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 make changes to help stop the spread. 

Let’s not say “sayonara” to skiing, hiking and skating, or other things that make living here great.  Work in local businesses, hikes on the nearby trails, holiday activities, food from our favourite restaurants, our grocery stores, and even access to the post office is at risk if we have outbreaks in town. We can keep these things going, if we take precautions. 

During this holiday season, we have to avoid all in-person social gatherings. Go virtual to stay in touch.  Sacrifices now means we can get back to hugs sooner. And we're moving in the right direction a cases continue to drop (see regular case update at banff.ca/covid).

Let’s be the reason Banff stays safe. Be the reason we keep the ski season.

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. 

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 a friend! You are doing them, and yourself, a favour.

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 fresh mountain air?

Let's stay healthy and support our local businesses where possible by using curbside pickup, delivery and contactless options.

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
  • No indoor social gatherings(applies to private homes, staff accommodation, or workplaces)
    • The only people you can be in close contact with (less than 2 metres) are people from your household  - inside and outside, and with or without a mask
    • People who live alone can have up to the same 2 non-household contacts for the duration of the restriction, if they are reliable to follow the rules. If a close contact does not live alone, you can't visit at their home
    • This does not apply to service visits from caregivers, health or child care providers and co-parenting arrangements
  • All non-essential out-of-town travel is discouraged at this time. 
  • Out-of-town visitors cannot stay in other people's homes while these restrictions are in place, regardless of where they are coming from. That's the law.
  • Masks are mandatory in all indoor public spaces. It's also required at the workplace, unless you are alone in a closed office or have solid barriers between workspaces. In Banff, masks must be worn outside in the downtown core and on all of Banff Ave. Bandanas, scarves and neck tubes don't qualify. And wear your mask over your nose and under your chin.
  • 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
  • Wash or sanitize your hands frequently (note some hand sanitizers are not rated to work when cold)
  • If you violate a public health order, you may be subject to a $1,000 fine. Additionally, you can be prosecuted for up to $100,000 for a first offense.

Feeling Sick or Need to Quarantine?

New Provincial measures are in effect on gatherings, dining, and shopping: https://banff.ca/covid#Critical

If you are sick with any 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.  That means you can't leave your residence. (You can call the Town for help with food and other deliveries.) If your symptoms completely disappear in less than 10 days AND you receive a negative result for COVID, you can leave isolation.

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. And 15 minutes can be cumulative of several times in a day.
  • 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

For assistance in Banff, such as food or prescription deliveries, help accessing financial aid, if you need to isolate but you live in shared accommodation, or help with stress, contact the Town of Banff Help Team at: banff.ca/COVIDhelp

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:
    • After you finish the online assessment, you have an option to book a test online. You can select to receive a test in Banff at the Banff Community Health Centre, which is conducting testing Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays: 9 a.m.– 5 p.m., by appointment only. Or you can select Cochrane or Calgary to have a test sooner if the Banff centre is not convenient. Reserve online at  AHS.ca/Covid   or call Healthlink 8-1-1

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, or visit  https://banff.ca/covidhelp.

If you need to isolate but you live in shared accommodation, 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