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Lethbridge officials warn residents to abide by COVID-19 rules during May long weekend

Click to play video: 'Alberta officials warn residents to abide by COVID-19 rules during May long weekend' Alberta officials warn residents to abide by COVID-19 rules during May long weekend
With the May long weekend ahead, Alberta officials are reminding the public to keep abiding by COVID-19 related health precautions, while also keeping drinking and driving laws in mind. Taz Dhaliwal reports – May 15, 2020

For many, the May long weekend will be different this year due to COVID-19, but Lethbridge police are still reminding residents to make the responsible decision by choosing not to not drink and drive.

“At any point our officers and our patrol team may decide to set up some check stops just to check with traffic and make sure we’re visible in our community,” said Sgt. Mark Smallbones.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Lethbridge small businesses grapple with extended closures

With the weather set to be warm and sunny, some folks may be looking to venture out, however, abiding by health and safety guidelines relating to COVID is still a must.

“[We] just want to remind people as well to make sure they check the guidelines from the chief medical officer of the province as well as any of the city of Lethbridge websites,” Smallbones added.
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When it comes to popular summer activities such as camping, walking, cycling and so on, Smallbones says people need to continue maintaining a safe distance from others and washing their hands.

READ MORE: Alberta allows outdoor gatherings of up to 50 people with physical distancing

Although, when it comes to social gatherings, Dr. Deena Hinshaw announced Friday afternoon that people can now come together in groups larger than 15, but only outside.

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“I am pleased to announce that effective today, outdoor gathering limits are being increased to a maximum of 50 people no matter where you live as long as physical distancing of two metres is being maintained between different households,” she stated.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Alberta universities look to mostly online courses for fall semester

Hinshaw also said food should not be shared at gatherings since it is one the ways that the virus can spread.

The city of Lethbridge is also doing its part to remind residents of why following the guidelines is important.

“We don’t want to see a spike after the long weekend,” said director of emergency management Marc Rathwell. “We don’t want to see spikes at anytime — that will put the restrictions back in place and those are the things we don’t want to have happen.”

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Rathwell added house parties and back yard gatherings may be a concern at this time, in which case he says people must be mindful of their neighbors and not be tempted to break the rules.

He also reminded residents that a fire ban is in effect in the river valley, which is a popular spot during warm temperatures.

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