Volunteer Central, Red Deer and areas volunteer centre, has unveiled a new website and look!
The new website includes features like a Volunteer Directory, in which volunteers in the community can register to create their own volunteering profile to make it easier for organizations to find volunteers in accordance to their interest, skills and time commitment. Other features include real-time volunteering, event and nonprofit career opportunity postings for partner organizations.
Currently being featured on their site is their Virtual Volunteer Fair, done in collaboration with Shaw Spotlight, which highlights participating partner organizations and the work they do in our community. Visit www.volunteercentral.ca/virtual-volunteer-fair to learn more.
More on provincial update to vaccine passports and restrictions at recreation and cultural centres.
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.
- 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.
- How does the Restrictions Exemption Program affect facilities?
Two exceptions to the REP include; volunteers performing sport-related responsibilities, and youth aged 12-17 participating in activities will not be required to show proof of vaccination, medical exemption or negative COVID-19 rapid test results.
Starting September 20, the following applies at City owned and operated recreation and culture facilities*:
• Anyone ages 18 or older will require will require proof of vaccination, medical exemption or a negative rapid test result within 72 hours of a visit to facilities.
o 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.
• Volunteers for organized sport groups can enter to perform their sport-related responsibilities without proof of vaccination, exemption, or negative COVID-19 test
• Youth sport, fitness and performance participants can participate in their activities without proof of vaccination, exemption or negative COVID-19 test.
*On Friday, September 17, The City announced that all vaccine-eligible individuals over the age of 12 be required to meet the requirements of the Restriction Exemptions Program.
After further clarity was provided by the Government of Alberta, revisions were made to exclude youth participants ages 12-17 and volunteers from the program.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- 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, one of the following is required*:
Proof of vaccination
- From September 20 to October 25: proof of partial vaccination (one dose) is considered acceptable as long as the dose was given more than 2 weeks before the time of service.
- After October 25:proof of full vaccination (two doses) is required.
Find out how to access your records
Proof of negative test
• Tests must be privately-paid, Health Canada approved rapid antigen, rapid PCR or lab-based PCR test completed within the previous 72 hours.
o Valid test results should be a written or printed copy that clearly outlines the type of test, time of sample collection, clear indication of a negative result, and laboratory that completed the test, if applicable.
o Photos of a rapid test result taken offsite is not sufficient.
o Do not bring completed self-tests or rapid tests to businesses due to communicable disease risk.
• Tests must not be from Alberta Health Services or Alberta Precision Laboratories.
Proof of medical exemption
• A valid medical exemption is the original signed letter from a physician or nurse practitioner that includes:
o Person’s name that matches their identification.
o Physician’s or nurse practitioner’s complete information, including:
name, phone number, contact information, professional registration number and signature
statement that there is a medical reason for not being fully vaccinated against COVID-19
duration that the exemption is valid
*This information is take from the Government of Alberta COVID-19 website. Please visit their website for the most up to date information.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Physical activities, such as swimming, are not considered social gatherings and are not limited by capacity or household designation under the Restrictions Exemption Program.
- Do I have to show proof of vaccination when booking?
Proof of vaccination will be requested at the entrance to the facility. Please be prepared to show your proof of vaccination, medical exemption or negative test result every time you visit a facility.
- How long will these new rules be in place?
We do not have an end date for restrictions at this time. We will continue to follow public health guidelines as set by the Government of Alberta.
10. Are City Staff required to be vaccinated?
For businesses that participate in the Restrictions Exemption Program, vaccinations for staff are not required. At this time, The City does not have a mandatory vaccine policy, but we are reviewing our approach on requiring vaccination for City employees and contractors.
11. Can a parent who is unvaccinated drop their child off for a program or activity?
Yes, if the child is 8 years or older and the parent does not enter the facility.
For children under 8, existing facility requirements remain in place; all visitors under 8 must be accompanied by an adult or someone 16 years or older. This person would need to show proof of vaccination, medical exemption or negative test result. The requirements of the provincial Restriction Exemption Program require all individuals over the age of 12 to be vaccinated in order to access a facility.
For preschool and childminding participants, please contact the program lead for further information.
12. Do I need to be vaccinated to enter a city facility to vote in the upcoming federal election?
The only City-owned polling station is the G.H. Dawe Community Centre. Elections Canada has an exemption from AHS allowing voters to enter polling stations without proof of vaccination. Masks will be required with proof of medical exemption for anyone not able to wear a mask.
13. With the Restrictions Exemption Program temporarily in place at City recreation and culture facilities, will I get a refund on my 2021 taxes or a tax break in 2022?
Programs, facility rentals and services offered at the recreation facilities are accessible with a fee. If you are currently registered or have a booking, you can contact us for a refund. 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.
Property taxes are collected for provision of services to the entire community, the main portion of your property taxes goes towards emergency services, outdoor amenities, police and road maintenance. With the funding that is put towards outdoor amenities every year, we are able to maintain our parks, trails, outdoor courts and rinks that are accessible to anyone for free.
For more information:
- Government of Alberta COVID-19 information: https://www.alberta.ca/coronavirus-info-for-albertans.aspx
- City of Red Deer COVID-19 response: https://www.reddeer.ca/whats-happening/covid-19/
Province loosens rules for participants and team volunteers in Rinks and Rec Centres
Further clarity for youth participants in the Provincial Restrictions Exemption Program
As a result of continued consultation with provincial government representatives, the following updates have been applied for all City of Red Deer recreation and culture facilities, effective September 21, 2021:
Volunteers for organized sport groups can enter to perform their activity-related responsibilities without proof of vaccination, exemption, or negative COVID-19 test
Youth sport, fitness and performance participants can take part in their activities without proof of vaccination, exemption or negative COVID-19 test
Youth aged 12-17 must show proof of vaccination, medical exemption or a negative test result to enter any facility while not participating in activity. This includes spectators, or using the concourse and common areas.
Anyone ages 18 or older will be required to show 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.
All other vaccine-eligible visitors will be required to follow the guidelines set out for the Provincial Restrictions Exemption Program which can be seen here: https://www.alberta.ca/covid-19-public-health-actions.aspx.
Effective September 20, anyone unable to wear a mask will be required to provide a medical exemption letter from an authorized health professional. More information about mask exemptions is available at alberta.ca/masks
Please visit www.reddeer.ca/RecUpdate for more information about the Restrictions Exemption Program at our facilities.
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