Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information for Residents

Updated April 1, 2020, 3:00 PM

On this page:

Kneehill County Preparedness & Response

As of March 13, the Emergency Coordination Centre (ECC) has been activated for Kneehill County. This means staff are meeting daily to proactively implement measures to try to slow the spread of COVID-19 and mitigate potential impacts on the community. Kneehill County has also implemented Business Continuity processes and protocols to maintain all essential services during this time.

While Kneehill County is working to maintain all of our services, residents may experience service level disruptions, changes in the delivery of certain services, and meeting and event cancellations as a result of the virus and the developing situation. Essential services, such as road, water and fire services, will not be disrupted.

March 23, 2020: Kneehill County CAO Mike Haugen provides an update on the County’s business continuity and plan to maintain critical services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Listen online.

Kneehill County Current Services Status


SERVICE

MODIFICATION

FACILITY STATUS

Customer Service

Effective March 18: The Administration building is closed to the public. No in-person payments or dog licensing accepted.

The Kneehill County Shop is closed to vendors and the public as well. Please call 403-443-5541 for assistance.

Thank you to our vendors for their support during this time. Please direct any inquiries to
403-443-5541, or email the office. 
The Admin building and Shop are closed to the public.

Customer service is still available during regular business hours.
Call 403-443-5541 or email the Office.


Dust Control 

March 30, 2020: Residents can apply for 2020 Dust Control through our online form. To be eligible for the rebated price, applications and full payment must be received by May 15, 2020.

Payment can be made through the following options:

  • Cheque sent though mail.
  • Credit Card via phone (403-443-5541) at the Kneehill County Administrative Office. Payments over $800 must be accompanied by the Credit Card Authorization Form, found here
  • Online Payment, through your your financial institution.
    Use Kneehill County General Account: DUS001

Kneehill Regional Family and Community Support Services

Available to assist residents in the Kneehill area by phone or appointment only.  

Local Non-profits and Charity Organizations can contact KRFCSS to request funding for specific programs or services in their community related to COVID-19.
Call 403-443-3800 for assistance between 9 am and 12 pm,
and from 1 pm to 4 pm.
www.krfcss.com

Roads

Road crews are focused on arterial and collector roads, as well as frozen culverts.

Crews are also working on gravel road spot repairs.
Continuing service, deemed essential.

Transfer Sites

Effective March 18: Kneehill County Transfer Sites are not accepting cardboard and newspaper for recycling. Open normal operating hours, please visit our Transfer Site page for more information. 

Water and Wastewater Services

Effective March 18: The utilities billing office is closed to the public. Utilities will continue to operate essential services during this time.The Admin building is closed to the public, however as an essential service, water and wastewater services will continue.

Planning & Development Services

Effective March 25: In-person development, subdivision and safety code permits are not being accepted, however are being accepted through email, with payments made via phone, with applicants required to sign a notice of extension.  Subdivisions that have already been approved, and set to expire within the next six months, have been granted an automatic 6-month extension.

The Admin building is closed to the public.

Safety codes permits are being processed at this time. Call the office, 403-443-5541, to be redirected.

Fire & Emergency Services

Emergency responses for fire remain in service. Fire personnel may have increased personal protective equipment and may use discretion in attending sick person calls where the ambulance is already on their way.

911 Emergency Dispatch remains in service through a contracted service provider.
Continuing service, deemed essential.

Fire Permitting

No changes at this time.Burn Permits accessed through online system on website. 

Tax Certificates & Assessments

Effective March 18: In-person service will be suspended. Tax certificates and/or assessments can be requested via phone or email.The Admin building is closed to the public, requests can be made via phone or email.

Ag Services – Strychnine Sales

Sales delayed following public health recommendations by Alberta Health Services.Postponed.

Playgrounds

Effective March 25: All playgrounds in Kneehill County are closed.Playgrounds closed.

Council & Committee Meetings

Regular Council meetings will continue.Council meetings must be conducted in public, however we encourage social distancing as well as online viewing. Residents can watch meetings via Kneehill County’s Youtube Channel.

Enforcement and Patrol

Effective March 18: Peace Officers continue to patrol our communities. Some Community Peace Officers are now able to enforce the Public Health Act implemented by the Province of Alberta.Limited enforcement due to staffing shortage levels.

Public Engagement Events

Effective March 18: All Kneehill County Events, Workshops and Activities have been cancelled or postponed. Closed


Kneehill County continues to follow public health restrictions for mass gatherings and recommendations for social distancing, as determined by the Province and Alberta Health Services.

Media Releases

Kneehill County is carefully monitoring the COVID-19 health risk for any new developments and will follow protocols in accordance with Alberta Health Services’ (AHS) recommendations. Please check Kneehill County’s website and social media for updates as the situation continues to evolve.

Community Supports

Kneehill Regional Family and Community Support Services are here to help and support residents during COVID-19. Call 403-443-3800 to connect over the phone, or to make an appointment. Calls will be answered between 9 am - 12 pm, and from 1 pm to 4 pm.

  • Social/Emotional supports are available through your Family Resource Worker. Messages are confidential and regularly checked during business hours. Call 403-443-3800.
  • Community Volunteer Income Tax Program- A modified version of this program is also available.
    Call 403-443-3800 for eligibility and to make an appointment.  

If you schedule an in-person appointment with FCSS, please follow all protocols set in place for COVID-19 to protect volunteers, staff, clients and our communities. 

Helpful Links and Resources:

For more information on these Community programs and services, please visit www.krfcss.com or call 403-443-3800. 

Emergency Funding For Charities and Non-Profits

The Alberta Government is providing $30 million to charitable and non-profit organizations, faith communities and municipalities to provide help to individuals, seniors, families and other vulnerable Albertans who are isolated or impacted by measures to contain COVID- 19.

If your organization/group sees a COVID-19 need in our area that can be addressed through this funding opportunity, please contact Shelley at the Kneehill Regional Family and Community Support Services office, at 403.443.3800 or 403.443.0793.

More details about this funding opportunity can be found at www.krfcss.com

Provincial Updates

March 30, 2020

To protect the health and safety of Albertans, law enforcement agencies now have full authority to enforce public health orders and issue fines for violations.

  • Mandatory 14-day self-isolation for returning international travellers or close contacts of people with
    confirmed COVID-19.
  • Mandatory 10-day self-isolation for people with symptoms that are not related to a pre-existing illness or health condition: cough, fever, shortness of breath, runny nose or sore throat.
    • If you are in mandatory self-isolation:
      • Do not go outside for a walk through your neighbourhood or park. This includes children in mandatory self-isolation.
      • You can get fresh air in your backyard, if you have one, but you must remain on private property not accessible by others.
      • If you live in an apartment building or high rise, you must stay inside and cannot use the elevators or stairwells to go outside. If your balcony is private and at least 2 metres away from your closest neighbour’s, you may go outside on the balcony.
    • This directive is consistent with the new federal requirements under the Quarantine Act.

  • Restrictions on mass gathering and businesses are now legally enforceable and subject to fines. 
    • All gatherings in the province must be limited to 15 people or fewer, and social distancing of two metres must be observed.
    • Albertans are now prohibited from accessing:
      • Retail, clothing and gaming stores, including book stores, hobby stores and antique stores. These businesses may choose to offer online shopping and curb-side pick-up.
      • Close contact personal services, including personal services facilities, cosmetic enhancement services, wellness studios and clinics, non-emergency and non-critical health services.
      • All public recreation facilities and private entertainment facilities
      • All dine-in services. Take-out, delivery and drive-through service is still permitted.
    • Businesses and services on the essential services list can continue to provide services at locations accessible to the public and must have proper risk mitigation measures in place, such as sanitation stations and appropriate distancing between customers.
  • Facilities under this order include all nursing homes, designated supportive living and long-term care facilities, seniors lodges and any facility in which residential addiction treatment services are offered under the Mental Health Services Protection Act.

View all public health orders

COVID-19: Alberta Health Services Recommendations

Prepare and Respond

Alberta public health officials are recommending Albertans prepare and respond to COVID-19 by
creating a household plan of action:

  • Talk with the people who need to be included in your plan. Have these conversations over the phone, by email or text. Follow social distancing guidelines.
  • Talk to your household members, relatives, friends and neighbours about what the needs of each person will be, if they need to enter self-isolation or are diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • Plan ways to care for those who might be at greater risk for serious complications. This includes practical steps like ensuring you have sufficient medication and determining what supplies are needed, and if they can be delivered.
  • Talk with your neighbors about emergency planning, and how you can help each other to stay safe and healthy – or support one another if your household or theirs is required to self-isolate. Again, have these conversations over the phone, by email or text – following social distancing guidelines.
  • Regularly reach out to those in self-isolation. A lack of social contact can cause mental health challenges, and we need to support those most vulnerable.
  • Create a list of local organizations that you and your household can contact in the event you need access to information, health care services, support, and resources.
  • Create an emergency contact list.

Practice good personal health habits and plan for home-based actions:

  • Practice everyday preventive actions, like those listed in the prevention section.
  • Choose a room in your home that can be used to separate sick household members from those who are healthy. Identify a separate bathroom for the sick person to use, if possible. Plan to clean these rooms, as needed, when someone is sick, following the Cleaning Guidelines available above.

Plan for potential changes at your workplace.

  • Learn about your employer’s emergency operations plan.
  • Ask about what sick-leave policies and telework options are available if needed.

Stockpiling of goods is not recommended at this time. While it’s always best practice to have three days worth of supplies on-hand, public health officials are not recommending Albertans purchase food or other materials in bulk.

Social Distancing

Social distancing involves taking steps to limit the number of people you come into close contact with. It can help you reduce the risk of getting sick. This is not the same as self-isolation. You do not need to remain indoors, but you do need to avoid being in close contact with people.

To protect yourself and others:

  • Keep at least 6 feet (the length of a bicycle) from others when going out for groceries, medical trips and other essential needs
  • Limit the number of times you leave your home for errands
  • Try to shop at less busy times
  • Order online to have groceries or other items delivered if possible
  • Go for a walk in your neighborhood or park while maintaining distance from others
  • Avoid overcrowding in elevators or other enclosed spaces
  • Follow Alberta’s recommendations on mass gatherings
  • Wash or sanitize your hands after touching communal surfaces

Illness Prevention

To help protect you and your family against all respiratory illnesses, including flu and COVID-19:

  • wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched
  • when coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with your arm to reduce the spread of germs
  • dispose of any tissues you have used as soon as possible and wash your hands afterwards
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
  • stay at home and away from others if you are feeling ill

For more information on COVID-19 please visit: Alberta Health Services Website.

Financial Support

Government of Alberta

The Alberta government will provide immediate financial relief to Alberta’s families and vulnerable populations.
There are a number of of options in place for those struggling financially. Emergency Support Measures Summary

Please visit: https://www.alberta.ca/covid-19-supports-for-albertans.aspx for more information.

The Alberta government will also provide immediate funding and supportive measures to support local businesses, employers and employees. https://www.alberta.ca/covid-19-support-for-employers.aspx 

Federal government programs

Albertans may also be eligible for financial supports through the federal government:

Employment Insurance sickness benefits

  • Provides up to 15 weeks of income replacement for eligible Albertans who are unable to work due to illness, injury or quarantine (self-isolation).
  • One-week waiting period is waived for people in self-isolation.

Emergency Care Benefit (launching April 2020)

  • Provides up to 15 weeks of $900 bi-weekly payments to workers without paid sick leave (or similar workplace accommodation) who are sick, quarantined or forced to stay home to care for children.

Canada Child Benefit

  • Eligible parents will receive $300 more per child with their regular May CCB payment.

GST rebate increase

  • Provides low- and modest-income Albertans with a one-time special payment in May of up to $400 for single people and $600 for couples.

Eased rules for RRIFs

  • The required minimum withdrawal from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) will be reduced by 25% in 2020 in recognition of the impact of volatile market conditions on many seniors’ retirement savings.

Background

An outbreak of respiratory illness, now known to be caused by a novel (new) coronavirus, was first identified in Wuhan, China on December 31, 2019. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the virus a public health emergency. The novel coronavirus disease has been given the name COVID-19. 

On March 13, 2020, the WHO declared COVID-19 a worldwide pandemic. 

On March 17, 2020, the Government of Alberta declared a state of public health emergency, implementing aggressive public health measures province-wide to limit the spread of COVID-19 and protect Albertans.

Reliable Sources:

Government of Alberta - Learn more about Alberta’s situation and action plan. Provides daily news updates on the number of confirmed cases in the province, including in the "Central Zone" in which Kneehill County is located.

Alberta Health Services - Learn about Alberta Health Services latest health information and advice for Alberta.

Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 from AHS Emergency Coordination Centre.

The Government of Canada’s Public Health Agency - information on outbreak updates in Canada, prevention, Canada’s response plan, and facts on COVID-19 at https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.html