COVID-19 What's Happening FAQ

Answers to common questions

See also: Health-Related FAQ
 


When is the next Council meeting?

The next City Council meeting will be held on Monday, April 6 at 2 p.m. and will be streamed via YouTube to the City website

In order to comply with physical distancing and group gathering directives, the public gallery will be closed. The public are encouraged to stay involved by watching the live stream of the meeting.

Members of the public who wish to address Council on a specific item will be able to do so by sending an email to legislative@stalbert.ca. Requests must include the title of the item on the Agenda that you wish to address. Please note you will be speaking to Council at the time of the specific item, not at the beginning of the meeting.

All requests to speak to an item on the April 6, 2020 Council Agenda must be received at that email address by 10:00 a.m. on April 6, 2020.

Complete details on this process and how your presentation will take place can be found in the Changes to Council Meeting below.

The Proposed Agenda Items for the April 6 Council Meeting are: 

  • Community Living Standing Committee Recommendation - Policy C-CS-22 Outside Agency Grant Program Review
  • COVID-19 - Administration Update
  • COVID 19 - Recovery
  • 2020 Alberta Community Partnership Grant Support
  • Strategic Plan Approval & Corporate Business Plan Information
  • Range Road 260
  • Handibus Extended Hours

In camera agenda items:

  • Annual Human Resources Report
  • Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Evaluation
  • Council/CAO Dialogue

View meeting details and other information from Council meetings.

Updated: April 2, 2020, at 4:45 pm

Changes to Council Meetings?

Moving forward while we are in a state of public health emergency as declared by the Province of Alberta, the City of St. Albert Council meetings will be conducted only by electronic means, through the ZOOM platform which will also stream to YouTube.

City Administration is currently exploring alternate ways for members of the public to address Council through electronic communication during Council meetings.  Until a longer term process has been tested and established for the duration of the public health emergency, here is how we will allow for the public to address Council at the meeting on Monday, April 6, 2020. 

Members of the public who wish to address Council on a specific item on the April 6, 2020 Agenda must send an email to legislative@stalbert.ca indicating your desire to speak and including the title of the item on the Agenda that you wish to address. All requests to speak to an item on the April 6, 2020 Council Agenda must be received at that email address by 10:00 a.m. on April 6, 2020.

  • Upon receipt of your email not later than 10:00 AM on April 6, you will be sent a calendar invite for 2:00 p.m. on April 6th which is when the meeting will begin.
  • If you still desire to speak at that time you must “Accept” the invite and then join the meeting via ZOOM at 2:00 pm.
  • Your computer mic will be muted by the meeting administrator until it is your turn to speak, at which time it will be turned on so that Council members and anyone else viewing the meeting by ZOOM or YouTube will be able to hear what you say.
  • Speakers will only be invited to speak at the time the agenda item comes up for Council’s consideration, not at the beginning or the end of the meeting.  
  • The usual time limit of 5 minutes for an individual, or 10 minutes for a presentation by or on behalf of a group, will still apply, subject to the discretion of the Chair.

Thank you very much for your patience and understanding as we do our best to ensure that the conduct of Council and Council Committee meetings is impacted as little as possible by the COVID-19 situation.

Updated: April 1, 2020, at 3:30 pm

What are Government Roles and Responsibilities during COVID-19?

Municipal, Provincial and Federal Governments all have responsibilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Below is a quick guide to see what these responsibilities are.

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MUNICIPAL
GOVERNMENT
CITY OF ST. ALBERT
PROVINCIAL
GOVERNMENT
ALBERTA
FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT
CANADA
Utilities
(water, sewer, waste water)
Health Policy Health Policy
Garbage Collection Schools Income Tax
Transit Hospitals EI
Roadways Supports for Employees and Employers Mortgages
Recreation Centres,
Parks and Trails
COVID-19 Testing Borders
Cultural Services Justice RCMP and Military
Emergency Services
(fire, RCMP (contract),
municipal enforcement)
Post Secondary Child Benefit
Safety Enforcement Highways Student Loans
City Hall School Taxes Airports
Property Taxes Safety Enforcement International Travel
Social Support Services
(Family and Community Support Services (FCSS). City provides support to St. Albert Family Resource Centre, St. Albert Food Bank, Stop Abuse in Families Society, St. Albert Seniors Association)
Social Services Safety Enforcement

Updated: April 5, 2020, at 10:15 am


What does a Provincial State of Public Health Emergency mean?

The Alberta government has declared a state of public health emergency over the COVID-19 outbreak. These new public health measures are now recommended to limit the time Albertans spend in large crowds and crowded spaces. The state of emergency has been declared under the Public Health Act – Section 52.

This means effective immediately:

  • Mass gatherings are now limited to no more than 15 attendees.
    • This includes conferences, worship gatherings, and family events such as weddings and funerals.
    • This does not include grocery stores, shopping centres, health care facilities, airports, the legislature, and other essential services.
  • Albertans are prohibited from attending public recreation facilities and private entertainment facilities.
    • This includes gyms, swimming pools, arenas, science centres, museums, art galleries, community centres, children’s play centres, casinos, racing entertainment centres, and bingo halls.
  • Albertans are restricted from attending bars and nightclubs, where minors are prohibited by law.
  • Dine-in restaurants will no longer be able to offer dine-in service. 
    • Take-out, delivery and drive-through service is still permitted.
    • Licensed facilities are 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.

Read more about the Provincial State of Public Health Emergency

Source: Alberta Government

Updated: March 27, 2020, at 8:15 pm


What is the Provincial Health Order?

To protect the health and safety of Albertans, law enforcement agencies now have full authority to enforce public health orders and issue fines for violations.

  • Mandatory 14-day self-isolation for returning international travellers or close contacts of people with confirmed COVID-19.
  • Mandatory 10-day self-isolation for people with symptoms that are not related to a pre-existing illness or health condition: cough, fever, shortness of breath, runny nose or sore throat.
  • Violation of mass gathering restrictions are now legally enforceable and subject to fines.
  • Facilities under this order include all nursing homes, designated supportive living and long-term care facilities, seniors' lodges and any facility in which residential addiction treatment services are offered under the Mental Health Services Protection Act.

Under the Public Health order from the Province, anyone putting their families, neighbours or other Albertans may be subject to a fine. 
If you know someone who is not following legally required, public health orders, follow these Government of Alberta steps:

  • Take proper precautions and distance yourself from the person to limit your risk of exposure if they have symptoms
  • Remind the person that not following public health orders is against the law and puts people at risk
  • Submit a complaint online

Updated: March 28, 2020, at 10:45 am

 


What changes are there to provincial government services?

For full information on Government of Alberta service changes, which include driver licences and vehicle registration, visit their website and scroll down to Government Service Changes.

Updated: March 19, 2020, at 3:45 pm


How do I file a complaint on mass gatherings?

To file a complaint for non-compliance related to COVID-19 and the Public Health Order (e.g., ban on mass gatherings over 15 individuals), residents are encouraged to notify Alberta Health Services through the online AHS complaint form.

You can also contact St. Albert Municipal Enforcement directly at the joint St. Albert RCMP/Municipal Enforcement 24-hour non-emergency complaint line 780-458-7700, especially if your matter is urgent and requires an immediate response such as mass gatherings in excess of 15 people.  

When necessary, due to resource availability, complexity or urgency the St Albert RCMP is assisting Alberta Health Services and St. Albert Municipal Enforcement with the enforcement of Public Health Act Orders.

Updated April 4, 2020 , at 8:25 am

 


What financial supports are available?

From the Federal Government

The Government of Canada has announced a number of measures to help stabilize the economy and support businesses during this challenging period. These measures, delivered as part of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, will provide direct support to Canadian workers and businesses. Support funds will be delivered through existing programs.

Information about these measures is available on the Government of Canada website.

From the Provincial Government

Financial assistance for unexpected emergencies is also now available to Albertans through the Emergency Needs Allowance. For eligibility criteria and how to apply, visit:

Emergency Financial Assistance

Provincial Funding Support Available for COVID-19 Family and Community Support Services

Charitable and non-profit organizations are encouraged to read the Support for COVID-19 Funding Criteria and contact St. Albert Community & Social Development (CSD) for further funding guidelines and grant criteria.

Updated: March 30, 2020, at 6:45 pm


What property tax support is being offered to property owners?

  • On March 23, 2020 Council approved a bylaw cancelling the April 1, 2020 and July 1, 2020 tax penalties for taxes in arrears from the 2019 tax year.
  • Council also approved deferring the payment deadline for the 2020 taxes from June 30 to September 30, 2020. This will give all City property owners an additional 90 days to pay their taxes.

Updated: March 23, 2020, at 8:00 pm


What assistance is the City offering for utility account holders?

In an effort to support our residents and customers during the challenges of the COVID-19 outbreak, the City of St. Albert has decided to defer utility bills for residential and commercial accounts for the next three months.

  • Customers do not need to enroll in the deferral program.
  • While customers are not required to make any payments for the three months, we are encouraging customers who are able to continue paying their utility bills in full, or to make smaller regular payments if possible.
  • Residents will continue to be billed monthly for March, April and May, but will not be charged any penalties or transfer to taxes for non or partial payments.

Customers who are signed up for pre-authorized withdrawals and cannot pay your bill in full will need to notify Utility Services.

  • Due to increased pressure on our call lines, please contact Utility Services by email at utilities_services@stalbert.ca. You can expect to receive a response within one to two business days.

Customers are also able to use MyCity accounts. Residents can view current outstanding balances, view past utility bills as far back as two years, and sign up for eBilling and receive their utility bill as soon as it’s processed. To reach a MyCity account, visit: https://my.stalbert.ca/

If you are experiencing financial challenges in light of the current situation, please discuss your situation with one of our Utility Representatives to discuss payment arrangements.

To contact Utility Services, call 780-459-1520 and choose Option #2. Representatives are also available through email: Utilities_Services@stalbert.ca

Updated: March 23, 2020, at 10:30 pm


What is the City of St. Albert responsible for related to COVID-19?

The health, safety and well-being of our employees and residents is our top priority. The municipal areas of responsibility include City programs, services, facilities, events and amenities. City facilities have been closed and will remain closed until May 31, 2020. The state of facilities and front counter closures will be reviewed and reassessed by Council on April 6, 2020.

If there are additional changes to the delivery, accessibility or hours of operation, etc. for any of these programs, services, facilities or events, Administration will share information with residents via our City website (stalbert.ca/covid19) and social media.

Updated: March 24, 2020, at 11:55 am


Have there been any changes to bylaws as a result of COVID-19?

Immediate Temporary Change to Noise Bylaw

Under the current authority of the Chief Administrative Officer as a result of COVID-19, effective immediately, the City is Introducing a 24-hour notice of bylaw exemption permit for service delivery of essential services to operate outside the current daytime hours. Current daytime hours include Monday to Friday from 7:00 am to 10 pm, Saturday 9:00 am to 11:00 pm and (local time), Sunday and Holidays 9:00 am to 10:00 pm and (local time). This change will mean that deliveries can be made 24 hours per day. This measure is being taken to help ensure all essential services and stores can be stocked in a timely manner. This change is in effect until further notice.

Updated: March 22, 2020, at 8:45 pm


Fraud Awareness

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, scams are starting to circulate and the public needs to be aware. For more information about scams affecting businesses and the top 10 frauds affecting Canadians visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

Updated: March 28, 2020, at 1:45 pm


Where can I find information about the school closures?

For more information on your specific school closure, please contact your local school board.

Further information on the school closures can be found on the Government of Alberta website.

Updated: March 16, 2020, at 10:20 am


Which St. Albert facilities are closed?

Please check our Facility Closures page for a complete list of all closed municipal facilities around St. Albert.

  • At a special Council meeting on March 23, it was approved to extend closure of City-managed facilities (this includes bookings, rentals, programs and services); and cancellation of all community and City led events until May 31, 2020. In addition, the spring registered program session from March 30 to June 28 is cancelled.
  • As the closure timing now bridges into the outdoor season, the closures also apply to community partner operated outdoor seasonal facilities.
  • Please note that the City will be posting signs at outdoor spaces that the facility is closed.
  • We recognize that this announcement comes with unexpected challenges. For that we appreciate your cooperation and understanding during this challenging and unprecedented time.

Updated: March 23, 2020, 8:20 pm


Are front counter services available?

Effective 8:00 am Friday, March 20, 2020, all City of St. Albert front counter facilities are being closed to the public to be consistent with many municipal counterparts. All available online services can be located at Online Services. The new closures include:
 

St. Albert Place MAIN LOBBY (1st Floor)

Utilities, Dog Licences and Tax payments can all be made using MyCity. If you need instructions on how to register, call the main switchboard (780-459-1500).

To apply for a business license, please download an application form, available on our website under Business Licensing and submit the application to licensing@stalbert.ca. All business renewals can be completed online through MyCity.

Community Services Front Counter (St. Albert Place, 1st Floor)

  • AISH and All Aboard bus passes (low income) will be mailed to current recipients for April use. For more information, call 780-459-1600.
  • The selling of bus passes has been suspended but is still available online. In addition, please check with local community merchants that are still making them available
  • Information on culture and recreational programming made offered at St. Albert Place will continue to be made available by phone, text and email.

Planning & Development (St. Albert Place, 2nd Floor)

Planning & Development has updated its online service to encourage electronic application submittals & discourage paper submittals. Please use the following links to submit the appropriate applications.

Beaudry Place

ESS Services, Income Tax Support, Subsidy Support and Counselling Support: While all of these will not be available in person, all attempts are being made to work with residents via text, phone and email. For more information, please call the main switchboard at 780-459-1500, and your call will be redirected.

Note that the Food Bank is staying open.
 

Maloney Place

Please review this important notice regarding front counter services from the RCMP and Municipal Enforcement Services.
 

Liggett Place

The selling of bus passes has been suspended. Please check with local community merchants that are still making them available.

Business Address
7-Eleven 23 Akins Drive
7-Eleven 1 Giroux Road (at St. Albert Trail)
7-Eleven 17 St. Anne Street (at St. Albert Trail)
7-Eleven 71 Liberton Drive (near St. Albert Trail)
Esso Station 220 St. Albert Trail (at Green Grove)
London Drugs (St. Albert Centre) 375 St. Albert Trail (near Bellerose)
Petro Canada 174 St. Albert Trail (at Gate Avenue)
Petro Canada 770 St. Albert Trail (by Wine & Beyond)
Shoppers Drug Mart 665 St. Albert Trail (near Boudreau)
Shoppers Drug Mart 140 St Albert Trail (near Gervais Road)

Cemetery Services will be made available by phone: Please call directly to 780-418-6060.
 

Unless listed above or on the facility closures page, all City services are still accessible by phone, email or online.

Updated: March 20, 2020, at 3:20 pm

How Can I Help?

The Government of Alberta announced the creation of a new program called “Bits and Pieces.” Named after established by Canada’s Minister of Munitions and Supply during the Second World War, C. D. Howe, this program coordinates innovative production and procurement th from across the Canadian economy to support the fight against COVID-19. More information can be found on the Government of Alberta website at: https://www.alberta.ca/coronavirus-info-for-albertans.aspx#response

In addition to the Bits and Pieces program, there are other things you can do to help your community.

Consider donating to local social services agencies such as the Food Bank. Financial donations can safely be made from the comfort of your home though Canada Helps at https://www.canadahelps.org/en/explore/charities/?q=St.+Albert

If you’re not on isolation, consider donating blood to Canadian Blood Services. For more information and a listing of blood donation locations visit https://www.blood.ca/en

Updated: April 5, 2020, at 8:40 am


Are the libraries open?

Both St. Albert Public Library locations -- Downtown and Jensen Lakes – are closed until further notice. All Library programs, events, classes, and outreach services are cancelled.

The Library's digital resources continue to be accessible and are free for use with your library card. For more information, visit sapl.ca.

Updated: March 15, 2020, at 4:00 pm


Is the Arden Theatre Box Office still open?

In an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19, the City has taken immediate action based on Alberta Health Services’ recommendations.  The Arden Theatre will be closed until May 31. Until further notice we are suspending box office operation as we prioritize the health, safety and well-being of our residents, staff and visitors. Ticket inquiries may be made online at anytime by visiting Ticketmaster.ca or calling 1-855-985-ARTS­­­­­­­­­. The best way to reach The Arden Theatre box office is via email at boxoffice@stalbert.ca.  We appreciate your patience and will respond to your email inquiry as soon as possible.

Updated March 25, 2020, 2:53 pm


Can I still take St. Albert Transit?

The City of St. Albert continues to offer regular transit service.

  • In response to COVID-19, effective March 24 until May 31, 2020, ridership fares on St. Albert Transit have been eliminated.
  • Eliminating fares removes the need for handling transfers, tickets, cash and passes for both our passengers and operators, minimizing contact and maintaining physical distancing measures.  
  • Riders are asked to save their April pass, as refunds and exchanges for April will be discussed and determined in the coming weeks.
  • The number of riders on individual buses will continue to be limited to 50 per cent capacity to allow everyone to spread out. Families are permitted to sit together. 
  • For busy routes, a second bus will be arranged to transport additional riders. 
  • Residents who are feeling unwell should avoid using Transit and stay home. 

We maintain our transit fleet to Alberta Health Services Environmental Cleaning standards in Public Facility Guidelines and have increased the intensity and frequency of cleaning.

Updated: March 23, 2020, at 7:50 pm


Is garbage curbside pick up, or the Extra Garbage Tag program changing?

Garbage, organics and recycling collection service continues its regular pick up schedule until further notice.

The City has waived the need for bag tags for the Extra Garbage Tag program at the Mike Mitchell Recycling Depot until further notice.

Limit per household: 2 garbage bags per day – max 50 lbs, sized 76 cm x 86 cm (30 in x 34 in). No large items, construction, or demolition materials accepted.

Keep already purchased bag tags for future use. No refunds

Updated: March 20, 2020, at 2:30 pm


What is happening with City events and programs?

At this time, City facilities are closed to the public until May 31. This means that all events and programs run at City-owned facilities are either cancelled or postponed. The state of these closures will be reviewed and reassessed by Council on May 31. It will be determined at that time how the City is moving forward and whether further cancellations are required.

All spring aquatics, fitness, recreation, cultural and performing arts registered programs are cancelled until June 28, 2020. User groups will be contacted with updated information. For more information including strategies for staying healthy, please visit stalbert.ca/covid19

Customers who have paid for registered programs or events affected by these cancellations and closures will receive refunds from the City. Please call 780-459-1500 to speak to a representative.

Updated: March 31, 2020, at 11:30 am

Will grant deadlines be extended?

Yes, the spring grant application deadlines are extended to April 25, 2020 for Community Capital Grant, Community Events Grant, Athlete and Artist Development Grant programs.

Updated: April 4, 2020, at 10:30 am


Registered in an aquatics, fitness, recreation, cultural and/or performing arts program?

All spring aquatics, fitness, recreation, cultural and performing arts registered programs are cancelled until June 28, 2020. User groups will be contacted with updated information. For more information including strategies for staying healthy, please visit stalbert.ca/covid19

As of March 16, phone lines are open for residents who need support with City recreation program cancellations and City event cancellations. To speak to someone, please call 780-459-1500, Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For any other questions, please email Servus Place or Fountain Park.

Winter session registered programs and spring break camps

  • Winter session registered programs and spring break camps purchased online or by phone with a credit card will be refunded to the same credit card by the end of March. If purchased in-person, a credit will be applied to your account and when the facility opens you can then either use your credit towards future programming or receive a refund in-person.

Spring session registered programs and summer break camps

  • The spring registered program session from March 30 to June 28 is cancelled. The same refunds apply as noted above under winter session.
  • If facilities continue to be closed, you will be refunded for your purchase.
  • If you choose to cancel regardless of waiting to hear about extended facility closure, you can do so at any time and cancellation fees will be waived.

Will my space rental be refunded?

  • All facility bookings during the closure paid for in-person must be refunded in person when the facility opens. If purchased online or over the phone with a credit card, that same credit card will be refunded by the end of March.

Updated: March 31, 2020, at 11:30 a.m.


Can we still use the playgrounds?

Playground Closures: Effective 8 p.m. on March 25, 2020, the City of St. Albert has implemented the closure of all playground structures on City land, including schools and open spaces, to decrease or eliminate the spread of COVID-19.

  • Playground structure closures are in effect after careful consideration by the City and include factors such as Alberta Health Services’ information about COVID-19 contaminating objects or surfaces from hours up to several days in ideal conditions. 
  • The City understands these are difficult circumstances and closing playgrounds impact the community. For resources to support individuals and families, visit the COVID-19 Health Related FAQ.

Other ways to stay active in St. Albert include:

  • Visit a City park or take advantage of the trail system, while observing physical distancing practices.
  • Play outside on your property.

For more ways to stay active, check out Strategies for Staying Healthy.

Updated: March 31, 2020, at 1:13 pm

Are there changes to dog parks?

Starting March 26, 2020, the City of St. Albert will remove doors and enclosure gates that are high-traffic, hand-touch points at off-leash boarded rinks for dog use and at Lacombe Lake Dog Park to decrease or eliminate the spread of COVID-19. View the Lacombe Dog Park map.

  • Directional signage for entrances will be posted at off-leash, rink-enclosed dog parks and Lacombe Lake Dog Park.
  • Owners must always maintain complete control of their pet and keep them within sight and verbal command range.
  • As per the direction of Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, there must be a limit of 15 users at a time in the dog parks and users must practice physical distancing of two metres between each other.

Updated: March 27, 2020, at 8:32 pm


Will washroom facilities still be open at parks?

Effective March 27, the City of St. Albert closed picnic shelters/facilities as part of new measures put in place to strengthen protection for Albertans, including changing the maximum size of group gatherings to 15 people from 50 people.

This includes the two picnic shelters in Lions Park and the one picnic shelter in Rotary Park.

The City will not be installing the Rotary Park porta-potties until after recreation facilities re-open (May 31 or as directed).

Updated March 28, 2020, at 3:30 pm


What is happening with the Children's Festival?

The City of St. Albert is cancelling the Northern Alberta Children's Festival of the Arts, which was scheduled for May 26 - 31, 2020. All ticket sales will be refunded.

The Northern Alberta Children's Festival of the Arts will be back in 2021 from June 1 – 6. The City is working with the artists who were booked to perform at this year's festival on the possibility of re-booking them for 2021. The City will be working with the sponsors and donors on options to support the festival in 2021.

Updated: March 16, 2020, at 12:30 pm


Is the City offering any business support?

To keep your business informed on the evolving COVID-19 situation and the services and supports are available to you, visit the Business Support During COVID-19.

Updated: March 20, 2020, at 3:15 pm


What is the status of City RFPs and tenders?

All City of St. Albert tenders (RFPs) are being extended to April 30, 2020. For an update on any outstanding RFPs, please check the Alberta Purchasing Connection.

Updated: March 20, 2020, at 4:10 pm


 


Will capital projects be moving forward?

  • At the Special Council meeting on March 23, 2020, City Council decided to defer 49 capital projects. This is an estimated value of $36.1M. This will be further reviewed as the COVID-19 situation evolves, before April 30, 2020.
  • Council will still be continuing with 51 capital projects.
  • In addition, administration will prioritize accelerating the process of pre-design and design for servicing the Range Road 260 lands that Council has approved as the site of a community amenities  facility. This will be presented by administration for Council’s consideration on April 6, 2020 or as soon as possible.

Updated: March 23, 2020, at 8:15 pm

 


Are Little Free Libraries Open?

  • Effective March 26, 2020, the City of St. Albert is suspending the Little Free Library program and current community participants need to close their libraries until further notice to decrease or eliminate the spread of COVID-19.
  • The City will place signs on each Little Free Library location, including school site libraries, to communicate the closure to users.
  • The Little Free Library orientation event on Tuesday April 7, 6:30 - 8 p.m. at the St. Albert Public Library is cancelled.

The St. Albert Public Library is offering free memberships for the community to access digital magazines and newspapers, stream music and movies, take an online course, listen to an eAudiobook or read an eBook. For more information, visit sapl.ca/about/covid19.

The City encourages members of the community to continue their love of reading on their own, or by sharing their book passion using online tools such as social media and chat apps. You can also check out Strategies for Staying Healthy.

Updated: March 26, 2020, at 2:44 pm

 


Related Pages

Last edited: April 5, 2020