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Coronavirus: Leduc declares state of local emergency to deal with spread of COVID-19

WATCH ABOVE: Some recent videos about Alberta's response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The City of Leduc is the latest Alberta municipality to declare a state of local emergency in an effort to help deal with the coronavirus pandemic which had already seen 74 confirmed cases across the province on Monday.

In a news release, the City of Leduc said it took the step Monday evening “in order to further support provincial efforts to contain the spread of… COVID-19”

“By declaring the state of local emergency, the city will be empowered to access resources needed to address a potential outbreak within the community, as well as to enforce additional restrictions and closures as required to contain the spread,” the release said.

The city is now activating its emergency co-ordination centre and closing all of its rec centres until further notice.

“Looking after the health and wellness of our residents is our primary focus in declaring this state of local emergency in Leduc,” said George Clancy, Leduc’s fire chief and director of emergency management .

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“This is a very fluid event, so we feel it is prudent to ensure we have access to every means available to safeguard our community’s physical, mental, financial and emotional health as the outbreak continues to unfold.”

READ MORE: 74 confirmed coronavirus cases in Alberta; cases detected in all health zones

The city has cancelled or postponed all events scheduled to take place at the Maclab Centre for the Performing Arts in March and all city events through the end of April.

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“Leduc city council and administration have been closely following the development of the COVID-19 pandemic, and we are taking very deliberate and careful measures in order to protect our residents, staff and visitors,” Leduc Mayor Bob Young said in a news release.

“The ongoing health of our community members is our top priority, and we fully support this declaration as we are confident it is the appropriate next step in order to effectively manage this public health event.”

Leduc is also implenting “enhanced cleaning protocols in all city facilities and public vehicles,” including Leduc Transit vehicles.

Staff who show symptoms of the novel coronavirus or who recently returned from travel will be required to self-isolate for 14 days.

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Beaumont activates emergency co-ordination centre

Leduc was not the only community south of Edmonton to announce new measures it is taking to respond to the coronavirus pandemic on Monday.

The City of Beaumont issued a news release indicating it had activated its emergency co-ordination centre.

“There is no reason for alarm — this step allows the city to plan and co-ordinate our response to COVID-19 in an orderly way and make sure we are putting the appropriate focus and resources to this work,” Beaumont Mayor John Stewart said in a news release. “As always, our top priorities are your health and safety.

“In the last few days, I’ve received many questions and heard many concerns from residents and businesses. I know there is a lot of anxiety right now, especially for people who might be out of work unexpectedly and for local business owners who wonder if they’ll be able to stay open.”

READ MORE: Alberta legislature has emergency debate over COVID-19 response

Stewart said Beaumont city councillors are exploring ideas for how to support local businesses through the health crisis and that it will work to inform residents of steps the federal and provincial government are taking to help workers and businesses as well.

“I want to thank all the health-care workers putting in long hours to help Albertans,” Stewart added. “I also want to thank retail workers and local businesses for keeping stores open so people can get the groceries, medicine, gas and other items they need.

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“Everyone’s patience is being tested lately and these workers are dealing with that firsthand. Please remember to show each other extra kindness and care as we work through this together as a community.”

On Sunday night, the City of Calgary declared a local state of emergency and the City of Red Deer has also taken the same step.

READ MORE: Edmonton reduces public transit service as part of COVID-19 response

On Monday, officials with the City of Edmonton told media that they don’t believe Alberta’s capital needs to declare a local state of emergency at this time but that the option to do so remains on the table going forward.