News | DrumhellerMail - Page #7
Last updateTue, 26 May 2020 3pm

Hanna, Oyen, Special Areas conduct joint traffic operation

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With the long weekend now upon us and the ability for people to take a break from COVID at campgrounds it is expected that the highways are going to be very busy.

As such, the Hanna RCMP, Oyen RCMP and Special Areas Peace Officers will be conducting a Joint Forces Operation to prevent bad driving behaviour through enforcement.

The Joint Forces Operation will be starting today and going through until Monday. Speeding, distracted driving, careless driving among other offences will all be enforced stringently throughout the weekend.

The RCMP are also taking time to remind residents and visitors of the restrictions in place during the COVID-19 pandemic

"We are already seeing a trend starting where people feel this long weekend is like any other long weekend.  It isn't.  We are still in the midst of a pandemic.  There is still a significant risk of spreading the virus if the appropriate and responsible precautions aren't taken," RCMP states in a release.
"We want people to enjoy themselves this weekend.  We all want to enjoy the weekend.  But please, continue to use the precautions that have been legislated due to the COVID-19 virus.  If, after this weekend, the virus begins to spread again it could likely mean that the small gains that have been made to have some campgrounds and recreation areas open will be lost and these facilities will be closed again."
Please, observe the social distancing rules.  If you want to go fishing with a couple of buddies and you don't live in the same residence take separate vehicles.  Maintain the 3m distance while fishing.  Ensure your gathering doesn't exceed 15 people. 
The Hanna RCMP and Special Areas Peace Officers are asking the public to not put them in that awkward position where they have to start using enforcement (which means tickets in the range of $1200) to ensure this weekend doesn't result in COVID-19 spreading further in Alberta. 
Please observe the COVID-19 rules and ensure you police yourselves to stay within the regulations.


Businesses prepare for relaunch

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    The first phase of the Alberta relaunch plan opened today, and many local businesses are looking at their options, as to whether they will open, or wait a little longer.
    The first phase of the Open Soon plan began on Thursday, May 14. To prepare for this, Mayor Heather Colberg sat down with Marley Henneigh of the Drumheller and District Chamber of Commerce and local Health Inspector Keith Lee on the Drumheller Mail Facebook page for a live forum to help answer questions from local business on how and when they can open. Lee notes that most answers come from the province’s guide called Workplace Guidance for Business Owners.
“It is literally the bible for those wanting to reopen,” said Lee.
    Black Mountain Roasters has remained open for take-out and delivery. Nathan Moore says he is planning to open when the province allows. This will mean 50 per cent capacity seating inside the coffee shop. Already with the changing weather, he says they are seeing more people getting take out rather than delivery, looking for an outing during this time of self-isolation.
    What has been the most eye-opening for Moore during the pandemic response is how the people of Drumheller have responded, showing great community spirit and generosity.
    Bruce Wade closed the family jewellery store when the province ordered, and are contemplating when they would be opening again. With the state of the economy and many people being off work, he is not sure how busy his shop would be. He says they will begin with limited hours when they open, and gauge it from there.
     Manager of the Homestead Antique Museum Gilles Danis is busy painting and making changes to the local museum before it opens. He tells the Mail they are aiming for June 1 to open. In the meantime, they are working on making the museum more suitable to operate during the pandemic. This includes installing Plexiglas at the front counter and changing traffic flow in the hall to keep physical distancing between visitors,
    “The pandemic has thrown us a curve, but it has given us an opportunity to do other stuff,” said Danis.
    He is not sure how the tourism season will launch, noting there is a possibility they will be inundated with visitors wanting to get out after being isolated for so long, or if people might just stay home.
    Lee says it is important for everyone to be cautious, methodical, and adhere to the guidelines.
    “With these relaunch stages, let’s take it slow and easy…and really be reasonable, and if we are, we will get to Stage 2 in as short of time as we can,” he said. “If people don’t do what is being asked of them, both businesses as well as the patrons, to get to the next stage is going to take longer.”   
    The Workplace Guidance for Business Owners is available at

Update: Tyrrell plans for May 22 opening

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    The Royal Tyrrell Museum is planning for a May 22 opening.
    As a museum, the Tyrrell is on the list of the Alberta Government’s Phase 1 reopening. The Mail has learned the museum is planning to open after the May Long Weekend.
    “We are developing a reopening strategy that keeps our visitors and staff safe, and helps prevent the spread of COVID-19. Through responsible choices, our visitors will play a critical role in helping us minimize potential risks to ensure a positive experience for all,” reads a statement from the Royal Tyrrell Museum. “We hope visitors will feel comfortable and safe and are able to enjoy being back at the Museum and connecting with Alberta’s rich fossil heritage.”
    The museum will have several considerations and protocols put in place to make sure practices of social distancing and safety are adhered to. It is planning to open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, remaining closed on Mondays, with the exception of holidays. The gift shop will be open with restrictions on visitor capacity. It is unclear if the cafeteria will be open when the Museum relaunches. When it does it will be with reduced capacity in line with protective measures put in place in the name of safety.
    Attendance will be limited, as the museum will be placing an hourly occupancy limit on admissions of 150 people at a time. This is based on Alberta Health’s physical distancing guidelines in relation to the size of the museum.  They will be encouraging online advance ticket sales.
    Other measures include deactivating, closing, or removing access to hands-on interactive gallery elements, increased cleaning protocols, adding hand sanitizing and handwashing stations. The museum is also adding additional barriers between visitors and staff in customer service areas and also adding items such as floor markers and signage to encourage physical distancing.
    The museum has also decided it will not be offering any education or public programs at this time, including its popular science camps.

“We know Albertans are craving those regular activities, like going out to museums, and we understand how important it is for people to safely get back to their everyday lives. We are excited that this can be a part of the transition for Albertans. Our museums are following cleaning guidelines and capacity limits, as well as informing visitors how they can participate so we can make this a successful relaunch," said Leela Sharon Aheer, Minister of Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women.

Visitors are encouraged to go to the museum's website and purchase pre-booked, timed tickets for their visit. Timed tickets will help stagger visitors entering the museum and help meet the new reduced capacity limits. Visitors will not be able to enter the museums without pre-booking.


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