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Posted on: April 24, 2020

Bow Valley residents urged to stay home and avoid non-essential travel

April 20 2020 downtown

As the warmer weather draws more people outside, the Town of Banff continues to urge Bow Valley residents to stay home and follow preventative measures to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Last Sunday’s checkstop had more than 600 Bow Valley residents travel in and out of the Town of Banff, despite recommendations against non-essential travel.

“We understand that when the weather gets warmer, people want to get outside and head to a favourite trail or go on a road trip. But this is not a typical spring season,” said Silvio Adamo, the Town of Banff’s Director of Emergency Management. “We have been sending a message to people in the Calgary Region that non-essential travel is discouraged and last Sunday we turned away 125 vehicles. Now we must take our own advice and do our part.”

Travel increases the risk of coming in contact with the virus – at gas stations, stores, and other travellers. People in Banff are being urged to avoid risks that could transmit the virus to our community’s most vulnerable. Spring hiking is always has the risk of slips and injury. During the pandemic, people should avoid unnecessary risks that could lead to a hospital visit.

The degree to which everyone follows health protocols in the next two weeks will determine outcomes for the community – the increase in cases, or the speed to get to restrictions being lifted.

“People of Banff are doing a great job in following the health protocols – and we have stopped the spread here – so far. But being negligent now would undo all efforts and further the time to lift restrictions,” said Adamo. “This is a particularly crucial time to avoid gatherings and maintain physical distancing from anyone not from your household.”

The RCMP and Municipal Enforcement are currently monitoring and enforcing restrictions in the Town of Banff. To date, 235 educational warnings and two violation tickets have been issued.

Bow Valley residents are reminded to:

  • Avoid gatherings of more than 15 people – this includes outdoor gatherings
  • Avoid non-essential travel – this includes Bow Valley residents visiting neighbouring communities
  • Not use public playgrounds, tennis and basketball courts, and the skateboard park
  • Practice physical distancing and stay two metres/six feet away from others
  • Maintain good hygiene, including frequent handwashing with soap

To report a large gathering:

  • submit online at banff.ca/covid or
  • call 403.762.1218 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. (Municipal Enforcement)
  • call 403.762.2226 after 6 p.m. (RCMP)

All individuals and businesses in Banff should sign up for emergency alerts from the Town of Banff.

Please visit banff.ca/covid for more information.

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