03/16/2020 09:28 EDT

Calgary Declares State Of Emergency In Response To COVID-19 Pandemic

There's been evidence of community transmission in Alberta.

Calgary's skyline is seen here on March 12. On Sunday, city officials declared a state of emergency to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

The City of Calgary has issued a state of local emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The announcement was made Sunday in an attempt “to support the Province of Alberta’s efforts to combat the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the city said in a news release.

The move gives the city increased powers to do what is necessary “to help flatten the curve,” Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi said on Twitter.

Facilities will be ordered to ensure events are no larger than 250 people to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus. 

This means several public places, including the Calgary Public Library, recreation facilities and city-owned places, will be closed until further notice. 

The following facilities will also be shut down for now:

  • Remington YMCA at Quarry Park
  • Great Plains Recreation Facility
  • Shane Homes YMCA at Rocky Ridge
  • Brookfield YMCA at Seton
  • Westside Recreation Centre
  • Melcor YMCA at Crowfoot
  • Shawnessy YMCA
  • Saddletowne YMCA
  • Cardel Rec South (includes South Fish Creek Rec Association)
  • Vivo Centre for Healthier Generations
  • Genesis Centre (includes NECCS)
  • Trico Centre for Family Wellness
  • Repsol Centre

Grocery stores, airports, shopping centres, pharmacies and casinos will remain open for the time being, the city said in a statement. 

As of Monday morning, there are 56 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Alberta, provincial health officials say. All licensed child-care facilities, out-of-school care programs and pre-school programs have already been closed.

Students from kindergarten to Grade 12 are also being told to stay home for the time being.  

There’s been evidence of community transmission of COVID-19 in the province, according to officials. Seven cases occurred from a single gathering in the Calgary area, the province said. However, it still says the risk of exposure is low. 

“In the coming days, additional actions may be required,” the province said on its coronavirus website. 

As of March 15, more than 8,800 coronavirus tests have been completed in Alberta, according to the province. 

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