Today (April 30, 2020), the Town of Hinton Emergency Operations Centre and Mayor Marcel Michaels signed a renewal for the Town of Hinton's COVID-19 State of Local Emergency.
The EOC is currently in the process of reviewing local SOLE restrictions to prepare and plan for their phased removal as it is safe to do so. Details on this plan will be shared early next week.
Physical Distancing and Cleaning Practices Must Continue
It is essential that residents and businesses understand that suppression activities, in particular maintaining safe distances, must be maintained.
If not maintained, transmission will have an opportunity to rapidly rebound, potentially producing an epidemic comparable in scale to what would have been seen had no interventions been adopted.
The Town, and Province, need your help to continue to restrict your activities in the interest of community health. Distancing, hand washing, and sanitizing is absolutely crucial.
Please be advised that mandatory physical distancing under the Provincial Public Health Order will continue to be enforced in Hinton. Those who choose not to comply with this may be fined.
What is a SOLE?
A SOLE is a State of Local Emergency. By declaring a state of local emergency, the Town can access resources needed to address a potential outbreak within the community, as well as enforce additional restrictions and closures required to contain the spread.
The well-being of our community members and Town staff remains our top priority, and this declaration is an important step the Town must take in order to effectively manage this public health event.
Declaring a state of local emergency is a legislated process allowing the municipality to act swiftly if needed in order to prevent the spread of the virus in Hinton. This declaration was done to ensure essential Town services, such as water and other utilities, police, and fire, were maintained and to work toward phased planning and concise actions.
Why is the SOLE Remaining?
Protecting our citizens’ and employees’ health during the COVID-19 pandemic is our priority. As such we have been following the advice of both the Federal and Provincial Medical Health Officers. We have taken effective measures based on Alberta Health Services direction and through correspondence with our local health services to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Hinton and we are playing our part within the Yellowhead County Region. Keeping the SOLE in place enables us to quickly respond, anticipate, and react to rapidly evolving scenarios.
The provincial health authorities are now anticipating a late May peak. Our EOC decisions aim to support this; however, all municipal restrictions are reviewed weekly to determine whether they will remain in place.
Reminder: Dogs On-leash
At this time, all sidewalks and trails within Town limits are considered on-leash for animals and signage indicating where pets may be off-leash have been removed. The use of a leash is an effective way to maintain appropriate physical distancing, as the interaction between pets and people is prevented. Should you have complaints or concerns regarding animals off-leash, please contact Bylaw at 780-865-6009.
Learn more on the SOLE webpage here, or announcement CivicSend here.
Thank you to all Hinton residents for their compliance. It is the belief of the Provincial Operations Centre and Hinton Emergency Operations Centre that Alberta, and Hinton, have yet to see a "peak" past which we could consider removing more restrictions. Your continued compliance helps make the impact to not just local health infrastructure, but provincial and national resources, as manageable as possible.
As a reminder, the Town of Hinton is not able to lessen, or remove, any restrictions imposed as part of the Province's state of Public Health Emergency. View the restrictions from the province via the links to the province available below.