Calgary enacts Municipal Emergency Plan in wake of coronavirus

Mar 12 2020, 6:29 pm

The City of Calgary has enacted its Municipal Emergency Plan (MEP).

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, the municipal government has announced that the MEP will be activated to increase the city’s “ability to prioritize service delivery and dedicate resources to priority areas as well as streamlining decision making around corporate processes,” a release from the city states.

This means that Calgary Emergency Management Agency Chief Tom Sampson will be able to decide what types of closures and restrictions city facilities and services will see in the coming weeks or months.

“Our top priority is the health, safety, and well-being of the public and our employees,” said Sampson in the release.

“We are focusing on maintaining essential services that Calgarians rely upon.”

City facilities remain open, though Sampson has asked any city employees who are able to work from home to do so starting on Friday, March 13.

The release also notes that Calgary’s preventative measures on the risk of coronavirus contraction, while still low, is one of “an abundance of caution.”

“We have not had any cases of community transmission in Alberta, meaning that there are no instances of people catching it from each other, but instead as a result of returning from travel,” said Mayor Naheed Nenshi in the release.

“What’s important right now is that we take intentional overreaction to keep that risk low.”

There have been 15 confirmed presumptive cases of coronavirus in Calgary, including a two-year-old child, and the provincial government stated in a release on Thursday that Albertans should cancel gatherings of over 250 people.

It is recommended that any events featuring seniors, individuals with compromised immune systems, and those who have recently travelled out of the country should be cancelled as well.