Opening the Doors

June 2020… I continue to watch all of the Alberta government COVID-19 briefings as well as the federal government ones.  As businesses begin to open up, I thought I should point out some messages that I continue to hear from our Chief Medical Officer.  It is clear that Dr. Hinshaw believes we will not return to our “old” normal but rather find our way to a “new” normal.  When asked yesterday how long does she expect physical distancing to be mandated, she basically said until we have a vaccine or an effective treatment.  As that could still easily be 8-12 months from now, I would suggest it is incumbent for all of us to find the path to that new normal.  There are many guides available online to help with that and a first step is to look at the Alberta Biz Connect website here.  It also sounds like we can expect the State of Public Health Emergency to end June 15, that Stage 2 may start before June 19, that we can look for expansion of services in Stage 2 (still to be announced but this will include rec centres, gyms, seniors centres, etc.) with additional guidance provided on what needs to be in place to resume services.  I’ll keep you posted in the days ahead!

PPE Training:
As many of our members move towards opening their office doors, re-instating some programs and services and interacting with the public, the concern about managing physical distancing and Alberta’s public orders is top of mind.  The Canadian Red Cross is providing personal protective equipment and training for preventing disease transmission to community organizations across Canada “in support of their direct service delivery to those who are most vulnerable to the health, social and economic impacts of COVID-19”.  I have attached a handout with details on the program and how to apply.  FYI, the application deadline is July 7.

Public Mask Supplies:
The provincial government has half of a 40 million mask order in stock at this time with the reminder to be delivered by the end of the month.  They will announce a distribution plan to the general public in the coming days.  This will help us abide by the recommendation to wear a mask if not able to maintain physical distance while in public.