COVID-19: Town of Drumheller declares state of local emergency, makes masks mandatory

The coronavirus is spreading through young people in crowded households in Regina, says Regina Qu'Appelle region deputy medical health officer Dr. Maurice Hennink. Getty Images

Rising COVID-19 cases have led the Town of Drumheller to declare a state of local emergency.

In a media release Monday, the town said the move is aimed at controlling community spread. The town also introduced a mandatory mask bylaw, effective Monday.

“The safety and well-being of our community continues to be our top priority,” deputy mayor Jay Garbutt said. “This is tough, but we believe as a community we can work together to slow the spread.”

Read more: Alberta adds 1,549 new COVID-19 cases Monday, government expected to announce new restrictions Tuesday

According to the town, by declaring the state of local emergency, it has “access to additional resources and special powers under the Emergency Management Act not available under the Municipal Government Act.”

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The town’s CAO and director of emergency management Darryl Drohomerski said the municipality doesn’t anticipate enacting its Emergency Operations Centre or Incident Command Post.

“We want to be prepared in the event cases continue to escalate…. (A state of local emergency) will help us do this,” he said.

All of the town’s services, including water, sewer, waste water, power and some limited recreational services, were still operating as of Monday evening.

Read more: Coronavirus: Drumheller passes Dino Bucks proposal instead of mandatory mask bylaw

As of Monday, Alberta had 13,166 cases active cases of COVID-19. New pandemic-related restrictions are expected to be announced by the provincial government on Tuesday.