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City of Red Deer

City forms “emergency shelter working group” to find shelter for dozens of homeless this winter

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City administration and community organizations focus work on October 1 and beyond

On Wednesday, September 8, community organizations, Provincial and City representatives worked together to brainstorm ideas about how anticipated issues arising from the closure of the temporary shelter on September 30 can be mitigated.

With the closure, there will be reduced capacity levels. Since the emergency temporary shelter was established in March 2020, in response to COVID-19, City administration has been tracking overnight shelter usage at Cannery Row. The site has seen between 29 to 81 people seeking overnight shelter and services at Cannery Row, with an average overnight usage by 49 individuals. With the shift back to the original shelter site, there will be a capacity of 26 spaces for overnight shelter, potentially having up to 55 of Red Deer’s most vulnerable citizens turned away heading into the winter.

During the brainstorming session, the group determined a list of potential issues that could arise from the gap in service provision starting October 1. The following are some which that were deemed a high priority:

  • Increased pressure on the capacity of Mustard Seed, other shelters, emergency services, compliance and support services
  • Lack of safe spaces for people experiencing homelessness, leading to increased loitering and rough sleeping
  • Losing significant shelter capacity for people in need, and a lack of daytime supports
  • Increase of urban encampments without direct access to support services.
  • Increased health risks resulting in negative impacts to underserved clients and the healthcare system
  • Increase in litter and debris

“Overwhelmingly, the consensus in the room of more than 30 representatives from social focused agencies agree that Cannery Row, or a comparable site, should be operational until a permanent solution is found,” said Kristin Walsh, Safe & Healthy Communities Manager. “Aside from this, there is not a feasible solution that was determined that would fill the service gap and the anticipated challenges that will come starting October 1.”

Once the community impacts were acknowledged, potential mitigation strategies were brainstormed to address them. Task forces are being created with the participants involved for each mitigation strategy.

“Administration will continue to work with the community to serve vulnerable Red Deerians and keep people healthy and safe, while mitigating the risks as they arise,” said Acting Interim City Manager Sarah Tittemore. “Yesterday was just the first step in planning for October 1 and beyond; we believe that in working with community organizations and Red Deerians, is the only way to help our most vulnerable through this uncertain time.”

An emergency shelter working group will be assessing the feasibility of the ideas brought forward and actioning these as rapidly as possible, engaging funders, service providers, and those with lived and living experience. There will be an opportunity for the broader community to contribute their ideas and to be involved in the near future.

 

City of Red Deer

More information from The City of Red Deer on banning unvaccinated citizens from their recreation and culture facilities

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red deer city hall

Q & A from The City of Red Deer

COVID update: Restrictions Exemption Program and mandatory masking

Following the announcement of new public health guidelines on September 15, 2021, The City will implement the Restrictions Exemption Program requiring proof of vaccination, medical exemption or negative rapid test result for visitors and participants at City recreation and culture facilities.

  1. What is the Restrictions Exemption Program?

    On September 15, 2021, the Government of Alberta declared a State of Public Health Emergency due to the rising hospitalizations and cases of COVID-19. As a result, they are implementing province-wide restrictions in an effort to reduce the impact of the pandemic.

    The Restrictions Exemption Program allows businesses to operate as usual as long as patrons aged 12 and older provide proof of vaccination, medical exemption or a negative rapid test result. In order to continue providing recreation and culture opportunities in a safe and responsible way, The City has decided to implement the Restrictions Exemption Program for all City owned and operated recreation and culture facilities.

  2. How does the Restrictions Exemption Program affect facilities?

    Starting September 20, all visitors to City owned and operated facilities will require proof of vaccination, medical exemption or a negative rapid test result within 72 hours of a visit to facilities. From September 20 to October 25, proof of a single dose is considered acceptable as long as the dose was given more than two weeks before visiting a facility. After October 25, proof of double vaccination is required.

    Facilities include:

    •   Collicutt Centre
    •   G.H. Dawe Community Centre
    •   Servus Arena – Walking track is open for use through Activity Reservations
    •   Kinex Arena
    •   Kinsmen Community Arenas
    •   Michener Aquatic Centre and Gymnasium
    •   Recreation Centre
    •   Setters Place at Great Chief Park (applies to use of indoor spaces only)
    •   Intermediate School

       

    • Outdoor activities are not included in the Restrictions Exemption Program.

      The Restrictions Exemption Program also applies to all leaseholder spaces within City facilities. Lease holders will be responsible for sharing these new requirements with their customers. Third-party operators (e.g., River Bend, Bower Ponds, Heritage Ranch, Neighbourhood Activity Centres, etc.) will make their own decisions regarding their operations. Rental permit holders for City operated recreation and culture facilities will beresponsible for sharing recreation facility requirements with their memberships and visiting teams. For organized sports, please check with your sport organization for more information about specific requirements.

  1. Why are you implementing the Restrictions Exemption Program?

    The safety and well-being of customers, visitors and staff continues to be the driving force in our decisions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are adopting the Restrictions Exemption Program in an effort to continue providing safe and accessible recreation opportunities for the community. If we did not adopt the program, our programs and services would be subject to further operating restrictions, which would significantly decrease access to our facilities.

    For example, without the Restrictions Exemption Program, all adult group fitness classes and activities would be cancelled, and all facilities would be reduced to 1/3 capacity.

  2. How do I show proof of vaccination, medical exemption or negative rapid test?

    Acknowledging that not all Red Deerians may not be able to access their proof of vaccination immediately, The City will allow access to facilities from Monday, September 20 to Monday, September 27 with verbal confirmation of vaccination.

    As of September 28, the following is required:

    •   Proof of vaccination – information on how to show proof of vaccine is available here.

      o Sept.20toOct.25:proofofasingledoseisconsideredacceptableaslongas the dose was given more than two weeks before visiting a facility.

      o AfterOct.25:proofofdoublevaccinationisrequired.

    •   Proof of a privately-paid negative PCR or rapid test within 72 hours of service (tests

      from AHS or Alberta Precision Laboratories not allowed)

    •   Documentation of a medical exemption
  3. Are masks still required?

    As mandated by the Government of Alberta, masks are mandatory in all indoor public spaces. Therefore, all visitors are required to wear a mask in City facilities, unless actively participating in activities.

    Effective September 20, anyone unable to wear a mask will be required to provide medical exception letter from an authorized health professional. More information about mask exemptions is available at alberta.ca/masks.

  4. I would like to cancel a booking/registration/monthly pass because of the new guidelines. Will I get a refund?
    Yes, refunds are available. Please contact [email protected] or 403-309-8411 to request a refund for programs and passes. Email [email protected] to request a refund for facility rentals.
  5. Can individuals from different households still participate in activities together?

    Limitations are dependent on the type of activity. Indoor private social gatherings, which includes bookings for birthday parties, are limited to two households with a maximum of 10 vaccine-eligible, vaccinated people. There are no limitations on children under 12.

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City of Red Deer

City of Red Deer banning unvaccinated citizens from recreation and culture facilities

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News Release from The City of Red Deer

Provincial Restrictions Exemption Program adopted for City recreation and culture facilities

Facilities include:

  Collicutt Centre

  G.H. Dawe Community Centre

  Servus Arena – Walking track is open for use through Activity Reservations

  Kinex Arena

  Kinsmen Community Arenas

  Michener Aquatic Centre and Gymnasium

  Recreation Centre

  Setters Place at Great Chief Park (applies to use of indoor spaces only)

  Intermediate School

The City of Red Deer will adopt the provincial Restrictions Exemption Program, effective Monday, September 20, 2021. The program will apply at all City owned and operated recreation and culture facilities.

On September 15, 2021, the Government of Alberta declared a State of Public Health Emergency due to the rising hospitalizations and cases of COVID-19. As a result, they are implementing province-wide restrictions in an effort to reduce the impact of the pandemic.

In order to continue providing recreation and culture opportunities in a safe and responsible way, The City has decided to implement the Restrictions Exemption Program for all City owned and operated recreation and culture facilities.

Starting September 20, all vaccine-eligible visitors to City owned and operated recreation and culture facilities will require proof of vaccination, medical exemption or a negative rapid test result within 72 hours of a visit to facilities. From September 20 to October 25, proof of a single dose is considered acceptable as long as the dose was given more than two weeks before visiting facilities. After October 25, proof of full vaccination (two doses) will be required.

“As with all of the decisions we have made through our pandemic response, this one was not made lightly or easily,” says Barb McKee, Recreation Superintendent. “Ultimately, if we didn’t implement the program, we would be subject to additional restrictions that would significantly limit access and program options in our facilities. Our goal remains providing safe and accessible recreation opportunities, while also ensuring the safety and well-being of staff, customers and visitors.”

Acknowledging that not all Red Deerians may be able to immediately access their proof of vaccination, The City will allow access to facilities from Monday, September 20 to Monday, September 27 with verbal confirmation of vaccination.

“We recognize that not everyone will agree with this approach,” said McKee. “Our focus remains protecting the health and safety of our community in the best way that we can with the information and guidance we have today. Please remember to be kind and respectful to one another, and to our staff when you visit our facilities.”

The Restrictions Exemption Program also applies to all leaseholder spaces within City facilities. Lease holders will be responsible for sharing these new requirements with their customers. Third-party operators (e.g., River Bend, Bower Ponds, Heritage Ranch, Neighbourhood Activity Centres, etc.) will make their own decisions regarding their operations. Rental permit holders for City operated recreation and culture facilities will be responsible for sharing recreation facility requirements with their memberships and visiting teams. For organized sports, please check with your sport organization for more information about specific requirements.

As mandated by the Government of Alberta, masks are mandatory in all indoor public spaces. Therefore, all visitors are required to wear a mask in City facilities, unless actively participating in activities. Effective September 20, anyone unable to wear a mask will be required to provide a medical exception letter from an authorized health professional. More information about mask exemptions is available at alberta.ca/masks

Refunds are available for customers who would like to pause or cancel their monthly pass or program registration. Please contact [email protected] or 403-309-8411 to request a refund.

Please visit www.reddeer.ca/RecUpdate for more information about the Restrictions Exemption Program at our facilities, and the Government of Alberta’s website for full details on the September 15 provincial announcement. https://www.alberta.ca/covid-19-public-health-actions.aspx

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