When the clock strikes one minute after midnight on June 12, Calgary’s coronavirus state of local emergency will end.
It’s also when the province has announced the start of the accelerated phase 2 of Alberta’s relaunch.
Calgary’s state of local emergency has been in place since March 15. It’s been the longest state of emergency in the city’s history.
“It does not mean we can let our guard down,” said Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi.
“It actually doesn’t change anything about the rules under which we have to continue to operate.”
According to Calgary Emergency Management Agency Chief Tom Sampson, the City will open some facilities and restart programs starting Tuesday. He said that the city used the facility downtime to do some refurbishing and that, coupled with rehiring some of the 1,200 laid off recreation workers, will take some time.
Nothing new will be opened Friday, according to the city, and citizens can go to calgary.ca for an ongoing, updated list of facilities that will reopen.
The City is launching a chalk circles pilot project in four regional parks to help Calgarians maintain that physical distance and enjoy the park. The will be 50 circles each in Bowness, Riley, Prince’s Island and North Glenmore parks.
Working with the province on relaunch
Mayor Nenshi said that although they were somewhat caught off-guard with the province’s accelerated relaunch, it’s been a constantly evolving situation.
“I have to say that working with the province over these last three or four months has been really good,” Mayor Nenshi said.
“Of course, there’s going to be some stumbles everybody’s human. Nobody has dealt with this situation before in the past.”
Mayor Nenshi said there were some aspects of the acceleration that caught them by surprise, but they could read the statistics, too.
“But, you know, we knew pretty clearly that if the number stayed down, Friday (June 12) would be the (updated relaunch) day,” he said.
Keep moving forward, no steps back
Both Mayor Nenshi and Chief Tom Sampson reiterated that the success, due in large part to Calgarians’ adherence to rules, could be undone by poor health protocols.
“We have to recognize that the battle is not over. We have in fact across the province, seen a small increase in the daily cases and we’re back up to levels that we were at a few weeks ago,” said Mayor Nenshi.
“We still have to be very disciplined.”
Chief Sampson said he’d like to see Calgary continue moving forward.
“I think all of us would be very disappointed if we had to take a step back and close business, or we had to take a step back and shut down access to areas,” said Sampson.
“But it’s in our hands. Our responsibility now collectively yours and mine are to ensure that we behave appropriately.”