Coronavirus (COVID-19) information for Banff

Updated 5:55 p.m. July 26, 2021        

COVID-19 cases in the communities of Banff and Lake Louise, and the rest of the national park:

  • 822 total cases (includes active and recovered)
  • 16 active positive cases
    • 3 new active case since last update
  • 805 people have recovered 
  • 1 death
  • 118.9 active case rate per 100,000 
  • 8 people in isolation space in Banff

Vaccinations:

  • 8,734 people vaccinated with at least first dose (approximately 91% of the estimated eligible population of 9,500 people in Banff and Lake Louise, based on most recent census)
  • 6,591 people are fully immunized (approximately 68% of the estimated eligible population of 9,500 people in Banff and Lake Louise)

Current Alberta-wide statists:

  • 75.4% of Albertans eligible for vaccinations (12 years and older) have received their first dose
  • 83 hospitalizations in Alberta due to COVID

COVID Cases July 25


Statistics are from Alberta Health and are based on data to the end of the previous day.

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.

Stage 2 started June 10

Stage 3 started July 1

Critical new information:

Town of Banff rescinds temporary mask bylaw

On June 30, the Town of Banff removed the temporary mask bylaw. This removes immediately the requirement to wear masks outdoors in the downtown area and Banff Avenue, and removes the indoor masking requirements, in alignment with the provincial removal of its indoor mandatory masking legislation on July 1.

Residents and visitors in Banff are not fully immunized. People are encouraged to practice health and safety measures to prevent another spike in cases. Everyone is moving towards normalcy at different rates. People have different levels of comfort with the easing of restrictions. Please be kind and respectful of others' choices.

The Town of Banff encourages people to wear masks when inside enclosed spaces with other people, and in situations where you cannot maintain 2-metres distance from others.

Roam Public Transit requires wearing of masks on board all buses.

Please stay home if you are sick.

Everyone is strongly urged to be fully vaccinated as soon as possible, according to provincial vaccine eligibility and availability.  For Banff residents, a mass vaccine clinic is being held July 5 and 6 in the Fenlands Banff Recreation Centre 

Stage 3 (Started July 1)

  • Nearly all public health measures have been lifted, including:
    • social gatherings – you’re now free to gather indoors and outdoors
    • recreation, performance and entertainment activities can resume
    • business closures and capacity restrictions are gone
    • large events, including concerts, sporting events, exhibitions and festivals can return
  • Masking in public

    Mask use in public indoor setting is no longer required except for in the following situations:

    • working in or visiting some health care settings, such as long-term care
    • using public transit, including ride share vehicles, taxis, motor coaches and shuttles
    • municipalities and businesses can set masking requirements as they see fit (requiring staff and/or customers to wear masks inside their place of business)
  • Isolation and quarantine requirements

    To prevent future spread, Albertans are still required to:

    • isolate for 10 days if they are a confirmed case
    • quarantine if they are a close contact of a confirmed case, but length of time depends on vaccination status
    • follow protective measures in continue care settings

Assess your personal risk

In the days ahead, take the time to evaluate the risks when re-engaging with family, friends and the general public. It’s reasonable for you to continue using precautions in crowded settings depending on your personal risk factors such as your health, vaccination status and comfort level.

The Town of Banff encourages people to wear masks in crowded situations and when a 2-metre (6-feet) distance cannot be maintained from others, until the community is fully immunized.

See full information on Stages and restrictions for businesses and activities from the Alberta Government.

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.

Public health order enforcement

To protect the health and safety of Albertans, law enforcement agencies have been granted full authority in accordance with the Quarantine Act to enforce public health orders and issue fines for violations.

As of May 20, travellers at the Calgary and Edmonton international airports are required to pass through a provincial checkpoint where they will need to complete a 14-day isolation plan and undergo a touch-free temperature check. For more details on this mandatory order, visit alberta.ca/covid-19-travel-advice.

Travel Isolation – Any individual who has travelled outside of Canada must go into mandatory self-isolation for 14 days from their return, plus an additional 10 days from the onset of any symptoms should they occur, whichever is longer.

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

Complaints

If there are situations or gatherings happening where physical distancing is not being enforced – such as in a business, in a house or at a park – people can contact the Town of Banff using this online complaint form:

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):

  • Reopened 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: