Support Services For Residents

Learn more at thisisourshot.ca

Updated 4 p.m. October 26, 2021

We Are Here to Help

This page has emergency social service resources that are available to Banff, Lake Louise and ID9 residents, including Permanent Residents, Temporary Foreign Workers and Refugees during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Emergency Social Services team is available 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, to help answer questions relating to mental health, employment insurance, meal and grocery services, housing, issues related to immigration, child and youth care information and more.  After hours, you can contact 2-1-1 for resources, information and isolation requests.

Email us at help@banff.ca This e-mail is checked during regular business hours only. We request that you first read through the information below as information you are looking for may already posted. Alternatively, call 403.762.1251 for assistance in normal office hours. 

Current cases of COVID and vaccination rate

For case rates in Banff, current restrictions and COVID info visit Banff.ca/COVID

Vaccination Information

The Alberta Vaccine Program is underway. All eligible Banff residents are encouraged to be fully immunized as soon as possible. 

Everyone 12 years old and older are eligible to be vaccinated now. Book your shot at a local pharmacy, medical clinic or the Banff Community Health Centre through the AHS online booking tool or call 811.

Everyone should get their second dose when they're eligible. A single dose of COVID-19 vaccine offers at least 80% protection against severe outcomes, including hospitalization and death. However, second doses are needed to get the best and most long-lasting protection. 

Immunization from vaccination shots help avoid transmission to those who are vulnerable. 

  • Scientific research has not yet established how long an individual is protected from getting COVID-19 again after recovering from COVID-19.
  • Vaccination helps protect you even if you’ve already had COVID-19.

In Banff, vaccines are available at:


Banff Community Health Centre
To book call 811 or book online with AHS.  

Alpine Medical Clinic
Visit alpinemedical.ca to book an appointment or call 403-762-3155.

Gourlay’s Pharmacy 
Visit Gourlay’s Pharmacy on Bear Street or make an appointment by calling 403-762-2516 or book online at http://www.bookmyshot.com/4037622516 

Rexall Drugmart IDA Pharmacy 
Visit Rexall Drugmart IDA Pharmacy in Cascade Shops or call 403.762.2245.

Banff IGA Pharmacy
Visit the Banff IGA on Elk Street or book online through https://www.pharmacyappointments.ca/ or call 403.762.5370.

When you book:

Please note that booking eligibility is according to your birth year. When booking, have your Banff postal code ready.

People without an Alberta Healthcare Card can also receive a vaccine at specific locations. Notify the agent when booking via 811.

You may also be able to find additional vaccine clinic in pharmacies via www.pharmacyappointments.ca
Visit Pharmacy (pharmacy location virtual map with contact and vaccine information)

Starting Oct. 6, Albertans age 75 and older and First Nations, Inuit and Métis people age 65 and older can begin booking for a third dose at least six months after their second dose. In addition, third doses are available on-site for seniors living in congregate care.

When you go for your vaccination:

  • Please bring one piece of identification with you, which could include your Alberta Health Care card, a drivers license, Social Insurance Number, birth certificate, or passport.
  • Please wear clothing that will easily allow access to your upper arm for receiving the immunization.
  • Be aware that you will be required to sit for 15 minutes in the clinic after you receive your shot.

All 3 vaccines help our bodies learn how to protect us against future infection from the virus that causes COVID-19, but use a different mechanism to get the attention of the immune system. All 3 vaccines are effective in preventing death or serious symptoms from COVID-19. Learn more from Alberta Health.

More information COVID-19 vaccine program from Alberta Health Services

  • All working Albertans can access up to 3 hours of paid leave to get each dose of the COVID-19 vaccine without fear of penalty, loss of pay or reprisal.
  • Employers may provide additional time beyond 3 hours per appointment, if necessary, but are not required to.
  • The leave applies to all full and part-time employees regardless of how long they have been employed.

Employees need to provide notice to their employer as soon as possible and reasonable in the circumstances when they are taking this leave.

Employees do not need to provide a medical note or record of immunization in order to access this job-protected leave or disclose any health information about underlying conditions to their employer.

Assessment and Testing for COVID-19

  1. Take the AHS online self-assessment or call 8-1-1
  2. Book your test:
      1. At the end of your online self-assessment, you will be able to reserve a test at the Banff Community Health Centre. This is available by appointment only:  AHS.ca/Covid or call Healthlink 8-1-1
      2. If you are a current patient at Alpine Medical Clinic, you can book an assessment by calling ahead
      3. ,The Lake Louise Medical Clinic is offering appointments to Bow Valley residents, and can often book within 24 hours.  Testing is available Monday to Friday (not on weekends) – to book, call 403.522.2184
      4. At the end of the online assessment, if you want a test sooner than is available in Banff, you can reserve a test in Cochrane, by appointment.

Anyone over the age of 18 who has the following symptoms are legally required to isolate and should be tested for COVID-19:

  • fever
  • new onset of cough or worsening chronic cough
  • new or worsening shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • sore throat
  • runny nose

If you are tested, further instructions are available at ahs.ca/results based on your test results, including if you test positive.

People with the following symptoms must stay home and are also encouraged to be tested:

  • chills
  • painful swallowing
  • stuffy nose
  • headache
  • muscle or joint ache
  • feeling unwell, fatigue or severe exhaustion
  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or unexplained loss of appetite
  • loss of sense of smell or taste
  • conjunctivitis (pink eye)

Who can receive a COVID test?

Priority testing is available to:

  • any person exhibiting any symptom of COVID-19
  • all close contacts of COVID-19 cases
  • all workers and/or residents at specific outbreak sites

Asymptomatic testing is not available in the Banff area right now.  (See info for travellers for asymptomatic testing.)

Please be aware that all family physician offices in the Bow Valley continue to remain open and available to patients. However, do not visit a hospital, physician’s office, lab or healthcare facility without having conducted the online self-assessment or consulted Health Link by calling 811 first.

Review this document created locally to determine what to do if you think you have been in close contact with a positive COVID case, someone close to you has been notified they have been in close contact with someone with COVID, or if you have been in close contact (PDF).

For more information on testing eligibility, visit: Alberta Health Testing Info

If you test positive, you must notify:

  • all people you have been in close contact with in the two days leading up to when you became sick (or two days before you had a COVID-19 swab taken if you didn’t have any symptoms).
  • All people you have been in close contact with any days since you started experiencing symptoms or after you had a swab taken (if you didn’t have any symptoms)
  • COVID-19 Close Contacts Identification Guide
  • For more information about close contact, please refer to updated AHS information at https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/topics/Page17199.aspx

What is considered close contact?

  • anyone who was within 2 metres of a positive case of COVID-19 for more than 15 minutes, even if a mask was worn during that encounter. And 15 minutes can be cumulative of several times in a day.
  • a close contact is ALSO someone who has had direct contact with bodily fluids of a person who has COVID-19 (e.g., was coughed or sneezed on) 
  • a person who provided direct care for a person who has COVID-19
  • all members of a sports team playing with or against a person who tests positive

For assistance in Banff, such as food or prescription deliveries, help accessing financial aid, if you need to isolate but you live in shared accommodation, or help with stress, contact the Town of Banff Help Team at: help@banff.ca

If you are self-isolating: 

  • stay home - do not attend work, social events or any other public gatherings.
  • avoid close contact with other people, including household members but especially seniors and people with chronic conditions or compromised immune systems.
  • don’t take public transportation like buses, taxis or ridesharing, where possible.
  • watch for symptoms.

 If you are in mandatory self-isolation: 

  • Do not go to school, work, other public areas or community settings.
  • Do not go outside for a walk through your neighbourhood or park. This includes children in mandatory self-isolation.
  • You can get fresh air in your backyard, if you have one, but must remain on private property not accessible by others.
  • If you live in an apartment building or high-rise, you must stay inside and cannot use the elevators or stairwells to go outside. If your balcony is private and at least 2 metres away from your closest neighbour’s, you may go outside on the balcony.

For translated COVID-19 information visit www.bvipartnership.com.

Resources:

 People who are at high risk for severe illness from COVID-19

Please also see the links below for referral information for local, provincial and federal resources that may be of assistance.   

For Town updates on the COVID-19 pandemic please visit banff.ca/COVID. For health-related information (i.e., if you think you may be experiencing symptoms) visit Alberta.ca/COVID.


Essential Services 

In Case of Medical Emergency
If you experience or see someone experiencing severe symptoms of COVID-19, including difficulty breathing, severe chest pain, feelings of confusion or loss of consciousness, call 911 immediately and inform the operator that there may be a risk of COVID-19 transmission.

Information and resources from all levels of government – federal, provincial and municipal – to a help assist with basic needs for individuals and families:

Police

For non-emergency contact with the Banff police service, such as international assistance to find foreign nationals in the town of Banff, please email banff.police@rcmp-grc.gc.ca or call +1 403-763-6600.  

Complaints

If there are situations or gatherings happening where physical distancing is not being enforced – such as in a business, in a house or at a park – people can contact Alberta Health Services or the Town of Banff using these online complaint forms:

For an immediate response, the Town of Banff accepts calls at 403.762.1218 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. After hours, please call the RCMP at 403.762.2226. For emergencies, call 9-1-1. 

For community health complaints, submit to Alberta Health Services Complaint Form.

Complaints about people not working from home (when it is possible) can be forwarded to OHS: File an OHS complaint | Alberta.ca

Transfer Site
The operations yard Transfer Site is open 7 days a week from 7:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.
https://banff.ca/556/How-Do-I-Get-Rid-of 

Federal Financial Supports

For information about COVID-19 federal financial support programs visit, https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/covid19-emergency-benefits.html

Employment Standards Information

For information on laws for minimum wage, overtime, holidays, job-protected leaves, vacations, hours of work, earnings, youth workers and termination visit: https://www.alberta.ca/alberta-employment-standards-rules.aspx 

To report a concern about an employer or business not following public health orders please visit: https://ephisahs.microsoftcrmportals.com/create-case/

Alberta Support

Support for Individuals and Families
To pay for basic expenses like food, clothing and shelter:
https://www.alberta.ca/income-support.aspx

Job Loss Resources
Employment services, job loss support and job training: https://www.alberta.ca/employment-support.aspx

Job Resource Centre
The Job Resource Centre in Banff is now open remotely. 403-760-3311.

Workers Compensation Board (WCB) Alberta
Most instances of COVID-19 are not work-related and do not need to be reported to WCB Alberta. However, there are a few exceptions. https://www.wcb.ab.ca/assets/pdfs/workers/WFS_COVID-19.pdf 

Municipal Support 

Food Resources

If you have urgent food needs and are unable to access or purchase food, please email help@banff.ca or call 403.762.1251

Free:

  • Banff Food Rescue - a volunteer driven organization helping with food rescue and food security. Free and by donation. www.banffcollective.com/food-rescue and www.facebook.com/banfffoodrescue
  • Banff Park Church Lunch to Go (closed – reopening September)- 12-1 p.m. 455 Cougar Street. 
  • Banff Food Bank - The Food Bank provides food to individuals in need once per month, up to 6 times per year. Located at 455 Cougar Street, the back door of the Banff Park Church. ID and registration is required, and families must book an appointment by calling 403.762.1060. Open Tuesdays 12 – 1 p.m. Closed July & August.

Low Cost:

  • Bow Valley Good Food Box - a monthly box of fresh produce at an affordable price www.bowvalleygoodfoodbox.com
  • St. George’s In the Pines Church Banff Food and Friends (closed until September). Every Monday evening 5-7 p.m.. By donation
  • Nesters Market – call 403-762-3663 for same day delivery.
  • Spud.ca offers a full selection of groceries. Orders must be made by 8 p.m. on Wednesday for Thursday delivery. Visit www.spud.ca for more information. 
  • OrganicBox.ca offers a full selection of organic produce and delivers weekly to Banff. For more information visit www.organicbox.ca
  • Daily Needs Grocery delivers Wednesdays and Fridays and to Lake Louise on Saturdays.  Visit www.dailyneedsgrocery.ca to place an order or call 403.688.3838.

Shelter / Housing

Tenants

Protections are in place for residential and mobile homes site tenants facing financial hardship due to COVID-19:

Alberta Works
Alberta Works can provide financial support and emergency accommodation to Citizens of Canada and Permanent Residents of Canada.

Alberta Works Canmore Office: 403-678-2363, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Alberta Works Emergency Income Support: 1-866-644-5135 after 4:30 p.m.

https://www.alberta.ca/income-support.aspx

Banff YWCA

Supportive Housing Program
The Supportive Housing Program has been expanded by repurposing all Hotel inventory to support short- and long-term housing needs of residents and employers.
Emergency Shelter spaces are available for individuals and families experiencing domestic or sexual violence.

YWCA housing: 403.760.3200 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. support@ywcabanff.ca

This service is available for foreign workers, Permanent Residents of Canada, and Canadian citizens.

Bow Valley Home Finder Facebook Page
Local rental housing offered & requested
www.facebook.com/groups/bowvalleyhomefinder

There is currently no government direction on reduced rental payments. Talk directly with your landlord about your personal situation. See the section in the Residential Tenancies Act on rental payments: https://open.alberta.ca/dataset/a2767396-099f-43d0-932e-1ec75bf458f3/resource/15cc7bf1-89c6-4baf-9393-ce82d28f3850/download/rta-handbook-bw.pdf

Mental Health

At some point in our lives we all have stressful times. We can be impacted by such things as financial pressures, unexpected difficulties, unemployment, or stressful situations such as the current outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Remember, if you are struggling you are not alone. There are supports in place to help you.

If you need to talk, free and confidential support is available for Banff and Lake Louise residents. You can also find information in Tagalog, Japanese, Spanish, Oromo, Amharic, and Tigrinya. http://www.bllha.ca/support/

Counselling

Alberta Health Services Urgent 2-9 p.m. at Banff Mineral Springs Hospital

Alberta Health Services Non-Urgent at1-844-943-1500

Kids Help Phone: Confidential phone / text / live chat support for youth (ages 10-18) https://kidshelpphone.ca/ Call 1.800.668.6868 or Text CONNECT to 686868

24/7 support from a registered nurse
Information about mental health supports, crisis intervention, referrals.
Mental Health Helpline 24/7: 1-877-303-2642

YWCA 
Counselling via phone or online for YWCA residents and to victims of domestic or sexual violence.
https://ywcabanff.ca/
Seven days a week, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.: 403.760.3200
Email: support@ywcabanff.ca

Addiction Helpline
Alberta’s Addiction Helpline is available 24-7 toll-free and offers confidential support for alcohol, tobacco, other drugs and problem gambling: 1-866-332-2322

AlbertaQuits Helpline
The AlbertaQuits helpline is FREE for all residents of Alberta, open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days per week. Call toll-free at 1-866-710-7848 to receive confidential, non-judgmental support from trained Quit Counsellors. They will help you deal with cravings and help you stay motivated. Translation services provided.

Alberta 211
Focused on building a comprehensive Information and Referral system accessible to all Albertans. https://www.ab.211.ca

Immigration Support 

Information for Foreign Workers, Permanent Residents of Canada, and Refugees
 
 
People from all over the world are an important part of our community. Help is available for Foreign Workers, Permanent Residents of Canada, and Refugees.

Click here for news and updates for foreign workers and immigrants and information about COVID-19 in other languages: www.bvipartnership.com

Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program
The AINP is an economic immigration program that nominates people for permanent residence in Alberta. Program nominees must meet the following federal checks to be eligible for permanent residence in Canada:

  • medical
  • criminal
  • security

The AINP continues to accept and process applications, with temporary adjustments to some application and assessment processes. The program is working with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) on the impact of COVID-19 on the permanent residence process. Please visit https://www.alberta.ca/ainp.aspx to learn more.

Senior Supports

The Town of Banff has a Senior Support Coordinator available for questions or concerns due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please email sue.smythe@banff.ca or call Sue at 403.762.1253 if you or a senior you know requires extra support during these times.

Seniors Resources:

COVID 19 Safety Information for Seniors (PDF)

Transportation & Delivery

The Town offers the following transportation and delivery services. Call 403.792.1251 to coordinate. 

  • Shopping bus runs Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9-1 p.m.
  • Monday bus runs for banking. 
  • Mail and shopping pick-up and delivery services. 
  • Free taxi passes are available for medical appointment purposes. 

Other services include:

  • Meals on Wheels meal service - Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Cost is $7.50. Call Alberta Health Services to get a referral at 403.762.2990.
  • Gourlay’s, IGA and Rexall have a taxi pass to deliver prescriptions.
  • Nester’s is offering free delivery service for groceries. Call 403.762.3663.
  • Home Care health care providers delivering services in your home. Call 403.762.2990 for more information.

Children, Youth and Families


The Town of Banff has many children, youth and family support services available to Banff residents.  For more information call 403.762.1251. The Town also offers many low-cost and no cost programs for children, youth and families. For more information visit www.Banff.ca/kids and www.banff.ca/families.   For up to date information about Banff local school visit www.crps.ca

Other Services:

Kids Help Phone: Confidential phone/text support and articles to support children/youth: 1.800.668.6868 or kidshelpphone.ca

Government of Canada COVID-19 resources for parents and children: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19/resources-parents-children.html 

Alberta Health Services resources for coping at home: https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/assets/info/ppih/if-ppih-covid-19-coping-at-home-for-families.pdf  & https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/assets/info/amh/if-amh-mhpip-disaster-pandemic-coping-for-children-families.pdf 

Provincial Education Helpline

Recognizing that many families have questions about at-home learning, a provincial education helpline is available to parents. The intent is to provide advice to families, particularly to parents of children with disabilities, who have questions about their child’s educational program now that the traditional delivery process has changed.

Parents can reach the helpline by calling 780-422-6548 (toll-free by dialing 310-0000, followed by the 10-digit phone number) or by emailing studentsupport@gov.ab.ca.

Recreation

For the most up to date information about recreation please visit Banff.ca/active

SPIRITUAL SUPPORT

St George-in-the-Pines
Sunday Mass online
https://www.stgeorgesinthepines.com/

St. Mary’s Church                        
Online Services. Now open
www.stmarysparishbanff.ca/

Banff Park Church
Now open
Call 403-762-3225 or email pastorgreg.bpc@gmail.com

Volunteer Opportunities, Donations and Recognition Programs

Alberta Cares Connector

While physical distancing and gathering restrictions are in place, there is still a need for healthy volunteers to help those in need with countless opportunities to do so. The Alberta Cares Connector embraces the Alberta spirit of supporting the vulnerable by offering assistance, skills and time to those who need it most.

Volunteer opportunities include:

  • Volunteering at food banks.
  • Sewing masks or scrub bags for front-line health-care workers.
  • Providing meals for essential service workers, like truckers.
  • Picking up groceries for those unable to leave their homes.
  • Packing and delivering essential needs for vulnerable Albertans.
  • Donating blood through myaccount.blood.ca.
  • Donating items to shelters in need.
  • Reaching out to seniors through positive messages or phone calls.

Volunteers and volunteer organizations must follow all necessary precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to protect themselves and those they help. More information on safety and physical distancing guidelines can be found at alberta.ca/COVID19.

Volunteer Opportunities for Health Care Workers

If you are an Alberta Health Services professional able to volunteer in the fight against COVID-19, please email careers@ahs.ca. If you are an external physician, please contact cmo@ahs.ca.

Donate Health Equipment and Services

To donate health equipment or services, contact ahscovidoffer@ahs.ca.

Northern Lights Volunteer Recognition Program

The Alberta Northern Lights Volunteer Awards honour everyday heroes as the province responds to the COVID-19 pandemic. The honourees are nominated by fellow Albertans and selected for profiling on the program’s website and social media.

There are no requirements for hours of service, and any individual or group who helps out in their community is eligible for an award. The nomination submission requests a brief story about the nominee’s contribution. Nominations will be accepted online on an ongoing basis.

Make a Financial Donation

Financial donations can be made to the Banff Mineral Springs Hospital via www.covenantfoundation.ca/donate-online and to Alberta Health Services at FoundationRelations@albertahealthservices.ca.