Smoky region dealing with pandemic

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Steps to protect Smoky River residents from COVID-19 are top priority for the five partner communities.

“The municipalities are working diligently to ensure essential services continue to be delivered,” says a message on the M.D. of Smoky River website April 3 from Marcel Maure, director of protective services for the region.

“We are in almost constant communication and co-ordinating with the other service authorities, the RCMP, Alberta Health Services and Alberta Emergency Management Agency.”

The M.D., Town of Falher, Town of McLennan, Village of Donnelly and Village of Girouxville are partners in Smoky Region Emergency Services.

“The five municipalities that make up the Smoky River region assure their residents that, together with Smoky Region Emergency Services, we are working together, co-operating and co-ordinat- ing our response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Maure says.

He urges residents to remain positive during the situation.

“Use social media but please, please do not add fuel to the fire,” Maure says. “Don’t share information unless you have fact-checked it.

“People are worried enough.

“We don’t need to spread misinformation and add to those fears.”

He also advises people to stay safe and stay sane.

“There are many apps and free programs available that allow us to keep in touch.”

He reminds everyone that a telephone is also a useful tool that everyone knows how to use.

Residents are urged to take proper steps to reduce the risk of the spread of COVID-19.

“By taking these very basic and simple steps, by working together, we can minimize the spread and flatten the curve,” Maure says.

“This may extend the time it takes to get through the COVID-19 issue, but most importantly, it will reduce the number of people getting sick and keep our health system from becoming overwhelmed.”

Maure advises people to take the following steps.

  • Stay at home if you possibly can. Self-isolate, do not go out to visit, minimize all in-person interactions even if you feel fine.
  • Wash and sanitize your hands and surfaces that are touched often and avoid touching your face.
  • Sanitize everything being brought to your home, such as groceries and personal needs.
  • Co-ordinate and co-operate on shopping.

If one person can pick up necessary groceries and distribute them to three or four people, it limits the number of people who are out and about and makes it easier to physically distance in the stores.
“Don’t forget, we need to protect the people working in the stores, as well, so they can remain open and continue to serve,” Maure says.
Use the delivery or pick-up options being offered and limit interactions.

  • Stay away from other people by social distancing by six feet.
  • For anyone with flu-like or cold-like symptoms, do the COVID-19 self-assessment online and follow the recommendations.

Visit the website at
For those who do not have internet access, phone 811.

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