A rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in the Drumheller Valley has prompted Alberta Health Service (AHS) to designate Drumheller in a “Watch Category.”
Drumheller CAO Darryl Drohomerski announced this at Monday night’s Council Meeting. He explains that communities are designated as watch communities when there are more than 10 cases, in a zone or a ratio of 50 cases per 100,000 population. There were four communities in Alberta which were also designated watch communities, including Kneehill County.
Over the last week cases in Drumheller went from five active cases to 13 active cases. In Drumheller, there has been a total of 15 cases with two designated as recovered.
Alberta is also seeing a rise in cases. From July 13, the province went from 703 to 1,109 cases as of July 20. This has been the highest number of cases since May 12. This is the highest number of active cases peaking at 2,994 on April 30.
He noted that while a number of people have expressed pandemic fatigue he is also heartened by the number of people taking it seriously.
“I noticed yesterday at Riverside Park there were lots of people out and they were all distanced by two metres or more, so that is a positive,” he said.
Drumheller Town Hall closed its doors last week after a person who participated in meetings there had tested positive.
“I want to remind people about what we should be doing because ultimately we are all in this together and we all need to succeed and we need to do our best in order to make other people successful,” he said.
Drohomerski recommends that people follow social distance protocols and use masks in public areas, especially when it is not possible to social distance. Also to cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze. Also make sure to wash and lather your hands for at least 20 seconds, use alcohol-based sanitizer regularly and avoid touching your face.
He says at this point the town is not planning to reactivate its emergency operation centre.
“They (AHS) feel what we are doing is adequate through providing education and communication to the public,” he said. “We’re not different than any of the communities in the watch category right now. We are not looking to reinstate the EOC, we are looking to do more communication and we have been doing that since the middle of last week.”