August 5, 2020 @ 4:46 PM
As of today, the County of Stettler has been downgraded from ‘blue’ status on the COVID-19 interactive map. The County is down to 7 active COVID-19 cases, a rate of 56.2 cases for every 100,000 people. This is great news, but it does not mean that Stettler can stop practicing prevention techniques says Lee Hardman, the Director of Stettler Regional Emergency Management Agency for the county.
Hardman is very encouraged to see that the community has paid close attention to our hygiene and distancing practices. Businesses around town are protecting their employees with plexiglass barriers, masks, and hand sanitizer, and many are encouraging contactless payment. Where floor decals or tape have been installed, patrons can easily see how to keep a safe distance from one another. These efforts are working, and we need to continue.
If Stettler residents are concerned that they may have come in contact with the virus (or someone who has) it’s easy and fast to get tested. Hardman urges that “there’s no shame in getting a test,” and it’s as close to painless as possible. Anyone can make an appointment online or over the phone. Make your test appointment online here: https://myhealth.alberta.ca/Journey/COVID-19/Pages/COVID-Self-Assessment.aspx or call Healthlink at 811. He recommends 811 for anyone who wants more information about the virus in our community.
Tests are conducted without anyone needing to exit their cars, by staff in masks, gowns, and face shields. Medical staff will ask to see your ID and Alberta Health Card. Please don’t eat, drink, or brush your teeth for an hour before your appointment. Kind and understanding medical staff will swab your throat as quickly as possible and you will get results just days later by phone. If your test is negative, you’ll get an automated phone call and not even have to speak to a person.
Getting tested for COVID-19 is a great idea, especially if the pandemic is increasing your anxiety. Hardman reminds us that the virus will likely be here for quite a while and that we will need to stay vigilant. Stettler residents should continue wearing masks, social distancing, and sanitizing, even when the cases are trending down. Hardman cautions that with more people entering the county, cases may go up in the future, so our collective health depends on taking personal responsibility for staying safe.
What this all means is that we’re doing an excellent job in Stettler of protecting ourselves and each other, but we can’t stop now. With school preparing to start and businesses opening back up, Hardman wants us all to keep up the good work and keep Stettler as safe as we can.
It’s all in our clean, sanitized hands.
Alix Adair, Reporter