COVID 19 Updates
Over the last month, the ways that we all work, shop, come together, and interact with one another have all changed dramatically, and many of us are still adjusting to this new normal. I’d like to use today’s column to discuss the challenges we’re facing with the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the City’s efforts to keep Edmontonians safe and healthy.
By now, we’re all likely aware that COVID-19 is spread mainly by coughing, sneezing or coming into direct contact with someone who is sick. As time goes on, we’re also seeing the devastating impact this virus can have on people of all ages, and we’re learning more about how those who are asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic contribute to spreading this illness. This is why physical distancing protocols have been developed, and why it’s so important to maintain two metres, or six feet, between yourself and anyone outside of your close personal relations.
As part of the City’s efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19, we’ve temporarily suspended E-Park curbside and lot payments as well as ETS fares. We’ve also worked to ensure physical distancing in our outdoor areas by closing some off-leash dog parks and mandating that all dogs must be leashed, even in off-leash areas, for the foreseeable future. We know this is also presenting financial challenges for many Edmontonians, so to help alleviate this stress we’ve deferred the property tax payment deadline until August 31, although we strongly encourage those who can pay to still do so on time at the end of June.
Now that we’re almost a month into this crisis, the impact of physical distancing is growing more apparent. It’s not easy to be cooped up for this long, and for many in our community, loneliness and mental health issues like anxiety and depression might be made worse by these conditions. Right now, it’s more important than ever to check in on those around you. In particular, I encourage you to check in on the seniors in your life, as they may be facing additional challenges due to reductions in community programming and restrictions on visitation at many residences.
Remember, we are all in this together. Even though we’re not at City Hall right now, my team and I are still here for you – follow me on Twitter (@MoeBangaWard12) or reach out via email at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions, comments, or concerns. For now, stay home, stay healthy and stay safe!