City of Lethbridge prepares for next stages of COVID-19

Click to play video: 'City of Lethbridge prepares for province-wide reopening' City of Lethbridge prepares for province-wide reopening
WATCH: City officials are preparing Lethbridge residents after the province announced on Thursday that some services would tentatively reopen next week. Emily Olsen reports – May 1, 2020

Lethbridge is preparing for more service accessibility after Thursday’s announcement that the province is beginning to reopen after weeks of quarantine.

Among the services reopening next week are four waste and recycling centres, which city officials say should only be for crucial trips.

“We know that, probably early in the week, we’re going to see a lot of people using the sites,” waste and recycling services general manager Joel Sanchez said on Friday.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Alberta phased relaunch strategy will see some restrictions eased Friday

Sanchez added that any unlawful gathering or failure to properly distance from others could result in residents being turned away.

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He said the city wants to remind citizens that illegal dumping can result in hefty fines.

“A lot of items are being left at the sites — not only on the sites but we also have noticed it in other donation bins across the city where the same thing is happening,” Sanchez said.

Street sweeping will also begin soon. To maintain proper distancing, residents are asked to sign up for electronic notifications of when sweepers will be in each neighbourhood.

City officials are awaiting further details from the province on how reopening should proceed, but for now, the warning to residents remains clear: keep your distance and continue to follow health guidelines.

“Our mass gatherings — for stages up to and including stage one — they will be 15 people or less and that will not change,” said Greg Adair, director of emergency management, on Friday.

READ MORE: Hinshaw reveals what Alberta is learning about COVID-19 as cases continue to mount

Mayor Chris Spearman said he is proud of the way Lethbridge has handled the crisis so far and is cautiously optimistic that good behaviour will continue into the summer months.

“We have a lot to be hopeful and optimistic about,” Spearman said. “I think that’s phenomenal and it’s due to group efforts [and] collective efforts.”

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