News | DrumhellerMail - Page #9
Last updateThu, 23 Sep 2021 5pm

Family in quarantine after border COVID testing issues


A Rosebud area man feels like he is a prisoner in his own home as he and his family wait out a quarantine after travelling to the US.
Craig Smith of the Rosebud area tells the Mail that what started out as a joyous occasion became mired in politics, bureaucracy, and ultimately being confined to his home for at least 14 days.
The family travelled to Nevada for his sister’s wedding. She and her husband work in a hospital in Nevada.
“They were unable to get time off until now just because of how crazy things have been,” he said.
It was a small wedding and the family booked their flight down. They took a COVID test prior to leaving, and the family is vaccinated with the exception of their 11-year-old son.
On their way home, they flew to Great Falls Montana where their car was waiting. There they took a COVID -19 test, which came back negative.
“We asked at the COVID testing place if this was the right test to cross the border into Canada, and they said yes, this is the test everyone is getting. That was our mistake,” he said.
The test wasn’t recognized at the border by Canadian Border Services. They were told it was the wrong test. Since then, they have learned it was in fact the proper test. But that was not before they were ordered to quarantine.
“They wanted to put us into a confinement quarantine, except we told them we live on a farm and we have animals and don’t have anyone to look after them for 14 days. They decided to let us drive home, and we had six hours to get home. We did take the proper polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test before we left the border and it was also negative,” he said.
Since then the family has been holed up on the farm in quarantine. This has caused his son to miss his first days of school. His daughter was also set to start university, but now she is confined to the farm. He and his wife are both unable to go to work.
He reached out to his MP, Martin Shields but did not receive any help until he reached out to Orrin Bliss, a candidate running in the federal election, who posted their story on social media. He also called Premier Kenney’s office, the Alberta Minister of Health Tyler Shandro, and Michelle Rempel-Gardner.
Bliss was able to provide a phone number to appeal the decision made at the border. His attempt was unsuccessful.
Smith says on day eight they are to take a second test. He was told it could take up to 10 days to get the result, which would push his quarantine from 14 days to 19 days.
“I feel like I have been put in COVID jail, and I am being punished,” he said.
He has since learned the test he took in Great Falls was in fact a PCR test. He told the Mail on Friday he was talking to Martin Shield’s office, and they suggested they verify which test he received.
He received the hard copies of his test, has since sent them to the Canadian Border Service, in hopes of it being rectified.
“There is still is no verdict as to when we can get out of quarantine or not,” he said.
He explained when you get the test, the result is sent via text message, and it didn’t show the type of test it was.
“I would warn people, before you cross the border, make sure you are getting the PCR test, and do not cross the border unless you have it.”
“Even when you get the right test you can still end up in this nightmare.”

Wheatland County releases Open Space, Recreation and Culture Master Plan

Wheatland Logo 2021

Wheatland County is committed to building strong and resilient communities and understands the importance of recreation and cultural activities to achieve this goal.
The county identified the need for an Open Space, Recreation and Culture Master Plan to support a guiding direction and information for future decision making.
Each component and section of the Master Plan cumulates into a document that guides the county in managing open spaces, programs, facilities and amenities well into the future. It includes recommendations for the county to develop short, medium, and long-term capital improvement plans to address community needs and upgrades.
It is founded in vision, goals, and intended outcomes county decision-makers strive to see with investment.
“Quality of life is enhanced through the provision of recreation and culture, which nurtures the health and well-being of our communities, environment and tourism economy. Wheatland County endeavours to be a leader in these components that develop resilient, strong, and sustainable places to live and start a business” says Reeve Amber Link. “Staff were able to develop the vast majority of the Master Plan internally, and create a comprehensive engagement strategy that ensured stakeholders in Wheatland were able to participate and share their ideas”.
“Council directed staff to initiate the in-house development of a Master Plan that combines elements that strategically guide the County’s management of open public spaces for the next ten years. Documents like these create synergies with the County’s other guiding and visioning plans, and the County has the ability to plan its’ communities and projects in a more robust and data-driven way” says Deputy Chief Administrative Officer, Matt Boscariol.
The Open Space, Recreation and Culture Master Plan has been developed to strategically guide and manage the direction of recreation facilities and open spaces until 2030. The County looks forward to implementing some of the components of the plans into its long-term budgeting and potential project list.

Drumheller RCMP to host 'Mocha with Mounties'

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Members of the Drumheller RCMP detachment are planning to resume their Mocha with Mounties town hall meetings within their detachment area, beginning with the Village of Carbon.
Members of council, officials from Kneehill County, and Community Peace Officers will be present at the town hall meeting, and members of the community and surrounding Kneehill County are welcome to attend.
The meeting was originally scheduled for Tuesday, August 31; however, due to the upcoming federal election this date has been postponed until Wednesday, November 3 at 7 p.m.
“We had to temporarily stop these town hall meetings last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Drumheller RCMP Staff Sergeant Ed Bourque.
S.Sgt Bourque says these meetings give department members the opportunity to interact with communities which are part of the Drumheller detachment area, and give community members an opportunity to meet the officers working in their respective areas.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, S.Sgt Bourque notes many crimes in the Drumheller detachment area declined in 2020. Many crimes have continued to remain low throughout the first quarter of 2021, between April 1 and June 30, for both rural and municipal detachment areas.
Although some crimes have increased significantly between 2020 and 2021, S.Sgt Bourque notes the rates are still comparable year over year between 2017 and 2021.
The Drumheller RCMP detachment area includes the villages of Carbon, Delia, Munson and Morrin as well as the hamlets of Dalum, Rumsey, and Dorothy.


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