Sturgeon County - COVID 19
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Coronavirus (COVID 19)Coronavirus (COVID 19)

Mayor's Message regarding response to COVID-19
(July 15, 2020)

Covid 19

For the most up-to-date COVID-19 information please visit Alberta Health Services.

What is the coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some cause respiratory illness in people, ranging from mild common colds to severe illnesses. Others cause illness in animals. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people, and more rarely, these can then spread from person to person through close contact. Novel coronaviruses are new strains of the virus that have not been previously identified in humans.

Symptoms of COVID-19 are like those for influenza or other respiratory illnesses. They range from mild to severe and include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing

The majority of cases have reported mild symptoms. Older adults and people with medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and lung disease are more likely to become seriously ill.

Facilities/Infrastructure

Sturgeon County prepares for its re-opening strategy

Sturgeon County, Alberta – The Government of Alberta announced its provincial Stage 2 relaunch as of June 12, 2020. Sturgeon County will continue to take direction from Alberta Health Services to prevent the spread of COVID-19 cases and we will also monitor the number of positive cases of COVID-19 in the region.

“Sturgeon County will be implementing a carefully planned and staged approach to re-opening municipal facilities to the public,” states Mayor Alanna Hnatiw. “And residents can expect the delivery of services to look different.” Changes will include enhanced infection control measures – including physical distancing requirements, practicing good hygiene, monitoring for symptoms and making changes related to COVID-19 conditions accordingly. Necessary facility modifications are underway and targeted re-opening dates may be subject to change at the discretion of the County.

Updated July 6, 2020

Re-Opening Stage 1: July 2, 2020

  • Council Chambers to re-open for a quorum of Council by June 30.
  • Sturgeon County front counter services to re-open for business on July 2, 2020 as follows:
  • Sturgeon County Centre – all services including tax payments, except for Development Support Services, opening with Stage 2.
  • Agriculture Service Trailer
  • Family & Community Support Services
  • Protective Services
  • Sturgeon South
  • Assessment Services (July 15th at Sturgeon County Centre)
  • Family & Community Support Services continues to offer virtual and telephone services for residents seeking supports. Call (780) 939-8334 for more information.
  • Sports fields and diamonds for casual use and bookings for organized sports are open (following all Alberta Health Services guidelines).

Re-Opening Stage 2: Aug. 4, 2020

  • Council Chambers to re-open with appropriate social distancing requirements
  • Development Support Services counter at Sturgeon County Centre

Re-Opening Stage 3: To-Be-Determined

  • Occupancy limit in Council Chambers and common areas will increase following the advice of the Government of Alberta.
  • In person meetings or collaboration no longer discouraged provided health regulations are being followed.

For a listing of recreation facility/amenity re-opening timelines, visit sturgeoncounty.ca/COVID19. Sturgeon County continues to encourage phone and online contact with Sturgeon County staff, including online bill payments, where possible. Please call 780-939-4321 before coming to Sturgeon County offices.

As a reminder, Sturgeon County tax payments are due on June 30th; however, penalty fees are waived until the end of August 2020. If you are not able to pay your taxes by June 30th, please register for an extension at www.sturgeoncounty.ca/COVID19/Tax-Payment to waive the tax penalty fees.

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July 10, 2020 – Garage and Yard Sales in Sturgeon County

Residents who wish to host or attend a garage or yard sale are encouraged to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19 by following the health and safety precautions required by Alberta Health Services. While the Province has relaxed restrictions with stage 2 of its relaunch, garage sales have the potential to violate mandatory physical distancing and sanitizing requirements. 

For your safety, and the safety of others, some recommendations for garage/yard sales are: 

  • Implement practices to minimize the risk of transmission of infection among attendees, like providing hand sanitizer. 
  • A maximum of 100 individuals at an outdoor gathering, and 50 individuals at an indoor gathering are permitted with 2 metres of distance maintained between members of different households
  • If you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, do NOT host or attend a garage sale. 

As much as possible, Sturgeon County residents are encouraged to comply with the COVID-19 General Relaunch Guidance and any other applicable Alberta Health guidance found at: https://www.alberta.ca/biz-connect.aspx 

For more information about Sturgeon County’s COVID-19 response, visit https://www.sturgeoncounty.ca/COVID19 


May 14, 2020 - Risk of Water Stagnation in Sturgeon Industrial Park and ProNorth Industrial Park

During the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses have been affected by low or zero occupancy and reduced water flow through the building. Under these conditions, water may stagnate, disinfection residuals decline and water temperatures change, creating environments which may support microbial and chemical risks in water systems. In Sturgeon County, Sturgeon Industrial Park and Pro North Industrial Park are most at risk. To reduce those risks and prepare for building re-entry, Alberta Health Services recommends water systems be flushed for 15-30 minutes prior to reopening.

Read the “GUIDANCE FOR FLUSHING WATER SYSTEMS” for more information. 


April 29, 2020 – Community Garage and Yard Sales are Not Permitted

Sturgeon County is reminding its residents that community garage and yard sales are not permitted until provincial public health orders are relaxed or cancelled due to COVID19. Please refer to the public notice for more information. 


April 20, 2020 – Redwater Sandhills Natural Area under Provincial OHV Ban

Update: The Alberta government lifted OHV Ban late Friday, April 17. This included Redwater Sandhills Natural Area, as for fires this area it remains “No Open Fires” permitted. There are no other fire bans or otherwise within Sturgeon County.

Bylaw 1476-20 Burning Bylaw


Cancelled: April 16, 2020 – Redwater Sandhills Natural Area under Provincial OHV Ban

On Tuesday, April 14, the Alberta government issued a fire ban for Alberta’s Forest Protection Area, provincial parks and protected areas and banned recreational off-highway vehicles (OHV) on Crown land in the Forest Protection Area.

Alberta Fire bans.ca/ or Alberta Parks.ca/redwater-pra/

In Sturgeon County, this ban applies to the use of OHV in the Redwater Sandhills Natural Area. This area is currently signed prohibiting open fires year-round and will have OHV Ban signage posted by Provincial authorities.

Residents are encouraged to continue responsible burning practices. Conditions throughout the County relating to fire hazards are being monitored and if required, restrictions or bans will be implemented and communicated at sturgeoncounty.ca on social media. Fire permits are available online at sturgeonservices.ca


April 3, 2020 – Alexander First Nation Road Closure

In keeping with a number of public measures to protect communities from COVID-19, Alexander First Nation (AFN) has temporarily limited access to their Nation. 

  • Sturgeon County residents should note that road closures and checkpoints may impact their normal travel patterns.
  • These changes are part of the State of Emergency declaration issued by AFN Council earlier this week in order to limit the pandemic risk to Nation residents.
  •  At this time, no outside visitors are permitted to enter the Nation.
  •  Access to affected roads is being monitored and all travellers will be detoured unless they are AFN residents. 
  • While we recognize that these temporary changes may be inconvenient for some, the continued health and well-being of all of our Sturgeon County residents is the utmost priority.
  • Sturgeon County appreciates your patience and compliance with these temporary new travel conditions within our region and will provide further updates on any changes.

 

FCSS Grant

Effective April 21, 2020

The Government of Alberta will be temporarily suspending applications for the $30 million in emergency social services funding to charities, not-for-profits and civil society organizations to support their COVID-19 response. Government has received over 600 applications. Current applications are being reviewed, and approvals for urgent requests will occur before reopening intake of applications.

The Alberta Government is providing $30 million to municipalities, charitable and non-profit organizations to provide help to individuals, seniors, families and other vulnerable Albertans who are isolated or impacted by measures to contain COVID- 19.Through grants from their local Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) in Edmonton and Calgary, and from Family and Community Support Services Association of Alberta (FCSSAA) representing the remainder of the province, funding will be distributed to civil society organizations.

Click here to see the Social Services Support for COVID-19 Funding Criteria.

 


COVID19 Pandemic Volunteer CoordinationCOVID19 Pandemic Volunteer Coordination

During this time of uncertainty, Sturgeon County’s Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) have received a number of offers from community members expressing a desire to volunteer their time and/or resources to support our vulnerable residents who may need help during this time.

To ensure the health and safety of our community, FCSS is offering to assist with facilitating and connecting those who want to volunteer or would like to receive volunteer support to help with essential living tasks they are not able to currently do.

Accordingly, we have created the following two submission forms. Upon your submission, FCSS will endeavour to contact you within 48hrs to confirm receipt of your submission form and/or to match a volunteer with your need.

Volunteer Support



For more information, please contact:

Amy Morin
Community Outreach
: 780-939-8331
: amorin@sturgeoncounty.ca

 

The personal information provided will be used to process your application for assistance and is collected under the authority of Section 33(c) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. If you have any questions about the collection and use of this information, please contact the Sturgeon County Access and Privacy Officer at 9613 - 100 Street, Morinville, Alberta, T8R 1L9 (780) 939.4321 or foip@sturgeoncounty.ca


Tax and Utilities

April 30, 2020 - On April 28, 2020 Sturgeon County formally passed its 2020 Tax Rate Bylaw. Recognizing the ongoing challenges presented by COVID-19, the County has decided to forgo earlier plans to increase tax rates by 1.18%. The decision to keep rates steady with a 0% increase balances the need to support local ratepayers while focusing on key capital and operating initiatives to support the local economy.

Additionally, for those experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic and to reduce the economic impact on residents and business owners, Sturgeon County is eliminating late payment charges for property taxes for July and August in 2020 for those who register with the County as having been financially impacted by COVID-19. Read the full statement here.

We encourage taxpayers who are able to continue paying their tax and utility bills on time to do so.
Residents planning to use our 2020 tax payment extension deadline to August 31, 2020 may register their intentions using the online form below.

2020 Tax Payment Extension Registration 


April 1, 2020 - Sturgeon County Council and Administration recognize the financial hardship many residents are currently facing with the unprecedented landscape due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. On March 31, 2020, Council voted to waive penalties for residential utility bills and extend the deadline to pay taxes without penalty to reduce economic impact of COVID-19 on residents.

Bylaw 1499-20 Cancellation of Residential Utility Penalties for COVID-19

Bylaw 1498-20 - 2020 Tax Penalty Bylaw Amendment for COVID-19

We have put together a list of FAQs below. If you have a question that is not covered in the below FAQ, please email us with your question. We will endeavour to either post your Q&A below and/or reach out to you directly if it is a unique question, within 48hrs.
 

Resident inquiries can be directed to the following:


Tax & Utilities FAQs


Any penalties from late payment on unpaid residential municipal water and wastewater accounts from March 31 to June 30 will be waived.


No. We strongly encourage residents who are able to pay their utility bills on time to continue doing so as residents are still required to pay for their usage.


No. During this period between March 31 to June 30, Sturgeon County will not disconnect your services due to unpaid bills during this time.


We understand the financial hardship residents may be currently facing due to COVID-19. As we all navigate the following months of uncertainty, if residents do find themselves falling further behind in paying their utility bills, we ask that you contact our Financial Services Department via email at utilitybilling@sturgeoncounty.ca or by phone 780-939-4321 (or toll free at 1-866-939-9303.


Yes. If you need to change your payment method, please email our Financial Services Department via email at utilitybilling@sturgeoncounty.ca or by phone 780-939-4321 (or toll free at 1-866-939-9303.


Utility account payments can be paid by the mail drop-off box located in front of the County Centre, by mail, telephone/internet banking, Preauthorized Payment Plan, or at most Canadian Financial Institutions.


On March 31, 2020, Council passed a motion to extend the deadline for municipal taxpayers for 2020 taxes from the last business day in June to August 31 without penalty. This is effectively, a two-month deadline extension.


Yes, this deadline extension applies to residential and business tax holders.


No. We strongly encourage taxpayers who are able to pay their 2020 taxes upon receiving their Assessment and Tax Notice to do so.


All regular tax penalties will apply which include 6% penalty on September 1 and October 1 on current levy and a 12% penalty on arrears March 1, 2021. As we progress through the next few months and as August 31 approaches, if you do feel you will be unable to meet this deadline extension, we encourage you to contact our Financial Services Department in advance via email at taxation@sturgeoncounty.ca or by phone 780-939-4321 (or toll free at 1-866-939-9303).


Yes. If you need to change your payment method, please email our Financial Services Department at taxation@sturgeoncounty.ca or phone 780-939-4321 (or toll free at 1-866-939-9303).


Resource Guide

COVID-19  RESOURCE GUIDE

Government Support Summary

Sturgeon County developed this guide to enhance awareness on current available government support related to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. This information is continuously under development and while Sturgeon County strives to keep this information updated, timely, and accurate, Sturgeon County makes no guarantees. Under the continuously changing environment, users of this guide should be aware that the information contained within this document may not be complete or reflect all recently announced support measures. 

View Online or Download the full guide as PDF

Programs (Postponed/Cancelled/Updates)

 

May 1, 2020 - Activity Book

This activity book offers a ton of great ideas to have fun, get some exercise, explore some new ideas and much more! Enjoy this booklet and be sure to check out our other mental health resources.


April 15, 2020 Local Support for our residents

Local support  is available for residents who are struggling. Resources are available if you require food, medical supplies, transportation to special medical appointments, or just someone to talk to.

Please contact Sturgeon County’s Family & Community Support Services at 780-939-8332 or 780-722-1479 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Monday to Friday) and someone will get back to you as quickly as possible. 

The personal information provided will be used to process your application in volunteering for Help Your Neighbour Program and is collected under the authority of Section 33(c) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. If you have any questions about the collection and use of this information, please contact the Sturgeon County Access and Privacy Officer at 9613 - 100 Street, Morinville, Alberta, T8R 1L9 (780) 939.4321 or foip@sturgeoncounty.ca


April 1, 2020  – Council votes to waive penalties for residential utility bills and extends residential tax deadline to reduce economic impact of COVID-19 on residents

Sturgeon County Council voted to waive residential penalties on unpaid municipal water and wastewater accounts from March 31 to June 30 while assuring disconnections of these services will not be performed by Sturgeon County during this time period. Council also passed a motion to extend the deadline for municipal taxpayers for 2020 taxes from the last business day in June to August 31 without penalty. After August 31, all regular tax penalties will apply which include 6% penalty on September 1 and October 1.

“We do encourage taxpayers who are able to continue paying their tax and utility bills on time to do so, but we recognize the financial hardship many residents are currently facing,” comments Sturgeon County Mayor Alanna Hnatiw. “This provides financial flexibility to residential utility account holders financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic to prioritize their financial obligations without the fear of penalty or disconnection.”

Resident inquiries can be directed to the following:


March 16, 2020 – March recreation programs are cancelled or postponed.

We will provide updates on our programs in the coming weeks.

We would like to reassure those registered in our recreation programs that are cancelled, or those simply looking to withdraw from a program due to health-related concerns, that you will receive a full refund.


Activity Resources

           If you require a print version please contact the Community Program Coordinator at 780-722-0684 to arrange to pick up a copy.

  • Northern Lights Library System is providing free/temporary library cards to allow people to access e-books, for information click here https://www.nlls.ab.ca/eResources

Libraries are closed to the public in all of the towns, although each are providing a range of ‘outreach or virtual services’. Please check the Library’s websites regularly as programs and services are changing frequently. Click here for the list of Libraries