News | DrumhellerMail - Page #9
Last updateWed, 26 Jan 2022 2pm

DVSS students prepare for Peru excursion

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Students at DVSS are gearing up for an experience of a lifetime, heading to Peru for travel and service.
A group of 22 students from Grade 11 and 12 and five chaperones are getting ready to travel to Peru over the spring break. They have been planning it for about a year. While DVSS typically plans an international trip every two years. This one is a bit different.
“For a change, we wanted to make it a service trip,” explains teacher Angie Gill, who is spearheading the excursion. “We will be doing some kind of service project, which has yet to be determined, whatever is most needed, wherever we are going at the time.”
“I am also a counsellor, and I just really felt the need for our youth to experience a different culture that is not as advanced and not as wealthy. I felt there is a need for them to do some service work and put into perspective everything they are so privileged to have,” said Gill.
The trip is facilitated through Education First. It is a tour group that also offers service trips. These can only be in a few countries such as in Africa and central and southern America.
The service work could be virtually anything from education-related projects to construction or labour.
“They usually tell us about the service about a month before,” said Gill. “But they guarantee it will be a worthwhile project the community really needs.”
“Personally, I thought it would be cool to not only do the service trip but see some neat history like Machu Picchu,” said Gill.
She says the trip will offer a different perspective.
“I feel often in youth, there isn’t that worldly perspective, and trips to Europe, for example, are great for world history but I also just wanted it to involve a perspective on how fortunate we are.”
The students have paid for the trip, and part of the cost is funding the service project, but have begun a fundraising campaign to support some additional costs. This includes bussing to the airport, to cover additional COVID-related expenses such as PSR testing, and jackets so they can be identified as a group while on the trip. They are also planning on taking some items that can be donated in the communities they will be visiting.
“I have a fashion class and in preparation, we have actually made some items of clothing and items for donations to take with them down there. Our class has also made a bunch of toques and mitts they have donated to a Calgary Shelter,” said Gill.
The trip is from April 14-24, and approximately three days will be carved out for the service project.

Big Valley sets out to complete 2021 projects

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The Village of Big Valley underwent some big changes in 2021 and are in the process of completing some big projects in the village.
Council and administration began looking at completing repairs to the village’s water tower due to aging infrastructure in March. By June the village had entered into an agreement with Knibb Development Ltd to complete the repairs, which were estimated to cost some $120,000, though council was offered the option to pick and choose which recommendations they wanted to go through with. Council approved increasing the budget to $150,000 to allow the repairs to be completed.
The village also focused on other infrastructure repairs, such as road repairs. Horseshoe Paving was contracted in August to complete six sections of road repairs.
In September, the village began an infrastructure study after a segment of sewer line in poor condition was previously identified by a public works assessment; this study will allow council to prepare for future capital budgeting to complete sewer line repairs and paving in this area, along with other infrastructure projects.
Following the October municipal election there was a complete change on Big Valley’s three-person council; newcomers Dan Houle, Amber Hoogenberg, and Gail Knudson were elected as the village’s new council with Mr. Houle appointed Mayor and Ms. Hoogenberg as Deputy Mayor following the organizational meeting in November.

Acute care admissions, surgeries paused at Drumheller Health Centre

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Drumheller Health Centre has paused surgeries and acute care admissions due to a COVID-19 outbreak in both the acute and long-term care wards.
Although new admissions have been temporarily paused, the emergency department and obstetrics continue to remain open and available.
“In order to reduce transmission, we have temporarily paused new admissions to acute care,” a spokesperson for Alberta Health Services (AHS) tells the Mail.
An outbreak was declared for the acute care ward on Sunday, January 2 with long-term care declaring an outbreak on Thursday, January 6.
Three positive cases have so far been linked to the acute care outbreak, and an additional six cases to the long-term care outbreak. Contact tracing and testing of all patients and staff has been implemented as a temporary measure at the facility to monitor for asymptomatic cases.
Along with the pause to admissions, the facility has also temporarily postponed inpatient surgical procedures; day surgeries are expected to continue.
A timeline for when admissions will resume was not available and a decision will be made based on the outbreak duration. An outbreak is declared in acute care and continuing care facilities when two or more cases have been reported; outbreaks are considered over four weeks after the last case is identified.


Update: According to an AHS spokesperson, "Admissions reopened to patients from the Emergency Department on Friday (January 7)."

Patients requiring emergent surgery or those with procedures scheduled will continue to take place at Drumheller Health Centre or other AHS facilities as resources allow; specific patients impacted by the pause will be directly contacted by healthcare teams.


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