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City of Red Deer

Red Deer Playgrounds opening with these guidelines

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From the City of Red Deer

Phased reopening of playgrounds starts today

The City of Red Deer has begun a to reopen playgrounds with a phased approach between now and May 29, 2020.“We know the closure of playgrounds has been difficult for some families with young children. We are re-opening playgrounds and fitness parks while continuing to align with recommendations from the Chief Medical Officer of Health, but caution the public that these structures are high touch and high contact surfaces,” said Karen Mann, Emergency Operations Centre Director.A phased approach is necessary to ensure maintenance and inspections are completed in advance of reopening any playground or outdoor fitness structures. New signage and removal of caution tape will signal citizens as to when respective playgrounds are officially open. Crews will work in the north and south simultaneously to open playgrounds as quickly as possible across the entire city.Citizens are asked to refrain from using playground or outdoor fitness structures until crews remove the closed signs and caution tape.

Although playground reopenings are happening in alignment with all public health orders and restrictions, citizens are still encouraged to exercise caution and do what is necessary to continue to help prevent spread of COVID-19.

Equipment will be inspected prior to opening. The City is not washing or sanitizing structures and families are encouraged to bring their own hand sanitizer to the park with them, limit contact with others, and visit playgrounds within their own neighbourhoods.

Users are reminded of and must follow public health guidelines including:

  • Maintaining 2 metre physical distance;
  • Gathering in groups of 50 or fewer;
  • Only sharing common equipment with members of the same family or cohort;
  • Staying home if you feel sick;
  • Washing and sanitizing your hands before and after using these areas.

“Due to the diligence and commitment of our residents throughout this pandemic to complying with all orders and recommendations from health officials, we are now in a position to begin re-opening a number of our amenities in a phased manner,” says Mann, “While we are as pleased as you are to see playgrounds and fitness parks starting to re-open, we know it will take the continued support of all residents to keep each other safe and healthy through this relaunch.”

Residents can call the City’s call centre at 403-342-8111 if they have questions regarding the playground reopening or any City services. More information on the City’s response to COVID-19 can be found at www.reddeer.ca/COVID.

Alberta opens more shops in Calgary, Brooks amid COVID-19 recovery relaunch

After 15 years as a TV reporter with Global and CBC and as news director of RDTV in Red Deer, Duane set out on his own 2008 as a visual storyteller. During this period, he became fascinated with a burgeoning online world and how it could better serve local communities. This fascination led to Todayville, launched in 2016.

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Alberta

Alberta Ombudsman can’t do anything about City of Red Deer complaint about 9-11 Dispatch

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Ombudsman Responds to Municipalities’ Complaint About Ambulance Dispatch

Marianne Ryan, Alberta’s Ombudsman took the unusual step of publicly commenting on a complaint received involving Alberta Health Services.

The City of Red Deer, along with the municipalities of Calgary, Lethbridge and the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo filed a complaint to the Ombudsman regarding Alberta Health Services’ consolidation of ambulance emergency dispatch services.

The Ombudsman Act authorizes the Ombudsman to investigate administrative decisions of government ministries and many related bodies, but the Act specifically prohibits her from investigating decisions of Alberta Health Services (AHS).

“My office thoroughly analyzed the complaint and confirmed that the decision to consolidate ambulance dispatch services was indeed made by AHS. While many government-related bodies fall under my jurisdiction, AHS is not one of them,” stated Marianne Ryan, Alberta’s Ombudsman. “In fact, the Ombudsman Act specifically states that my powers of investigation do not apply to health authorities. My ability to investigate AHS decisions would require a change in legislation. While the issue being complained about clearly affects many Albertans, I am bound by my governing legislation to only investigate matters that are clearly within my jurisdiction.”

Investigations by the Ombudsman are conducted in confidence, and it is the Ombudsman’s general practice not to comment publicly on complaints, especially ones that are not being investigated.

“Given the substance of the complaint has been widely reported in the media and that it relates to an issue affecting a great many Albertans, I advised the mayors that I would be making a public statement.”

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City of Red Deer

14% of City Employees still unvaccinated as mandate comes into effect Monday

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City Hall

Employee immunization policy comes into full effect Monday

On Monday, The City’s employee immunization policy takes full effect with proof of vaccination or proof of negative rapid antigen testing required, per the timelines outlined in The City’s Covid-19 Employee Immunization Policy implemented on October 5, 2021.

Starting Monday, City staff who have not submitted their immunization records must provide proof of ongoing valid negative rapid antigen testing, tests are valid for 72 hours.

As of today, 1,256 (86%) staff have submitted their vaccination records; however, this number may change as more staff continue to complete vaccination and send in records. The City has set up a process for those who opt for negative rapid antigen testing in lieu of being vaccinated.

“We are pleased with the number of employees who have provided their immunization records, and we anticipate the majority who have not, will choose to provide proof of negative rapid antigen testing come Monday,” said Tara Lodewyk, Interim City Manager. “Many thanks to the staff who have worked together to bring this to implementation. The policy respects the preferences of individuals without compromising the health and safety of our employees and our community. In creating good policy, we need to do what is best for the overall organization.”

The City will do its best to work with all employees to navigate the complexities of the policy; however, the small number of staff who choose not to submit immunization records or provide proof of negative test will not be able to work and unpaid for that time.

The COVID-19 Immunization Policy implemented on October 5 applies to all City of Red Deer staff. The City Manager is delegated the authority under the Municipal Government Act to make decisions and create policies, which includes safety and business operations for the City of Red Deer. The current Employee Immunization Policy falls within this authority.

City Council will receive a report in January about what a potential policy for members of Council may look like, as well as potential timelines for implementation.

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