The first confirmed case of COVID-19 was reported in the Cardston-Kainai region on Wednesday April 29th. At the time of this recording, there are currently 3 confirmed cases in the region where previously there were none. The Blood Tribe announced on Wednesday that one of the confirmed cases was one of their members, and that they have immediately began tracking everyone that individual had come in close contact with over the previous days. The Blood Tribe has been very proactive preparing for this eventuality. They have secured facilities to safely isolate anyone who is displaying symptoms, and they have great capacity to test their members for the virus. They are confident they have the situation well under control. At this time, we do not have specific details regarding the other 2 cases in the Cardston County.
Regardless, we know that this news has made many people in Cardston anxious. As you know, the virus is no respecter of person despite our best collective efforts to prevent its spread. Our efforts have not been in vain, however at this time it is more important to continue practicing physical and social distancing, proper hand washing and sanitation, and to abide by all recommendations by Alberta Health Services. Let us be vigilant and keep our guards up for another while even if terribly frustrating and inconvenient.
Since we first activated our Emergency Communication Coordination Centre, the Emergency Management Committee has been meeting with important stakeholders in several specialized breakout groups: The Volunteer Sector, Health Sector, Business Sector, and Government Sector. These groups composed of members of Cardston , neighboring communities and of government agencies have been meeting weekly to report on the current situation in Cardston and how the various sectors are coping with the current pandemic restrictions . They also share what measures they are taking to help mitigate the spread of the virus, including promoting safe physical distancing and sanitation. We will continue meeting with these groups until the health state of local emergency has been lifted.
We want to offer our thanks to the Hutterite Colonies, our Relief Societies and our Quilters’s Guild for sewing much needed protective masks. Thank you for your services!
The Province announced its relaunch strategy on Thursday April 30th, outlining a number of early actions that can be made as early as this weekend, as well as providing dates for a gradual reopening over several stages. Please be advised that this announcement does not mean that the Town is immediately prepared to lift all restrictions and closures. Now that the Province has announced their reopening strategy, the Town needs to prepare its own strategy and timeline for reopening parks and facilities in Cardston.
It is important to understand that Cardston may be slower to reopen than the rest of the province because we are behind on the COVID-19 curve in general. We now have our first confirmed cases in our region, so reopening immediately may be premature. For the time being, EVERYTHING remains closed until the Town announces otherwise, this includes the golf course, campground and all playgrounds. Please continue to obey all signs and closures until further notice from the Town.
Here is an important reminder. Since April 13, you are eligible for testing in Alberta if you have symptoms of cough, fever, shortness of breath, runny nose or sore throat and reside anywhere in Alberta. If you are experiencing symptoms, the first step is to complete the COVID-19 Self-Assessment online screening on the Alberta Health Service Website. If you do not have internet, or cannot access the self-assessment, please go to the clinic and request to be assessed there. No appointment is needed to have an assessment done. Previously the province had advised that symptomatic people should call 811, you can still call 811, but they will recommend that you take the online assessment. If you are experiencing severe symptoms, please go to the hospital. Blood Tribe members, regardless of whether they live on or off the Reserve have an additional resource through the Blood Tribe Department of Health. They may call 403-737-8411 to have a phone assessment done and if needed, someone will come to you to administer a test.
Please stay vigilant, keep healthy and be safe.