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Calgary City Hall restricting access starting Monday

A City of Calgary employee cleans the glass of an entranceway at city hall in Calgary, Alta., on June 20, 2014.
A City of Calgary employee cleans the glass of an entranceway at city hall in Calgary, Alta., on June 20, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

As COVID-19 continues to spread, the City of Calgary is restricting access to its city hall complex in an effort to minimize the amount of people gathering in a single space and encourage social distancing.

Starting Monday, only citizens that require business services and City of Calgary employees will be allowed inside.

READ MORE: Alberta has 195 COVID-19 cases; some child care centres to reopen for essential service workers

“At a time when we are asking Calgarians to keep their distance from one another, it stands to reason that we would not be creating scenarios in which people may congregate,” Calgary’s emergency management agency chief Tom Sampson said in a press release.

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The release added that city officials will engage with affected organizations and businesses to “address issues that this closure may have on vulnerable citizens who are currently accessing the Municipal Complex Atrium.

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READ MORE: Coronavirus: State of local emergency extended for Calgary as city makes service changes

Security staff will be posted at entrances to direct any citizens in need of services. Employees can still access the complex with key cards.

According to the city, services that will remain open during the restrictions are:

• Planning and Development desk
• Tax questions
• Enmax desk
• Cashier

On Friday, the City of Edmonton declared a local state of emergency and voted to completely shut down its city hall complex.

“Edmonton joins a number of other Canadian cities that have closed their city hall buildings as a safety measure during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Edmonton said in a news release. “This decision was made to ensure the safety of the public and employees during this health emergency.”

Calgary officials said they will monitor the impact of Edmonton’s decision and will make adjustments as necessary.