Practice English Speaking&Listening with: May 1, 2020 - City of Red Deer COVID-19 update

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Hello Red Deerians and Central Albertans! Today I am here with our City Manager Allan

Seabrooke to provide you just with a very short update following the release of Alberta's

Relaunch Strategy. As you'll note was released by the provincial

government yesterday. So for those of you who weren't aware, the

provincial government did announce yesterday their three-phase plan to relaunch Alberta's

economy and while we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you're interested in looking at that resource we would just direct you to the provincial

website. I will say that The City of Red Deer is very

pleased and we welcome the Province's gradual, phased-in approach certainly to re-activating

our economy and resuming a measure of community life, but we also want to ensure that residents

understand that The City's direct ability to move forward with this plan, both locally

and as the Premier noted across the province, directly relates to our ability to continue

to prevent the spread of the virus in our community.

As the provincial government noted, over time, businesses and recreational activities will

be allowed to gradually reopen, with strict health regulations and protocols still in

place to ensure public safety. Opening businesses of course will provide

a much-needed boost to our local economy and will mean that some people will be able to

move back to return to work. This will of course be welcome news for many

in our community as we continue to respond to not only the health challenges of the pandemic

but certainly the economic challenges that it has added to our community.

And particularly given the fact that our community has had economic challenges over the past

few years. While the provincial plan provides a blueprint

for the gradual return to regular operations and business, we know that we still have a

long road to a full recovery. We at The City will continue to work diligently

with our federal and provincial government partners to ensure that our community has

the support and decision making that we will need to move forward under this new economic

reality. The health and safety of our residents continues

to remain The City's top priority, and we are still committed to mitigating further

spread of COVID-19. The City of Red Deer Emergency Operations

Team is closely reviewing the provincial government's phased re-launch plan to determine how it

applies to our community and specifically to City of Red Deer programs and services.

With modified provincial restrictions now announced, our City Emergency Operations Centre

is continuing to explore adjustments to restrictions in municipal spaces.

I'll invite City Manager Seabrooke forward very shortly here to speak more to some of

these potential, and again it's potential, adjustments and operational changes, and the

timing that we may be able to expect with respect to the lifting of those restrictions.

But before I do, I would just like to reiterate that in the meantime, we are still in a state

of local emergency and the expectation is that The City of Red Deer is still in alignment

with provincial public health orders. I know that all of you have many, many questions,

and certainly we've been fielding those through your phone calls to the call centre and online

- and questions for example, but not limited to, playgrounds being a great example.

We know that our community is very anxious to see playgrounds return to normal but I

will say Emergency Operations is reviewing all of our local municipal measures in light

of the provincial plan. And while City Emergency Operations don't necessarily have the answer

- all the answers today, our commitment to you it that we will be reviewing the plan

over the next couple of days and we will get answers to you as soon as possible.

Our objective is to be in complete alignment with the indications that the provincial government

is giving us. So I know that everyone is very anxious for

answers and The City is too. We are in regular conversations with the province

and we will hopefully have more information for you on Monday or Tuesday.

To conclude, I just want to say I continue to be so very proud of you all for all of

the measures you've taken as we fight against this virus.

The numbers in the central zone have been so strong and that really is a credit to you

all Red Deer, and it's absolutely imperative that we remain vigilant.

I hope you and your loved ones remain safe. I will turn it over to City Manager Seabrooke

and again, I know there's so many questions, but we really will commit to having answers,

very specific answers to you over the coming days.

And again, you can refer to The City's website for all of the decisions taken today.

Thank you so much.

Thank you Mayor Veer and good evening, Red Deer.

As always, I am grateful for this opportunity to provide an update to our community about

the City's ongoing response to COVID-19. We are encouraged by the Province's gradual,

phased-in approach to re-activating the economy. We need to be methodical and move cautiously

to ensure we are balancing the need to reopen businesses with the need to keep everyone

safe. We are closely reviewing the provincial relaunch

plan to determine how it will apply in Red Deer and to Red Deerians.

It will take time for The City to review the provincial re-activation plan and implement

the required changes in Red Deer. The health and safety of our residents continues

to be our top priority, and we remain committed to mitigating the spread of the virus.

As such, amenities like playgrounds, courts and skate parks will remain closed this weekend

until we receive direction from Alberta Health Services and the Chief Medical Officer of

Health that it is safe to re-open them. In addition we are going to look at the logistics

next week and how that may be possible in a safe way.

So there will be more to come next week to advise you on that.

We know many of you are excited to get back to these amenities, especially as we're

enjoying this beautiful Spring weather. It is important that you know we are continuing

to follow the direction from Alberta's Chief Medical Officer of Health as we make decisions

about access to outdoor amenities and facilities, and we're currently in conversations with

the province to determine our next steps as we move forward.

The Province's announcement came with some welcome news of a few immediate changes, such

as the opening of golf courses, but we need to remember that the majority of changes will

not take effect in the short term and there are restrictions with some of these openings.

The City of Red Deer has our one municipally owned golf course and, in speaking with our

operator, they are currently putting plans in place to be able to reopen when the course

is available to do so. But it will be with the restrictions that

have been laid out by the province. We know that we need to continue practicing

physical distancing and keeping two metres apart from others in all of these activities.

Gatherings will still be limited to 15 people for some time, and it is important that vulnerable

citizens continue to stay at home as much as possible.

We will continue to enforce provincial health orders to ensure the safety of all residents.

Despite the provincial relaunch strategy, we need citizens to continue to be vigilant

in helping prevent the spread. We fully anticipate adjustments and revised

restrictions as the plan unfolds, but this will only work if communities continue to

do what is necessary as we safely work through the relaunch strategy.

Residents looking for updates on our municipal response to COVID-19 can sign up for text

and email alerts through Notify Red Deer. Residents can sign up to receive updates on

our website at Again, thank you to everyone in the community

for your vigilance as we continue to fight the spread of this virus.

Please continue to stay home if you are ill, and practice social distancing when you are

out in public. Thank you very much and have a good evening.

The Description of May 1, 2020 - City of Red Deer COVID-19 update