COVID-19 Information for Residents
Last Update: March 27, 2020 4:00 PM
This page will be updated routinely following communications. Our primary messaging channel is CivicSend; subscribe to News And Announcements by clicking here to receive updates directly in your inbox.
The Town of Hinton is acting in the interest of public safety, proactively responding to an evolving worldwide scenario involving COVID-19. Community health and safety is our priority. We are taking immediate steps to help reduce the risk to our residents, visitors and employees.
Further updates will be provided via web and Facebook, with the next planned CivicSend scheduled for Monday, March 30, 2020.
The nature of services offered in some Town facilities result in an inability to enforce recommended social distancing practices. Additionally, there are limited staffing numbers, making service maintenance challenging if illness were to spread. An update will be provided prior to Monday, March 30, 2020.
Critical and Essential Services Continuing
At this time, the Town of Hinton has no impacts to core services based on COVID-19 response; while our buildings may be closed, many staff members continue to work in alternate capacities. This means garbage, water, roads, emergency and protective services are all continuing. Please continue to place waste containers for pick up in line with your scheduled collection date, and call 780-865-2634 for Infrastructure Services and Parks questions or requests.
Closures Extended Until Further Notice
March 27, 2020
The Town of Hinton has determined that the closure of all Town of Hinton Facilities to the Public, announced on March 13, 2020 and expanded in the time since, will remain in effect until further notice.
The Town of Hinton is acting in the interest of public safety, proactively responding to an evolving worldwide scenario involving COVID-19. Community health and safety is our priority. We continue to take further steps to help reduce the risk to our residents, visitors and employees.
- Infrastructure Services Building (330 Fleming Drive)
- Government Centre Building (131 Civic Centre Rd)
- Emergency Services Building (Fire Hall/Bylaw) (184 Eaton Road)
- The RCMP Office (111 Civic Centre Road) will be closed to the public. Members of the public may call 780-865-5544 to speak with the detachment.
- Always call 911 in an emergency.
- Recreation Centre (805 Switzer Drive)
- This closure includes the Hinton Municipal Library, Pool facility, Parent Link, Youth Centre and Hinton Children’s Learning Centre.
- Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) department (out of the West Fraser Guild) (821 Switzer Drive), including Hinton Kids for Success, with the following exceptions:
- Freedom Express Services are continuing, limited to critical services with increased safety measures;
- Home Support Services will continue with increased safety measures;
- Public Transit will continue with increased safety measures
All Community Playgrounds / Structures Closed
Until further notice, all community playgrounds / structures are closed. This action closes all of the playgrounds and structures - not the parks themselves. Individuals using parks as asked to continue to use physical distancing to inhibit potential spread.
Town Programming/Registrations Postponed
All Town Recreation, FCSS, and other programming registration is postponed until further notice. We appreciate residents’ understanding as we work through this evolving scenario.
Bookings and Rentals
With the reopening dates of our facilities undetermined at this time, the Town of Hinton is prepared to accept bookings and rentals, dependant on reopening dates. However, the Town will not be accepting deposits or providing firm confirmation on bookings until opening dates are determined and announced.
The Town of Hinton Emergency Operations Centre is committed to issuing a communication every operational period. These updates are circulated first via News and Announcements Civicsend (click here to subscribe), shared to our facebook page (like us here), and then updated on our COVID-19 web page (available here).
Our messages will continue to state next scheduled update dates. The next scheduled update is Monday, March 30, 2020.
Other Town Owned Facilities:
The Chamber of Commerce will be closed to the public starting tomorrow, March 17, 2020. Chamber Staff continue to work and be reachable by members of the community. To contact the Chamber of Commerce, click here.
The Hinton Share Shop has announced they are closed until further notice. They ask residents to refrain from donations as space is limited. Find their Facebook group here.
The Performing Arts Theatre of Hinton (or PATH, located in the West Fraser Guild), have now received confirmation that Hinton Movies has suspended showing of movies until further notice. All other live events have already been cancelled for March and April. The facility is now closed.
This cancellation includes the annual Yellowhead Regional Arts Festival. YRAF has issued the following comment:
"We hope that during these times of great difficulties, you find comfort through your artistic endeavours, and know that your community is here for you." - read more here.
Other Services Located at Government Centre
In a previous update, we announced the decision to close the Town of Hinton Government Centre.
1st floor tenants, organizations that are a part of AHS, are asking that clients come through the lower doors using the outside ramp. Children’s Services is considered an essential service.
3rd floor tenants, Government of Alberta staff including Environment and Parks, are closed until further notice.
In addition, the Town is asking that any individuals who have recently traveled out of the country refrain from coming to Government Centre.
Health Inspectors and Law Enforcement to Enforce Public Health Act
Government of Alberta Communications and Public Engagement have shared an update regarding enforcement of self isolation rules:
Albertans have an obligation to protect themselves, their families, and others by doing what they can – including following self-isolation rules.
After receiving a complaint, health inspectors will be looking for voluntary compliance.
If that does not occur they can contact law enforcement to enforce the Public Health Act.
Health inspectors can also engage other regulatory bodies, such as Service Alberta, which could result in other regulatory and enforcement actions.
Use Town of Hinton Online Directories to find Contact Information for Resources or Businesses
With many agencies, programs, and businesses using altered hours or contact methods, it can be difficult to get in touch with the people you need. The Town of Hinton website hosts both a Resource Directory and a Business Directory - use the hyperlinks to find what you need, from home.
Alberta Government Announces Student Learning Plans
The Government of Alberta has launched a website for student learning on their COVID-19 web page. They state:
Alberta students should continue to learn while in-school classes are cancelled.
School authorities will offer at-home learning opportunities for all Kindergarten to Grade 12 students online or through accommodations like course packages and telephone check-ins. Teachers will determine what content to cover based on remaining curricular outcomes and plan tasks that are reasonable to do from home. Read more here
Community Futures West Yellowhead
Community Futures West Yellowhead asks that local businesses wanting to learn more about the supports being announced, and possibly still to come, from the Provincial and Federal Government please contact them via email by clicking here. Learn more about some of the supports here. In addition to the business supports, Community Futures West Yellowhead asks that local businesses and self employed individuals wanting to learn more employment insurance, records of employment, and other self employed matters to contact them via email by clicking here or call (780) 865-1224.
AHS Reports Phone Scam
AHS has reported they are receiving reports of a phone scam in which residents are told they have tested positive for COVID-19. The caller then asks for credit card information. AHS reminds that they will never call & ask for credit card information. Please hang up immediately and report by calling the non-emergency line for local law enforcement (780-865-5544 in Hinton).
Enhanced Security Measures in Place for Closed Facilities
The Town of Hinton has taken expanded security related actions in relation to facility closures and reduced hours. All cash monies, including the ATM, have been removed and returned to a secure location. All Town Facilities are practicing No Cash on Site parameters.
Library Service Hours
Staff at the Hinton Municipal Library are working to ensure that residents still have access to library services and information. Alike many Town Staff continuing to work in reduced capacities and remaining available for phone and email, Library Staff are available via Social Media, email, and phone between 9:30am and 1:30pm on weekdays.
Hinton Voice Moving to Online Distribution
The Town of Hinton, through a winning Request for Proposal submission, selected the Hinton Voice as our primary advertiser for Town items. The Hinton Voice’s move to online distribution during the COVID-19 outbreak means residents will need to find Town materials in a new way. The Hinton Voice is allowing free online subscribers via their website here. The Towns ad presence is also available on the Town website, available here.
24/7 Mental Health Referrals and Support Available
The Town of Hinton FCSS wishes to remind all residents that they can call 211 at any time to speak with a live person who can assist in finding a wide array of social supports and referrals, or if a person is feeling stressed or anxious. This free resource is available 24/7 by call or text, with web chat also available by clicking here.
During this time, the Town of Hinton is engaged on expanding our Corporate Services online payment taking ability; find online forms for Business Licenses and Animal Licenses at the links provided. Further services are being evaluated and investigated at this time.
For recreation user groups, alternative arrangements for invoicing will be shared in the coming week.
Any scheduled meetings with the Town of Hinton involving members of the public from outside the community are hereby cancelled. Any meetings with Town of Hinton employees are encouraged to move to online or email based communications. Where meetings are necessary, meetings will occur in the public sides (i.e. Committee Room, Council Chambers, Mayor Office, or Interview Room) of the building.
Hinton Town Council meetings will, at this time, continue in the interest of continued operations. However, the capacity for public viewing or speaking will be substantially reduced to 25 members of the public - limiting to the room capacity to below 75 individual attendees. Expanded sanitizing and cleaning procedures will be in place, and numbers will be enforced by Hinton Peace Officers.
Most Town of Hinton staff are continuing to work in differing capacities during this time. Individuals with new business to discuss are continued to call or email wherever possible to communicate, and new essential meetings with members of the community are currently being permitted. These meetings will take in the public sides (i.e. Committee Room, Council Chambers, Mayor Office, or Interview Room) of the building.
At this time, new business relating to the Cemetery is encouraged to be handled via your funeral director through to the Town of Hinton, as drop in meetings are not being accepted from the general public at the Government Centre. Should you wish to meet with Cemetery staff, please call 780-865-6016 to schedule a meeting.
Level One Activation Of Emergency Operations Centre
As a precaution, the Town of Hinton is implementing a low-level level one activation of the Emergency Operations Centre. This will include Director of Emergency Management, Public Information Officer, Liaison Officer, Risk Management Officer, and Finance Section Chief. The EOC operation period at this time will be limited to standard office hours, i.e weekdays from 8am-4pm.
Further updates will be provided as they become available.
To help protect you and your family against all respiratory illnesses, including flu and COVID-19, you should:
- Wash your hands often and well
- Avoid touching your face, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched
- Stay at home and away from others if you are feeling ill
- Contact your primary health provider or Health Link 811 if you have questions or concerns about your health
- When sick, cover your cough and sneezes and then wash your hands
Wearing Medical Masks
Masks can be very important in certain situations. When sick, wearing a mask helps prevent us from passing illnesses on to other people. This is why we ask people who have a cough or respiratory symptoms to wear a mask and wash their hands when visiting an emergency department or clinic.
- If you are sick, wearing a mask helps prevent passing the illness on to other people.
- If you are healthy, medical masks are not recommended as they don’t provide full protection and can create a false sense of security.
- See appropriate infection prevention and control precautions for health-care settings
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The Town of Hinton has determined that the closure of all Town of Hinton Facilities to the Public, announced on March 13, 2020 and expanded in the time since, will remain in effect until further notice. Read on...
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