Monitor the Situation and Stay up to Date
Local Resources for Business
- Government of Alberta - Covid-19: Information for Albertans, Current Situation and What's New
- COVID-19 Statistics in Alberta
- Government of Alberta News feeds
- Government of Alberta livestreams and video highlights
- Government of Canada: Actions on COVID-19
- Government of Canada - COVID-19: Updates and information
- Government of Canada - COVID-19: Statistics in Canada
- Bank of Canada Rate News
- CPAC Headline Politics
- Prime Minister of Canada Videos
- Subscription for Public Health Updates
Update: March 17 - Provincial: The government has declared a state of public health emergency today, empowering authorities under the Public Health Act to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Alberta’s Provincial Operations Centre has also been elevated from a level 3 to a level 4, the highest level. Effective immediately and until further notice, the Alberta government is implementing additional measures, including cancelling events that have more than 50 people.
The additional measures include:
- Mass gatherings are now limited to no more than 50 attendees. This includes worship gatherings and family events such as weddings. Grocery stores, shopping centres, health-care facilities, airports, the legislature and other essential services are not included.
- To limit the amount of time Albertans are spending in large crowds and crowded spaces, all Albertans are prohibited from attending public recreational facilities and private entertainment facilities, including gyms, swimming pools, arenas, science centres, museums, art galleries, community centres, children’s play centres, casinos, racing entertainment centres, and bingo halls.
- Sit-down restaurants, cafés, coffee shops, food courts and other food-serving facilities, including those with a minors-allowed liquor license, are limited to 50 per cent capacity to a maximum of 50 people. Take-out, delivery or drive-through service is permitted. Licensed facilities will also be permitted to deliver liquor.
- At this time, not-for-profit community kitchens, soup kitchens and religious kitchens are exempt, but sanitization practices are expected to be in place and support will be in place for this practice.
- Until further notice, all Albertans are restricted from attending bars and nightclubs, where minors are prohibited by law.
Municipalities, charitable and non-profit organizations providing social services support will immediately see $60 million to support their COVID-19 response. The funding will be provided to adult homeless shelters, women’s emergency shelters and the Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) program, which supports municipalities and civil society organizations in providing services to vulnerable Albertans.
Update: March 16 - Provincial: COVID-19 is now present in all zones across the province. Effective immediately, student attendance at schools is prohibited. Post-secondary classes are cancelled. Campuses will remain open. All licensed child care facilities, out-of-school care programs and preschool programs are closed indefinitely. All long-term care and other continuing care facilities are advised to limit visitation to essential visitors only. Places of worship are no longer exempt from restrictions on mass gatherings.
Update: March 16 - Effective immediately, student attendance at schools is prohibited. Post-secondary classes are cancelled. Campuses will remain open. All licensed child care facilities, out-of-school care programs and preschool programs are closed indefinitely. All long-term care and other continuing care facilities are advised to limit visitation to essential visitors only. Places of worship are no longer exempt from restrictions on mass gatherings.
Update: March 13 - Finance Minister, Bill Morneau, announced the federal government will establish a $10 billion credit facility to lend money to businesses under stress as a result of the spreading COVID-19 pandemic. This will be facilitated through Crown-owned entities, Business Development Bank of Canada and Export Development Canada, to help businesses access cash and keep exporting to markets. The governor of the Bank of Canada, Stephen Poloz, announced a cut to the bank rate by half a percentage point to 0.75 per cent, which will lower the cost of borrowing money for individuals and businesses. It was also announced that a fiscal package will be announced next week and that Ottawa is considering extending the deadline to file taxes beyond April 30. These measures build on the Government of Canada $1 billion COVID-19 Response Fund announced earlier.
The Chief Public Health Officer of Canada has recommended that Canadians should avoid and cancel non-essential travel outside the country with enhanced screening measures at airports to be announced. The federal budget has been postponed and will not be delivered on March 30. Parliament and the Senate stands adjourned until April 20.
On March 12, 2020 the World Health Organization announced that the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, has become a global pandemic. Currently, the risk level to Albertans is low and the cases in our province, and Canada, have been travel related and have been isolated to prevent further transmission.
What you need to know:
We encourage everyone to heed the advice of medical professionals and take these precautionary steps.
- Effective March 12, all Albertans currently outside Canada should self-isolate for 14 days when they return.
- If employees have visited a Italy, Iran or China’s Hubei province in the last 14 days, it is recommended they isolate themselves until two weeks have passed since that visit. This is recommended even if they are feeling well.
- Employees should self-isolate and call Health Link 811 for additional precautions and follow-up testing if they have travelled to anywhere outside of Canada and experienced any of the following:
- contact with someone who was suspected or confirmed to have the novel coronavirus
- were in a health-care facility
- have symptoms, such as cough or fever
If an employee does not meet the exposure criteria above, they do not need to stay away from work, and do not need any testing or a physician’s note to attend work.
If an employee has to self-isolate
- Employees and employers should work together to explore alternate working arrangements:
- Working from home or remotely
- Doing work that does not require the employee to contact other people in the community or at work
- If an alternate working arrangement is not possible, employees can use paid sick time if their employer offers this.
- Changes to the Employment Standards Code will allow employees who are required to self-isolate or are caring for a loved one with COVID-19 to take 14 days of paid job protected leave to cover the self isolation period being recommended by Alberta's Chief Medical Officer of Health
- There will be no requirement to have a medical note for such leave or to have worked for an employer for 90 days to qualify for such leave.
Business continuity plans
Ensure your business is prepared to handle a potential case of business disruption, including accessing available government resources to mitigate potential financial impacts to your employees and your business.
- Review or create a Business Continuity Plan for your organization, ensuring it contains:
- Process to follow if an employee becomes ill;
- Policies around travel;
- Policies around sick leave;
- How to mitigate risk so essential business functions can continue; and
- Internal and external communications plans.
- Checklist: Maintaining business during an infectious disease outbreak
- Planning Tools: Business Continuity Handbook, Template, and Reference Guide
- Guidelines: Government of Canada: COVID-19 Travel Advice
- Website: Canadian Chamber of Commerce Pandemic Preparedness for Business
- Website: Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employees
COVID-19 Guidance and Resources
- Website: Government of Alberta: COVID-19 information for Albertans
- Website: Government of Canada: COVID-19 Outbreak update
- Website: Government of Canada: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
- Website: Centre for Disease Control and Prevention: COVID-19 Resources
- Website: World Health Organization: COVID-19 Updates
- Respiratory viruses and the workplace: OHS information for employers, supervisors and workers
- Business continuity planning
- WCB COVID-19 worker fact sheet (PDF, 57 KB)
- WCB COVID-19 employer fact sheet (PDF, 70 KB)
Preventative Measures for Business
- Encourage good hygiene practices. Encourage your staff to wash their hands frequently, and ensure that tissues and hand sanitizer are available throughout your property for all staff and visitors to use.
- Stay home if you aren’t feeling well. Encourage staff to stay at home and away from others if they are exhibiting flu-like symptoms, such as fever or a cough.
- Consider additional social distancing measures, such as working remotely.
- Posters: Handwashing, Work Station Cleaning, Vehicle Cleaning
- Guidelines: CDC: Keeping your workplace, school, and home safe
- Guidelines: Health Canada decision-making guidelines for mass gatherings during COVID-19
While it is important to be cautious and heed all medical advice from Chief Medical Officers and government it is also important to be measured in our response to this situation.