Banff rescinds Local State of Emergency
The Town of Banff has rescinded its State of Local Emergency, as of 9 a.m., June 12, due to the elimination of an immediate need for extraordinary measures to combat the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Declaring a State of Local Emergency 88 days ago gave the Town the authority to impose restrictions on movement, people and organizations within the townsite to support the Government of Alberta’s efforts to control the spread of COVID-19,” said Silvio Adamo, Director of Emergency Management.
“With Alberta moving to Stage 2 of the Relaunch Strategy today, and with the continued decline in cases in the province, we no longer require authority beyond our normal municipal responsibilities to protect our community.”
The Town remains empowered to enforce Alberta’s public health orders even without the State of Local Emergency. The public health orders, set by the Chief Medical Officer of Health, include the physical distancing requirements, the restrictions on businesses as they reopen, and mandatory isolation orders.
“Even though the peak of this public health crisis has passed, everyone – visitors and residents – in our community must avoid a ‘second wave’ COVID outbreak in Banff by remaining vigilant about following the four main health protocols: stay home if you’re sick; wash or sanitize your hands frequently; stay 2 metres apart from others; and wear a mask or face covering in crowded spaces,” said Adamo.
Alberta Health Services (AHS) reported four known cases in the area classified as Improvement District 9 and Banff, and all cases have been classified as recovered. The decision to rescind the State of Local Emergency was made after consulting with the local agencies and organizations involved in the Emergency Coordination Centre and review by Banff Town Council.
“We are very thankful for all personal and professional sacrifices that were made in Banff to control the spread of COVID-19, but we can’t forget that the pandemic is still here and there is no vaccine yet,” said Mayor Karen Sorensen. “As we welcome our Alberta community back to their mountain getaway, and when more Canadians start heading to Banff, we need to take the health measures very seriously, to keep everyone safe, and to maintain the ramping up of our economy.”
Banff’s State of Local Emergency was declared on March 17, and renewed every week. It was first used to impose capacity restrictions on businesses and gatherings in town, before the Government of Alberta declared a Provincial Public Health Emergency with its restrictions.
After confirming the measure with the Alberta Emergency Management Agency, the Town also used the State of Local Emergency authority to set up check stops at the entrance to the community for a few weekends during Alberta’s peak of the pandemic.
The Town of Banff will reduce the activity of the Emergency Coordination Centre (ECC), which was activated in March to liaise with AHS and coordinate information sharing between local agencies and organizations, as well as mobilizing supports for the community such as the help centre for residents, the resource coordination team for deploying critical supplies to businesses, and the logistics and planning for the community.
Banff’s ECC continues to monitor the cases in Alberta and works with AHS to maintain public health orders in the townsite, including monitoring all businesses to ensure safety measures are in place. The ECC is prepared to re-activate involvement of its sections and partner agency participation in the event AHS requires support for isolation or quarantine management, contact tracing or other local measures.
The Town of Banff will continue to be involved in the Banff & Lake Louise Economic Task Force.
For updates visit banff.ca/covid.