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Leduc letting local state of emergency lapse to avoid ‘redundancy’ with provincial COVID-19 measures

The state of local emergency that Leduc declared last month because of the COVID-19 crisis will be allowed to lapse on Monday, but a city official says residents should know that "does not mean the risk is gone.". CREDIT: Facebook/City of Leduc

The state of local emergency that Leduc declared last month because of the COVID-19 crisis will be allowed to lapse on Monday, but a city official says residents should know that “does not mean the risk is gone.”

“While we continue to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in Leduc, the public health orders implemented by AHS and the province have given us the tools we need to enforce as well as to protect our community throughout this pandemic,” George Clancy, the fire chief and director of emergency management for the City of Leduc, said in a news release issued Thursday.

“This is simply a decision aimed at avoiding redundancy with provincial measures already in place.”

The Alberta government amended the Emergency Management Act on March 20, allowing local and provincial states of emergency coexist at the same time. Before that change, a provincial state of emergency nullified a local one, taking some powers away from local officials.

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Premier Jason Kenney declared COVID-19 a public health emergency in Alberta on March 17.

The City of Leduc declared a local state of emergency on March 16 in response to the public health crisis caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic. At the time, the city also activated its emergency co-ordination centre and closed all of its rec centres until further notice.

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

Since then, the city has also closed all public city-owned buildings and facilities, as well as all playgrounds within city limits until further notice.

The city has also started carrying out local enforcement of all provincially mandated public health orders and enhanced cleaning protocols in all city facilities and public vehicles, including those operated by Leduc Transit.

“The protection of our residents and staff is still, and will always be, our highest priority,” Leduc Mayor Bob Young said Thursday. “The City of Leduc will continue to monitor the situation and make any changes necessary to adapt to this fluid situation.”

READ MORE: City of Leduc announces measures to help residents, businesses hurting financially over COVID-19 pandemic

On April 18, layoffs announced by the City of Leduc late last month will take effect. On March 31, the city announced 100 casual city workers would be temporarily laid off in light of facility closures and service adjustments resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“Over the course of the pandemic, we have had to make many tough decisions, but this one was particularly difficult,” acting city manager Michael Pieters said of the layoffs at the time.

For more information about the City of Leduc’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, click here.

–With a file from Global News’ Kaylen Small

Watch below: Some videos from a news conference held by Alberta officials on Friday to provide an update on the province’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 crisis.