Coronavirus (COVID-19) information for Banff

Updated 6 p.m. October 26, 2021        

Based on Statistics are from Alberta Health  for data up to the end of the previous day 
COVID-19 cases in the communities of Banff and Lake Louise, and the rest of the national park:

  • 1,122 total cases (includes active and recovered)
  • 22 active positive cases
    • 0 new active case since last update
  • 1,099 people have recovered 
  • 1 death
  • 163.6 active case rate per 100,000 of the population

Vaccinations:

  • 9,887 people vaccinated with at least first dose 
  • 8,601 people are fully immunized  

Alberta-wide statists:

  • 86.6% of Albertans eligible for vaccinations (12 years and older) have received their first dose
  • 821 hospitalizations in Alberta due to COVID

Active Cases Oct 24

Totals Oct 24

Vaccines Oct 24

Weekly Cases Oct 23

Alberta Health Services (AHS) updates COVID cases for all regions at Alberta COVID Statistics.

Subscribe to the Latest News on COVID-19 in Banff

An outbreak of respiratory illness, now known to be caused by a novel (new) coronavirus, was first identified on December 31, 2019.  The novel coronavirus disease has been given the name COVID-19. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Everyone in Banff must follow health and safety practices to stop the spread.

All individuals and businesses in Banff are encouraged to sign up for emergency alerts from the Town of Banff, in the event broad-based communications is required.

Critical new information:

Restriction Exemption Program

Please view the most up-to-date information on the Government of Alberta's vaccine requirement program, including the list of businesses and entities eligible to participate in the program at https://www.alberta.ca/REP

Starting September 20, discretionary businesses and entities must follow one of these 2 options:

  • Implement the Restrictions Exemption Program requiring proof of vaccination or negative rapid test result to continue operating as usual, or
  • Follow capacity and operating restrictions as outlined below.

Business Requirements

Businesses that implement the Restrictions Exemption Program can operate without the additional restrictions if they allow entry to people (aged 12 and alder) who provide:

  • proof of vaccination
    • single dose accepted between September 20 and October 25 if received 2 weeks before time of service
    • double doses required after October 25
  • documentation of a medical exemption
  • proof of a privately-paid negative PCR or rapid test within 72 hours of service (tests from AHS or Alberta Precision Laboratories not allowed)

Businesses do not need to apply for the program. Audits and enforcement will occur to ensure rules are followed.

The Restriction Exemption Program would not apply to:

  • businesses or entities that need to be accessed for daily living (non-eligible businesses and services are listed at https://www.alberta.ca/REP)
  • employees of businesses participating in the program
  • children under 12

Proof of Negative Test

To enter spaces participating in the Restrictions Exemption Program, people aged 12 and older can show proof of a negative test result.

  • Tests must be privately-paid COVID-19 PCR or rapid tests completed within 72 hours.
  • Tests must not be from Alberta Health Services or Alberta Precision Laboratories.

Proof of vaccination

To enter spaces participating in the Restrictions Exemption Program, people ages 12 and older can provide proof of vaccination or documentation of a medical exemption.

  • Sept. 20 to Oct. 25: proof of a single dose is considered acceptable as long as the dose was given more than 2 weeks before the time of service.
  • After Oct. 25: proof of double vaccination is required.
  • Documentation for proof of vaccination – any of the following:
    • Alberta Health Services vaccination card
    • Immunization record provided to individuals at the time of vaccination by clinic or pharmacy
    • Digital proof on mobile device provided by provincial health service
  • Valid photo identification that matches the vaccine record is also required for adults 18 and over.

Gatherings

Mandatory restriction - Effective Sept 16.

Indoor social gatherings

  • Vaccinated: Indoor private social gatherings are limited to a single household plus one other household to a maximum of 10 vaccine-eligible, vaccinated people and no restrictions on children under 12.
  • Unvaccinated: Indoor social gatherings are not permitted for vaccine-eligible people who are unvaccinated.

Outdoor social gatherings

  • Outdoor private social gatherings limited to a maximum of 200 people, with 2 metre physical distancing at all times.

Places of Worship

Mandatory restriction - Effective Sept. 16

  • Capacity limited to 1/3 fire code occupancy.
  • Masks are mandatory.
  • 2 metres physical distancing between households, or 2 close contacts for those living alone.

Weddings and Funerals

Mandatory restriction - Effective Sept. 16

  • Capacity limited to 1/3 fire code occupancy.
  • Masks are mandatory.
  • 2 metres physical distancing between households, or 2 close contacts for those living alone.

Businesses 

Sport, fitness, recreation and performance activities

Mandatory restriction - Effective Sept. 16 and 20

Adult (over 18) sport, fitness, recreation and performance activities (Sept 20)

The following restrictions apply unless the facility or program implements the restrictions exemption program:

  • Indoor group classes and activities are not permitted.
  • Indoor competitions are paused except where vaccine exemptions have been granted.
  • Indoor one-on-one training and solo activities are allowed with 3 metre physical distancing.
  • Outdoor activities can continue with no restrictions.

Youth (under 18) sport, fitness, recreation and performance activities (Sept 16)

  • Indoor group classes, training, and competitions are permitted, but participants are required to:
    • screen for symptoms
    • maintain 2 metres distancing, except youth while engaged in physical activity
    • wear a mask, except youth while engaged in physical activity
  • Spectator attendance is restricted to 1/3 fire code capacity, attendees are limited to a single household or 2 close contact if living alone and must be masked and maintain 2 metres physical distancing.
  • Outdoor activities can continue with no restrictions.

Day and overnight camps (Sept 16)

  • Day camps required to maintain physical distancing between participants and masking indoors.
  • Overnight camps must follow cohort models.

Restaurants, cafes, bars, pubs and nightclubs

Mandatory restriction - Effective Sept. 20

The following restrictions apply to businesses that do not implement the restrictions exemption program.

  • Indoor dining is not permitted.
  • Outdoor dining only with a maximum of 6 people per table (one household or 2 close contacts for those living alone)
  • Liquor sales and consumption restrictions apply (sales end at 10pm, consumption by 11pm).

Retail, entertainment, and recreation facilities

Mandatory restriction - Effective Sept. 16 and 20

Indoor retail, entertainment, and recreation facilities (Sept 20)

  • The following restrictions apply to any indoor facility that does not implement the restrictions exemption program.
    • Capacity restricted to 1/3 fire code occupancy.
    • Attendees must be with household members only, or 2 close contacts if they live alone.
    • Masks and 2-metre physical distancing is required.

Outdoor events and facilities (Sept 16)

  • Fully outdoor events and venues have no capacity restrictions (excluding washrooms), but must maintain 2 metres distancing between households or 2 close contact for those living alone.

Masks and physical distancing

Mandatory restriction – Effective Sept. 4 and 16

  • Masking and physical distancing are mandatory in all indoor public spaces and workplaces. This measure extends to places of worship as of September 16.
  • Employees must mask in all indoor work settings, except while alone in work stations.

 Schools (K to 12)

Mandatory measure - Effective Sept. 16 

  • Mandatory masking for students in Grades 4 and up, plus staff and teachers in all grades.
    • Schools that implement an alternate COVID safety plan can be exempted from mandatory masking.
  • Elementary schools to implement class cohorting.
  • Indoor sports, fitness, recreation, and performance activities are permitted in schools, with requirements to maintain 2 metre physical distancing where possible.
    • Masks and distancing are not required by youth under 18 while engaged in physical activity.
    • Spectator attendance restricted to 1/3 fire code capacity and limited to households or 2 close contacts for those living alone. Attendees must be masked and distanced.

 Working from home

Mandatory measure - Effective Sept. 16

  • Mandatory work-from-home measures are in place unless the employer has determined a physical presence is required for operational effectiveness.
  • If employees are working on location, they must mask in all indoor settings, except while alone in work stations.

For more information, visit https://www.alberta.ca/covid-19-public-health-actions.aspx

Isolation Space

Isolation space for certain Banff residents is available to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in the community. For more information, visit: banff.ca/covidhelp or call 211.

Vaccinations

Everyone in Banff is encouraged to receive a vaccination. All types of vaccinations are effective in preventing death and serious illness due to COVID. Vaccinations are available in Banff at locations that may not be listed on the provincial website. For more information: see Banff Vaccine Information

Relief measures for Albertans:

Financial support for Canadians from The Government of Canada:

Important updates from credible sources:

More resources for local organizations are provided below.

How to prevent spread 

 To help protect you and your family against all respiratory illnesses, including flu and COVID-19:

Help Prevent the Spread with the ABTraceTogether App

A mobile contact tracing app called ABTraceTogether is now available to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. ABTraceTogether lets you know if you’ve been exposed to COVID-19 – or if you’ve exposed others – while protecting your privacy. Watch this video from the Government of Alberta to see how ABTraceTogether works. The app is now available to download for free from the App Store and Google Play. Learn more at Alberta.ca.

Use of this app is voluntary. Personal data is only stored on your phone for 21 days in an encrypted format. Your information will not be shared with AHS contact tracers without your permission.

The federal contact tracing app does not function in Alberta.

Wearing  Masks

Choosing a mask:

Face masks can become contaminated on the outside, or when touched by your hands. When wearing a mask:

  • avoid touching your face mask while using it
  • continue practicing good hand hygiene
  • change a cloth mask as soon as it gets damp or soiled
    • put it directly into the washing machine or a bag that can be emptied into the washing machine and then disposed of
    • cloth masks can be laundered with other items using a hot cycle, and then dried thoroughly
  • masks that cannot be washed should be discarded and replaced as soon as they get damp, soiled or crumpled
    • dispose of masks properly in a lined garbage bin
    • don’t leave discarded masks in shopping carts, on the ground, etc.

Travel

Travel information: alberta.ca/covid-19-travel-advice.

For the latest travel health advice and requirements, visit https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/latest-travel-health-advice.html

Filing a complaint

For an immediate response, the Town of Banff accepts calls at 403.762.1218 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.
After hours, please call the RCMP at 403.762.2226.

For complaints to AHS, submit to Alberta Health Services Complaint Form.

Complaints about people not working from home (when it is possible) can be forwarded to OHS: File an OHS complaint | Alberta.ca

Actions taken by the Town of Banff


On November 25, 2020, the Town of Banff declared a State of Local Emergency to support enforcement of restrictions announced in the Government of Alberta's declaration of a Public Health Emergency. The State of Local Emergency also allows the Town to act quickly to address the changing situation, and implement additional measures to stop the spread of COVID. Learn more: from the News Release.

On March 13, 2020, the Town of Banff activated its Municipal Emergency Plan. The Town also activated its Emergency Coordination Centre. The move dedicates more resources locally to address this evolving situation.

On March 17, 2020, the Town of Banff declared a State of Local Emergency. This provides authority to implement additional measures for the safety of the community.

For a summary of the pandemic timeline in Banff over the spring and summer State of Local Emergency:

Banff and Lake Louise Economic Task Force
 
The Town of Banff, Banff & Lake Louise Tourism (BLLT), Parks Canada, and Banff & Lake Louise Hospitality Association (BLLHA) created the Banff & Lake Louise Economic Task Force in May to deliver a phased plan to safely and effectively re-open the economy in Banff National Park, with five specific objectives. The task force reports positive steps in the work this summer to rebuild the economy during the COVID-19 pandemic, but believes more work is needed through the winter and beyond as the crisis presents significant risks to the communities.

The Town of Banff conducted a public survey in August 2020  to compile opinions, impacts and expectations related to the COVID pandemic. Read the full report:

Banff Avenue Pedestrian Zone
The 100 and 200 blocks of Banff Avenue were closed to vehicle traffic this summer to provide more space for pedestrians to practice physical distancing, and to help local businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Public health is the mandate of Alberta Health Services and the Province of Alberta. The Town of Banff is in daily contact with Alberta Health officials to provide support to the public health effort in Banff. The Town of Banff is responsible for ensuring essential services continue through an outbreak.

The Town of Banff has (in reverse chronological order):

  • Restarted the Help Team as part of Emergency Social Services support to the community, especially individuals required to be in isolation or quarantine
  • Declared State of Local Emergency in Banff to help enforce provincial public health emergency restrictions and to implement additional measures in Banff
  • Enforce new restrictions on social gatherings, occupancy limits and other measures implemented by Government of Alberta through public health emergency
  • Worked with AHS to increase COVID testing in Banff
  • Enforced provincial occupancy and gatherings limited to 50 people and closure of non-essential services
  • Established an Action Request form for residents to report concern over gatherings and non-essential businesses
  • Closed playgrounds
  • Created posters for businesses to post on doors about  closures, pick-up services, and entrance restrictions
  • Mobilized Emergency Social Services’ virtual reception centre - email support service with web page dedicated to local residents and phone help line
  • For property owners, the Town enabled residents and businesses to suspend property tax payments if they are on the monthly payment program and receive a refund on the first 3 months of payments made in 2020
  • Created print guide on safe health practices and resource info for seniors in Banff
  • Mobilized Resource Coordinator to determine status of businesses in Banff and if they have resources (like food and cleaning supplies) they can share, or if they have needs to maintain critical operations. Submit here.
  • Closed The Fenlands Banff Rec Centre and 101 Bear Street
  • Imposed restrictions on capacity of gatherings: 50% capacity, up to maximum of 50 (later included in Provincial restrictions as Alberta declares State of Emergency, and later revised to gatherings no more than 50 people)
  • Declared State of Local Emergency
  • Established virtual space for HR officers and managers in Banff to collaborate on resources and information
  • Cancelled events and courses and discouraged gatherings in the community
  • Activated the Emergency Coordination Centre
  • Activated the Municipal Emergency Plan

Impact on Council Meetings

  • All Council and Committee meetings will be conducted virtually via Zoom Meetings.
  • Public are encouraged to follow Council and Committee meetings using the live stream www.banff.ca/live
  • Public wishing to make a written submission may do so using by emailing the Municipal Clerk at Municipal.Clerk@banff.ca
  • Public wishing to speak are invited to contact the Municipal Clerk by email at Municipal.Clerk@banff.ca or phone 403.762.1209 to register and to receive further information
  • Members of Council and other Committees will be participating remotely


About coronavirus and COVID-19 

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some cause respiratory illness in people, ranging from mild common colds to severe illnesses. Novel coronaviruses are new strains of the virus that have not been previously identified in humans.

The disease caused by this strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) does not appear to be as severe as other coronaviruses, such as SARS. Many patients have reported only mild symptoms. There is person-to-person spread. Respiratory infections are much more likely to be caused by a common virus, such as influenza.

Spread

COVID-19 is believed to be spread mainly by coughing, sneezing or direct contact with someone who is sick with COVID-19 or with surfaces they have recently touched. COVID-19 does not spread like measles. It does not travel through the air over long distances and times. However, it can spread person-to-person by larger droplets, like from a cough or sneeze or by touching contaminated objects or surfaces, then touching your eyes, nose or mouth. 

Symptoms

Symptoms for COVID-19 are similar to those for influenza or other respiratory illnesses. Visit Health Canada for information on the most common symptoms.

What you should do if you think you could have COVID-19 

If you have symptoms or known exposure to COVID-19, you must self-isolate and contact 8-1-1 for directives.

For assessment and testing information, visit banff.ca/covidhelp.

How you can prepare

Keep yourself informed from credible sources of information, such as Alberta Health Services, Health Canada and the World Health Organization.

Sign up for emergency alerts from the Town of Banff to stay up-to-date.

Plan ahead and prepare an emergency kit for your home.

Alberta public health officials recommend the following ways to prepare:

  • Create a household plan of action. This can include these elements:
    • Talk with the people who need to be included in your plan.
    • Meet with family members, friends, neighbours and co-workers to discuss what to do if a COVID-19 outbreak occurs in Banff and how you can support each other.
    • Plan ways to care for those who might be at greater risk for serious complications. This includes practical steps like ensuring you have sufficient medication and determining what supplies are needed, and if they can be delivered.
    • Create a list of local organizations that you and your household can contact in the event you need access to information, health care services, support, and resources.
    • Create an emergency contact list.
  • Practice good personal health habits and plan for home-based actions:
    • Choose a room in your home that can be used to separate sick household members from those who are healthy. Identify a separate bathroom for the sick person to use, if possible. Plan to clean these rooms, as needed, when someone is sick.
  • Be prepared if your child’s school or childcare facility is temporarily dismissed.
  • Plan for potential changes at your workplace.
    • Learn about your employer’s emergency operations plan.
    • Ask about what sick-leave policies and telework options are available if needed.
  • Stockpiling of goods is not recommended. While it’s always best practice to have three days worth of supplies on-hand, people should avoid purchasing food or other materials in bulk due to the impact on suppliers and people who have day-to-day needs.


Information Updates: