Customer limits in place for Smoky River stores

Richard Froese
South Peace News

A restricted number of customers has been implemented in businesses in the Smoky River region during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Restrictions were put in place by Marcel Maure, director of emergency management, for the Smoky River region.

“To be proactive, I went to businesses to discuss how to limit close interaction with people to stop the spread of COVID-19,” Maure says.

“If you can’t have gatherings of more than 15 people, why should we have more than 15 in a business?”

It will remain in effect until further notice.

Steps were taken to respond to the start of an outbreak at the Manoir du Lac in McLennan, which occurred in early April.

“Without more detailed data from Alberta Health Services, of where cases are located, we took measures to flatten the curve,” Maure says.

He says the aim of the business restriction is to comply with social distancing orders as people are required to be at least six feet apart.

At the top of the list, a maximum of 15 shoppers are permitted at one time in two grocery stores in Falher and one in McLennan, Maure says.

Smaller businesses are restricted to a number as low as two to three.

Business owners strongly supported the steps.

“They believe it a good thing, to help flatten the curve,” Maure says.

The order also permits only one person from a household inside a business at one time.

He says the measures were taken after he consulted the CAOs for the M.D. of Smoky River, the Town of Falher, the Town of McLennan, the Village of Donnelly and the Village of Giroux- ville.

All businesses are complying with the order, Maure says.

Smoky Region Emergency Services released an update April 15 on municipal websites.

“The Smoky River region, including the towns and villages within it, currently has a high number of active COVID-19 cases given the small population,” Maure says.

“This means community transmission is definitely possible.

“All persons need to continue to stay at home as much as possible, limit interaction with others and stay at least six feet away from other people.”

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