptoms or known exposure to COVID-19, you must stay home and book your test.

  1. Take the self-assessment online at https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/topics/Page17058.aspx
  2. Book your test in one of 2 ways:
    1. After you finish the online assessment, you have an option to book a test online. If you have means to get to Cochrane, fill in your request with your Banff postal code to receive a call back for booking rapid testing at the Cochrane testing centre, or
    2. After your online assessment, call Banff’s Alpine Medical Clinic – open seven days a week – 403-762-3155.
      (If your current doctor is at Banff’s Bear Street Family Physicians, call 403-762-4846. Please note - Bear Street Family Physicians does not have capacity to provide testing for patients not currently with this clinic).

(The Town of Banff is working with the local clinics and Alberta Health Services to increase COVID testing capacity in Banff. This specialized service is only provided by health care professionals. The Town has coordinated facilities and offered support services to help increase local testing, but the municipal government relies on the provincial health authority to deliver this service.)

More info:

Need Assistance?

If you are in isolation and need support with groceries, other essentials or help referral services, contact the Town of Banff’s help team at help@banff.ca or call 403-762-1251.

The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they are sick or need to self-isolate due to COVID-19, or have an underlying health condition that puts them at greater risk of getting COVID-19. Apply at https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/benefits/recovery-sickness-benefit.html 

Urgent Mental Health Walk-In Services
Banff & Canmore Hospitals 7 days/week, 2 – 9 p.m. and can be accessed by calling 403.678.5536 or at front desk reception.

YWCA Banff Counselling Services
1-403-760-3200 (9am-5pm, Monday to Friday)
1-403-762-3560 after 5pm (and on weekends)
https://ywcabanff.ca/programs-services/counselling/

Centre for Online Mental Health Support
Click here for live interactive mental health support online.

Non-Local Help Lines 

  • Mental Health Help Line - 1-877-303-2642 
  • Distress Line - 24 hours, 1.888.787.2880
  • Family Violence Helpline - 24 hours, 403. 234.7233
  • Suicide Crisis Line - 1.800.SUICIDE
  • Addiction 24 hours HelpLine - 1.866.332.2322