Rocky View County is asking residents to take proper precautions against the potential threat of COVID-19, while at the same time keeping the threat of the virus in perspective.

“Rocky View County’s Emergency Management team is in close contact with Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health to monitor the situation. For now, it’s important to remember that the risk remains low,” says County Reeve Greg Boehlke.

The County is encouraging residents to take standard precautions to protect themselves from the risk of COVID-19 and is placing special emphasis on the need for those who have been potentially exposed to self-isolate.

“Every case of the virus so far has been related to travel in some way. While the risk remains low, our first line of defense should be to ensure self-isolation for those people who have travelled internationally, been close to those who have travelled, or otherwise had a higher risk of exposure,” says Boehlke. “It’s far better to isolate those people from the population than to try and shut down the economy and isolate the entire population from these very few.”

Rocky View County's Director of Emergency Management, Randy Smith, is urging residents to practice healthy habits to avoid being exposed to COVID-19. Most important is thorough and regular handwashing with soap and water, and avoiding touching the face. People should cover their mouth and nose while sneezing, sanitize frequently used surfaces, and ensure they are rested and eating well.

“You also might want to practice what’s being called social distancing,” Smith says. “Wherever you can, keep a few feet away from others.”

Anyone who is experiencing potential signs of COVID-19 should self-isolate and seek information from a medical source such as calling Alberta Health Link at 811. Signs include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties. Those most at risk of having a serious reaction to the virus are those with a pre-existing health condition, the elderly, and people with multiple body stressors, such as smoking, heavy alcohol use, and poor sleep or nutrition.

For its part, the County has plans in place to maintain essential County services should the situation with COVID-19 worsen.

“The health, safety, and well-being of our employees, and our efforts to maintain important County services for the public, are our top priorities,” says Al Hoggan, Rocky View's Chief Administration Officer. “Our staff are working closely together to ensure that we stay on top of the situation, and that core services such as fire, enforcement, and road safety will continue to function should the risk from the virus increase.”

Rocky View County's plans for COVID-19, as well as links to important government and public health websites can be found HERE..