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The best way to protect yourself and your family is to:
Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer stated that anyone experiencing flu, or even cold-like symptoms (sniffles, coughs, etc.) — essentially any physical representation of sickness — should limit their contact with others by staying home. This information may change; always check COVID-19 info for Albertans for the most current recommendations.
Self-isolation is keeping yourself apart from others to prevent the possible spread of COVID-19. You might be the only one in self-isolation in your household, or your whole family might be self-isolating.
What it means:
Reasons to self-isolate (usually for 14 days):
For more details on specific circumstances that require self-isolation, go to alberta.ca/COVID-19
Follow the cleaning and personal hygiene procedures instructions on alberta.ca/self-isolation.
The instructions give details on:
Resources and updates:
Self-isolation assumes you may be infected and includes measures to prevent the possible spread of infection: it means staying home and following strict cleaning procedures.
Physical distancing assumes you may spread the virus or it may spread to you. It includes measures to protect yourself and others in public places by keeping a physical space of two metres or six feet between you and others, following specific instructions for washing your hands, covering your coughs and sneezes, not sharing utensils, and cleaning common objects and surfaces often.
In Cochrane, we’re calling it “physical distancing” so we remember to find ways to still connect socially, even from a distance.
Depending on your circumstances, you may self-isolate for up to 14 days, whether or not you have symptoms.
Everyone else should follow current physical distancing guidelines for as long as the COVID-19 response is underway.
Alberta Health says you should self-isolate for 14 days if:
Self-monitor for 14 days. If symptoms such as fever, cough or difficulty breathing develop, stay home, do not go to an ER or clinic — self-isolate for 10 days from the beginning of your symptoms or until you feel better, whichever is longer. Take the COVID-19 online self-assessment tool and call Health Link 811 if directed by the self-assessment tool.
If you know someone who is not self-isolating when they should be:
The Town is strongly encouraging everyone to follow physical distancing safe health practices and could resort to fining people who do not comply.
On March 25, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health issued orders under the Public Health Act to legally require returning travellers to self-isolate for 14 days upon returning to Alberta. This legal requirement also applies to close contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases.
People who violate the self-isolation orders:
Residents returning home from international destinations should follow AHS guidelines to self-isolate for 14 days. They should take all measures to stay home and seek assistance from family, friends and neighbours for help with groceries, errands, etc.
As of March 25, Albertans are legally required under public health order to self-isolate for:
We are following updated alberta.ca restrictions, which allow:
Any gathering must occur in a space that allows for mandated physical distancing of at least 2 metres from each other.
As of end of day August 3, the province is reporting this data on https://www.alberta.ca/covid-19-alberta-statistics.aspx (look for the Geospatial tab):
Alberta Health Services (AHS) updates the number of cases in Alberta daily.
AHS is requesting people use the online the self-assessment tool first, then call Health Link 811 for testing and instructions if directed to by the tool. www.albertahealthservices.ca/topics/Page16944.aspx
The Town is communicating with AHS on a daily basis but this has not been communicated at this point.
Beginning April 5, the testing criteria for COVID-19 has been expanded to include first responders, group home and shelter workers, home care workers, correctional facility staff, and anyone who is involved in enforcement of COVID-19 measures.
Beginning April 7, the testing criteria for COVID-19 has been expanded to include people who are 65 years or older with symptoms of COVID-19.
For full details on testing, please visit Alberta Health Services at https://www.alberta.ca/covid-19-testing-in-alberta.aspx.
In general, travel outside of Canada is not recommended and restrictions exist in many areas. Visit canada.ca and alberta.ca for information.
This is a personal family decision. Public health measures are in place which govern and restrict some activities. All residents of Alberta are required to follow those. (www.alberta.ca/coronavirus-info-for-albertans.aspx#p22780s5)
As a community, we encourage people to respect personal space and maintain physical distance. However, we recognize that connecting with family in a safe manner is important; please continue to follow all of the guidelines from Alberta Health to help prevent the spread.
Public health measures are in place which govern and restrict some activities. All residents of Alberta are required to follow those. (www.alberta.ca/coronavirus-info-for-albertans.aspx#p22780s5)
As a community, we encourage people to maintain physical distance, but that is not to say people should distance themselves socially. It is incredibly important for everyone to remain social and kind in all they do: wave to your neighbours, help shovel/sweep their walk, shout out a “hello,” etc.
Town playgrounds, including the Zero Gravity skate park reopened May 14, 2020 as part of the province’s Phase 1 relaunch. Residents are reminded that playgrounds and facilities are available for use at your own risk and are not sanitized. In accordance with Alberta Health Services’ guidelines, no more than 15 people are permitted at any one time and physical distancing of two metres are to be observed. Please avoid touching surfaces such as benches, fences and railings, and follow all recommended health precautions and proper hand hygiene. Park users should consider wearing a face mask when physical distancing measures are not possible.
You (and children) can also get outside in your own backyard and on Town pathways and other open spaces. Please follow physical distancing guidelines.
All organized activities on public and private sports fields, playing fields and courts are still prohibited since players may touch shared surfaces and equipment, and there’s no way to ensure minimum distances are maintained. Sports include, but are not limited to:
Some individual activities or sports in which the rules can be modified so that players do not touch or handle the same ball or device are permitted, such as:
In all cases, everyone must follow the restrictions and requirements stated by the Provincial Chief Medical Officer of Health: maintain a minimum distance of two metres from others and no more than 15 people in a group can be gathered at the same location.
Private golf courses will re-open at their own discretion.
Alberta Health Services recommends that privately owned and municipal campgrounds follow the precedent set by Alberta Parks and the National Parks and remain closed for the upcoming 2020 season. More: ahs.ca/covid.
Only facilities that offer long-term residency (longer than four weeks), and where camping is a resident’s primary accommodation should consider remaining open.
Locally, Bow RiversEdge Campground remains open to long-term campers only and is not accepting weekend visitors. Long-term campers who pre-book to stay at Bow RiversEdge coming from outside of Canada (snowbirds) must follow the mandatory 14-day isolation period. This means staying in their trailers and on their sites. Self-isolated campers must arrange to have all water, food and other necessities delivered. Before arrival, you must connect with Bow RiversEdge: https://www.bowriversedge.com/.
Your pet cannot catch or spread the virus. Please feel free to cuddle with them as much as they’ll let you.
If you are feeling anxious or stressed, please call:
Depending on your needs and situation, you may be eligible to receive assistance through Alberta’s Income Support program. Alberta Emergency Income Support offers support for individuals and families to pay for basic expenses like food, clothing and shelter. https://www.alberta.ca/income-support.aspx
The federal government is putting financial supports in place to assist workers and businesses impacted by COVID-19: www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/canadas-reponse/government-canada-takes-action-covid-19.html
If you are concerned an establishment is not following the orders under the public health emergency, such as a business that was ordered to close but remains open, you can submit a complaint to AHS public health inspectors through the online complaint form.
On March 27, Alberta reduced gatherings to no more than 15 people and ordered the closing of non-essential businesses such as retail stores for clothing, furniture and toys, hair salons and barbershops. A full list of essential businesses is posted on the government’s website.
Visit the volunteer page on the Town of Cochrane website for a list of local volunteer organizations and the Volunteer Connector resource www.cochrane.ca/210/Volunteering.
There are a number of local Facebook groups looking to connect those who want to help with those in need. Here are just a few that we’re aware of:
We’re encouraging residents to help their neighbours while maintaining physical distance. Here’s a few things you can do:
To donate food or clothing to the Cochrane Activettes Food Bank & Clothesline:
At this time, schools are closed “indefinitely.” The decision to re-open schools will be made by provincial authorities.
Service Alberta’s Corporate Registry is allowing Societies to cancel all Annual General Meetings until it is deemed safe to do so (hold meetings) by Provincial Health Authorities.
Similarly, Society Annual Returns are postponed until further notice.
As of 4:30pm, March 12, the Town implemented the Municipal Emergency Plan to increase our ability to prioritize service delivery and dedicate resources to priority areas. This also allows the Town to proactively monitor this situation as it continues to evolve.
As of Monday, March 16, all Town facilities were closed to the public and the majority of staff transitioned to working from home.
Cochrane Eco Centre reopened June 2. Details: cochrane.ca/EcoCentre
All other Town facilities are closed to the public.
Some staff will start returning to Town facilities June 22 in a phased way; the Cochrane RancheHouse will reopen to the public with safety measures on July 6. The Visitor Information Centre opens to the public July 2.
The Town continues to deliver core services. Staff are accessible by email and phone. Town information and links are also available on cochrane.ca:
Town playgrounds, including the Zero Gravity skate park reopened May 14, 2020 as part of the province’s Phase 1 relaunch. Residents are reminded that playgrounds and facilities are available for use at your own risk and are not sanitized. In accordance with Alberta Health Services’ guidelines, no more than 15 people are permitted at any one time and physical distancing of two metres are to be observed. Please avoid touching surfaces such as benches, fences and railings, and follow all recommended health precautions and proper hand hygiene. Park users should consider wearing a face mask when physical distancing measures are not possible. Town pathways and other open spaces remain open. Please follow physical distancing guidelines.
All RCMP detachment front counters in Alberta will be locked. Phone numbers are visibly posted and calls will be responded to during regular office hours.
The Town of Cochrane, in consideration of the growing concerns and rapid changes surrounding COVID-19, has regretfully cancelled all scheduled and permitted outdoor community events on Town land until June 1, when the situation will be re-evaluated.
Our priority is to maintain the safety of our community, clients and staff, by minimizing the potential spread of the virus. We continue to follow the protocols and regulations set by government officials and Alberta Health Services, including their direction to cancel social gatherings of 10 or more people.
At this time, the Town is not cancelling scheduled and permitted future community events beyond June 1, however, this is subject to review.
To stay up to date on the Town of Cochrane’s COVID-19 response, please visit cochrane.ca/COVID-19.
Yes. The Town continues to provide core services, including waste, recycling and organics collection (on your regular collection schedule), water and wastewater services and emergency response. Download the My Cochrane Collection app to receive collection reminders and potential notifications regarding changes to the collection schedule.
The Waste& Recycling department’s priority is to make sure collection truck drivers can guarantee the regularly scheduled curbside collection service in town.
Therefore, we need to help drivers stay healthy, and as a result, the Town is no longer selling excess waste bags for garbage. This reduces the need for drivers to get out of their trucks and risk potential exposure to contamination.
Options for residents with extra garbage are:
Wipes go in the garbage and should never be flushed down the toilet — even if they say “flushable.” Tissues or napkins with any personal or food waste can go in the organics bin.
Under the current provincial health orders, garage sales are not prohibited, but holding or attending a garage sale increases individual risk for infection. Anyone holding a garage sale should include measures to encourage physical distancing and hand hygiene; anyone attending a garage sale should assess their personal risk factors and take measures to mitigate them, including using hand sanitizer, wearing a mask and maintaining physical distance.
Yes, the Seniors’ Property Tax Rebate Program is currently on hold until we can resume normal services with the public. Please continue to follow the Town’s website for updates.
Town resources are equipped with resources and implemented protocols to continue to respond to emergency calls. Action plans are in place to care for all staff.
Council is reviewing options on these fronts and has lobbied other levels of government for relief. The federal and provincial governments recently announced extended funding will be made to help, but we need to understand how that will be allocated at the municipal level.
At the March 23 meeting, Town Council approved the waiver of penalties on late utility payments for a period of four months. This is effective starting March 24 through to July 24, meaning no penalties should be applied to unpaid March, April, May or June bills.
Also, anyone on the Utility PAP (Pre-authorized Payment) can request to be temporarily removed from the program and then re-added at a later date.
Property owners on TIPP (Tax Installment Payment Plan) can also request to be temporarily removed from the program and then re-added at a later date.
Town Council also approved an adjustment to residential water consumption thresholds at the April 14 meeting, to mitigate against anticipated increases to residential water consumption. More: https://www.cochrane.ca/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=583
Yes – if you are on TIPP, you can be removed for the time being, then re-added at a later date.
At the March 23 meeting, Town Council approved the waiver of penalties on late utility payments for a period of four months. Bills will still be issued on schedule, so those who can pay amounts owing should do so, but for those that cannot, there is no penalty. This is effective starting March 24 through to July 24, meaning no penalties should be applied to unpaid March, April, May or June bills.
As well, anyone on the Utility PAP (Pre-authorized Payment) can request to be temporarily removed from the program and then re-added at a later date.
At the moment, billing and payment due dates continue as usual. Payments can be made online, at your bank, or by dropping off a cheque with your remittance stub in the drop box outside the main doors of the RancheHouse. We know these are uncertain times; we are working to keep residents and businesses supported and safe as the situation evolves. Please stay tuned for regular updates as we work through this pandemic together. The federal government is putting financial supports in place to assist workers and businesses impacted by COVID-19: www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/canadas-reponse/government-canada-takes-action-covid-19.html. The Town is monitoring federal and provincial financial aid programs, the details of which are not yet known, and will be using them to help guide municipal initiatives in support of our residents and businesses.
This is a dynamic situation and we are following the reports and decisions from Alberta Health, the province and the federal government.
Recruitment for current positions is on hold for the time being. Watch cochrane.ca/Jobs for updates.
At this time, COLT continues to run, though in a diminished capacity. Rider numbers are restricted to six per vehicle and physical distancing practices are in effect. We want to ensure Cochranites can still get to where they want to go.
Given the significant drop in COLT ridership, the Town has reduced to just two buses on the road throughout the day (i.e. no peak hour buses). This service adjustment will reduce driver exposure, utilize the on-demand nature of the service, save operational costs and aligns with the actions of other transit agencies. This change is temporary and we will continue to assess the situation and make adjustments as needed.
To clarify, COLT still operates Monday to Friday 6:00am – 8:00pm and Saturday 9:00am – 3:00pm. The change of the reduced number of vehicles on the road matches our current levels of demand.
We have also implemented enhanced safety and cleaning measures for our fleet of buses, including:
COLT is closely monitoring the situation and we remain in contact with regional health authorities and other transit agencies to determine best practices to ensure our response remains appropriate.
Yes! Cochrane is known for its beautiful outdoor spaces. While you’re out, please practice physical distancing (2 metres / 6 feet) from others. The Town’s Parks department is doing everything they can to ensure that park users are safe, and signs/barricades are in place where needed.
On/off leash areas – please be considerate of everyone and keep control of your pet, clean up after them, respect other people’s space and physical distancing requirements.
Cochrane’s off-leash parks remain open and are monitored regularly by Municipal Enforcement to ensure residents observe proper physical distancing measures.
To keep our parks open, it is important to remember:
Please keep your distance and help prevent the spread.
We have a fantastic local pathway system and many are out enjoying it daily. Please respect proper physical distancing measures when you encounter others along the path by providing at least 2 meters / 6 feet of space when passing — moving to the far edge of the pathway should be enough space. Don’t forget to give them a wave or say hello!
Our Urgent Care facility – a provincially regulated health care facility – is working at high capacity and doing the best they can to operate as usual.
The Town is following Alberta Health Services as the lead agency and the provincial and federal government direction. All their information is being broadcast by news media outlets online, through radio broadcasts, television and print. The Town will continue to use all methods to get information out to our residents as well.
The Town’s assessment complaint deadline was March 30, 2020. It was not affected by the Ministerial Order issued on March 31, 2020 that extends deadlines to October 1, 2020. Town assessment notices were mailed January 20. Council will determine the 2020 tax rate at an upcoming meeting. Property tax bills are scheduled to be mailed May 29.
The provincial relaunch strategy relies on everyone working together to continue to manage the risk of the virus spreading. The Town will not make any changes to local restrictions unless they align with provincial recommendations and public health orders. We encourage everyone to continue washing their hands, stay home if they’re sick and maintain 2m physical distance.The first stage of the provincial relaunch strategy includes opening parking lots, staging areas and boat launches in provincial parks. Further stages of the strategy outline which services and businesses may reopen, timing for reopening and what other guidelines must be followed. The Province of Alberta is the regulatory authority for Public Health Orders.More details: https://www.alberta.ca/alberta-relaunch-strategy.aspx
The Town of Cochrane reopened playgrounds, including the Zero Gravity skate park, on May 14, 2020 in accordance with the provincial relaunch strategy.
Park users are reminded that playgrounds and sports facilities are available for use at your own risk and are not sanitized. In accordance with Alberta Health Services’ guidelines, physical distancing of two metres is to be observed.
Please avoid touching surfaces such as benches, fences and railings, and follow all recommended health precautions and proper hand hygiene. Park users should consider wearing a face mask when physical distancing measures are not possible.
There are no summer camps scheduled at the moment. Even though the province now allows outdoor events for up to 50 people, physical distancing must be maintained and public health protocols must be in place. The Town would only schedule day camps if we can ensure the safety of children, parents and Town staff. The Town is offering a variety of online events and activities for all ages. Find out more on cochrane.ca/ProgramGuide.
Cochrane Eco Centre reopened June 2. Details: cochrane.ca/EcoCentre
Do what you feel safe with – some local businesses are still open and are following recommended health measures. Businesses are having a tough time – we’re all in this together. If you can find a way to support them during this difficult time, please do so.
The Town of Cochrane is following the Alberta Government’s lead on COVID-19 decisions.
The Alberta government has closed all licensed daycares; however, dayhomes are exempt because of the small number of children in such settings.
For more information or to ask related questions, please visit www.alberta.ca/coronavirus-info-for-albertans.aspx.
It is important that we all do our part to help prevent the spread. To protect yourself and others we need to stay home as much as possible. Avoid going out for anything but the essentials and limit the number of people to only those required.
Please designate one shopper for the family and leave everyone else at home. Please take every measure possible to physically distance yourself from one another, whether shopping or being anywhere in public.
To limit physical contact and the potential spread of the virus, personal services like massage and physiotherapy should now be closed.
No, under provincial pubic health order, Albertans are prohibited from accessing personal services, cosmetic enhancement services and wellness studios. Check the full list: https://www.alberta.ca/restrictions-on-businesses.aspx#toc-6
Yes – there’s no need to hoard. Empty shelves create panic, but goods are on the way and we’re still catching up from the rail blockades last month. The borders are still open for shipments.
Certain businesses may open to the public in a limited way if they follow approved guidelines for their industry. Full details are on alberta.ca and are subject to change depending on health indicators established by provincial authorities.
The province has clearly outline which businesses are able to open (and any restrictions) as part of the provincial relaunch plan, which ones must continue to provide pick-up or delivery only, and which businesses must remain closed for now. Any business or organization that does not follow public health orders is subject to fines of up to $100,000 for a first offence and up to $500,000 for a subsequent offence for more serious violations.Anyone aware of a business violating public health orders should submit a complaint: https://ephisahs.microsoftcrmportals.com/create-case/
NO, mandatory face covering is not currently in effect in Cochrane.
On July 29, 2020, Cochrane Council approved Bylaw 20/2020 that provides the opportunity to make it mandatory to wear a face covering or non-medical mask in indoor public places and public vehicles.
The mandatory requirement will only be enacted if Cochrane reaches 10 active cases and would be rescinded when active case numbers are reported to be below 10, for 14 consecutive days.
Businesses are not expected to deny services as not everyone is required to wear a face covering. Exceptions to the face coverings bylaw include:
For those who are unable to wear a mask, the bylaw does not require those individuals to disclose the reason for the exemption.
If the mandatory face covering provision is enacted, the Town of Cochrane will notify the community through all means of communication (Town website, social media, digital signage, advertising channels) and make downloadable signage available to businesses and operators here should they wish to display them.
The province is reporting this data on https://www.alberta.ca/covid-19-alberta-statistics.aspx (look for the Geospatial tab). Alberta Health Services (AHS) updates the number of cases in Alberta daily.
People will be expected to wear a face covering in any part of an enclosed space to which the public can readily access.
The bylaw excludes premises for which there is an enrolment or membership requirement such as schools and educational institutions.
The rule of thumb is, if the public does not have access to it, it will be exempt under the bylaw.
In the bylaw, a ‘public vehicle’ includes Cochrane On-demand Local Transit (COLT), taxi services and any vehicle that is used to transport members of the public for a fee.
Drivers that are separated from their passengers by an installed screen, shield or other barrier are not required to wear face coverings. The bylaw excludes personal vehicles.
Businesses are encouraged to display a sign at a location that is visible to a person immediately upon entering the public premises or public vehicle, but are not required to.
The business is not expected to evict a customer or refuse service to people who are not complying with the bylaw.
Downloadable signage is available to businesses and operators here. Read Bylaw 20/2020.
Yes. Individual business owners can set their own protocols for their patrons to follow, that are over and above what may be required by a municipality or Alberta Health.
Some services require masks in accordance with their licensing agency and/or Alberta Health requirements.
Places of worship would be included in the bylaw definition of a public premise, as they are enclosed buildings that members of the public have access to.
Those attending places of worship are permitted to temporarily remove their face covering to provide or receive service, such as to receive communion.
A private meeting such as a condo board meeting would not be included in the definition of a public premise, as members of the public would not have access, therefore participants would not be required under the bylaw to wear face coverings, but would be recommended if physical distancing could not be maintained.
People actively engaging in athletic or fitness activities in gyms, sports centres and fitness studios would be exempt from the bylaw.
However, if the facility is accessible to the public, people who are not engaging in such activities would have to wear a face covering.
People who are eating or drinking at a public premises that offers food or beverage services would be exempt from the bylaw. This means people are exempt when they are actively engaged in eating or drinking.
The bylaw excludes premises for which there is an enrolment or membership requirement such as daycares and day homes.
Because daycares and day homes are not available to members of the public, it would be considered private and therefore the bylaw would not apply.
Children under five years of age are exempt from this bylaw.
The bylaw excludes premises for which there is an enrollment or membership requirement, therefore it does not apply to schools.
Recent increases in active cases of COVID-19 throughout the region is concerning. This Bylaw ensures that we are prepared to implement measures needed to respond when/if appropriate. Implementation will be based on active case numbers in Cochrane.