Emergency Coordination Centre COVID-19 Updates

One of the municipal Emergency Coordination Centre’s (ECC) objectives is to provide weekly updates during the COVID-19 pandemic. Updates are published on Fridays. Daily Municipality of Jasper updates are posted on the municipal Facebook page: Municipality of Jasper.

Friday, June 19, 2020 - final ECC update

The municipal Emergency Coordination Centre (ECC) deactivated on June 15 – the same day the Government of Alberta lifted the provincial public health emergency. All operational activities are being transitioned back to respective municipal departments.

ECC updates will no longer be presented at the weekly Council meetings or published on our website. Updates on municipal services will be posted on the municipal website and the Municipality of Jasper Facebook page as they become available.

The ECC was activated in March, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, to liaise with Alberta Health Services (AHS) and coordinate information sharing between local agencies and organizations, as well as mobilizing support for the community such as the community information phone line, the Jasper COVID-19 Mutual Aid Facebook page and the Emergency Social Services meal delivery program.

Municipal staff continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation in Alberta and continue to work with community partners to ensure public health directives are being followed. Staff are also prepared to re-activate the ECC if warranted.

The Municipality of Jasper will continue to be involved in the Economic Recovery Task Force.

The ECC would like to extend a huge thank you to our residents and businesses. We know everyone has had to make personal and professional sacrifices in order to keep our community safe – you have all done such a great job and we can’t thank you enough.

As the province moves forward with its relaunch strategy, please continue to be kind and follow all public health directives.

A message for visitors

As the province continues with its relaunch plan, we warmly welcome you back to Jasper.

We are encouraging visitors to come prepared with their own COVID-19 kit, including gloves, face masks and hand sanitizer. As per the provincial health recommendations, everyone is encouraged to wear a non-medical mask in public when it’s difficult to maintain a physical distance of two metres.

Free masks are available for residents and visitors at the following locations:

  • Servus Credit Union
  • Alberta Treasury Branch (ATB)
  • Jasper Royal Canadian Legion
  • Robinsons Foods grocery store
  • TGP grocery store
  • Jasper Education and Employment Centre
  • Emergency Services Building
  • Participating hotel lobbies

Jasper businesses have been working hard to put in place the appropriate measures to ensure the safest and best possible experience for guests and residents. Be prepared to wait in lines or change plans and respect all regulations set up by respective businesses. Remember to be patient as our business community adjusts to today’s normal. We are in this together.

Camping in Jasper National Park 

As of June 1, Jasper National Park began a gradual reopening of some outdoor areas, facilities and services. Camping in Jasper National Park remains suspended until June 21. Check the Parks Canada website for all Jasper National Park information.

Camping is not permitted on any public lands within the Municipality of Jasper; this includes parking a trailer or camper on municipal roads or municipal parking lots.

Reader boards

With visitor traffic increasing in coming weeks, reader boards will be installed on the Connaught Drive medians at the east and west entrances to town, showing messages reminding everyone to:

  • keep a 2 metre distance from each other;
  • wash your hands;
  • support local businesses; and
  • be kind.

Mask wearing is encouraged when it is difficult to maintain a 2 metre distance from others. Reader boards will be installed on Sunday. 

Friday, June 12, 2020 

Culture and Recreation facilities begin to reopen  

Playgrounds

Beginning Friday afternoon, most municipal playgrounds will reopen to the public. The only exception is Lions Park, which requires a bit of maintenance before it opens next week.

Playgrounds have received thorough and comprehensive inspections, to ensure the safety of playground users. Regular inspections will continue throughout the summer.

To ensure the safety of children and families, individuals should take precautions when visiting playgrounds. Children may find it difficult to avoid touching their eyes, nose or mouth. This can lead to the spread of the virus to playground equipment, other children and families.

Skate park 

The skate park will also reopen today.

Users should wait turns to use ramps and bars, consider wearing a mask and bring their own hand sanitizer and water.

Tennis courts 

Municipal staff are working with the Jasper Park Tennis Club to reopen the municipal tennis courts. Updates on the tennis courts will be provided as they become available.

Ball diamonds 

The ball diamonds are open for free recreational use, but will not be maintained to league play standards this season. Under Stage 2 of the provincial relaunch strategy, sports teams can play in region-only cohorts of up to 50 players.

Help prevent the spread 

As you enjoy recreational activities, please remember to do your part and help prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Regularly monitor yourself for symptoms and isolate if you’re sick or any experiencing symptoms
  • Practice good hand hygiene before and after activities
  • Consider modifying your sport or activity to keep participants at a safe distance
  • Don’t share water bottles
  • Avoid touching your face during an activity

For more Alberta Health directives, visit: https://www.alberta.ca/prevent-the-spread.aspx

Alberta launches Stage 2 of recovery strategy

Earlier this week the Government of Alberta announced that Stage 2 of the relaunch would begin Friday (today), and also announced that “indoor recreation, fitness and sports, including gyms and arenas” were brought forward from Stage 3 to Stage 2.

While provincial directives may authorize facilities to re-open, re-launch plans must follow continually evolving provincial directives and consider the unique factors affecting each community’s relaunch, including staffing, budgets, training, supplies, sanitation procedures, etc. Businesses and local governments across Alberta and Canada are facing the same challenges.

The reopening of facilities and the resumption of pre-COVID services is complex and things will look different this year. We appreciate your kindness and patience as we continue to work through our relaunch plans.

Free non-medical masks now available in Jasper

The ECC has received more than 4,000 non-medical masks from the province’s Masks for Albertans program. Packages of masks (four masks per package) are available for free at Servus Credit Union, Alberta Treasury Branch (ATB), the Jasper Royal Canadian Legion, Robinsons Foods grocery store and TGP grocery store.

The Province is encouraging Albertans to wear non-medical masks when out in public places where it isn’t possible to keep a distance of two metres.

Welcoming visitors back 

Jasper has started to once again welcome visitors. Last weekend did see an increase in visitation, however, the ECC received no reports of issues or concerns. As the summer months carry on, we will see more visitors in our community. Jasper businesses have been working hard to put in place the appropriate measures to ensure the safest and best possible experience for guests and residents

We are encouraging visitors to come prepared with their own COVID-19 kit, including gloves, face masks and hand sanitizer. As per the provincial health recommendations, everyone is encouraged to wear a non-medical mask in public when it’s difficult to maintain a physical distance of two metres.

Sanitation stations

The ECC is working with the Rotary Club of Jasper and the Jasper Park Chamber of Commerce (JPCC) to install 18 hand sanitation stations throughout the business district and at playgrounds. The stations are expected to be installed by next week.

The intent is for each station to be maintained by volunteer businesses. The JPCC is currently in the process of finding businesses that would like to be a part of the program.

Wildflowers Childcare

The Wildflowers Childcare daycare reopened its doors on Monday, June 8. As per Alberta Health guidelines, extra health and safety measures have been implemented to meet operating requirements.

There are currently 22 children utilizing the facility and nine staff.

Connaught washroom reopens

The public washrooms on the corner of Connaught Drive and Hazel Avenue, which are operated and maintained by the Municipality of Jasper, have reopened.

ECC discussing disbanding   

The ECC is preparing for the transition to normal operations and anticipates it will disband in the next few weeks. Once disbanded, all operational activities will transition back to appropriate municipal departments.

This is a typical step for ECCs as response efforts shift back to normal operations.

Friday, June 5, 2020

A message as we begin welcoming visitors

Thank you to our residents and businesses. We know everyone has had to make personal and professional sacrifices in order to keep our community safe – you have all done such a great job and we can’t thank you enough.

Now is the time to start welcoming visitors back to our community as services gradually relaunch.

Jasper businesses have been working hard to put in place the appropriate measures to ensure the safest and best possible experience for our guests and residents.

We are encouraging visitors to come prepared with their own COVID-19 kit, including gloves, face masks and hand sanitizer. As per the provincial health recommendations, everyone is encouraged to wear a non-medical mask in public when it’s difficult to maintain a physical distance of two metres.

Through the province’s Masks for Albertans program, the ECC is expecting a shipment of non-medical masks. Once received, the ECC will coordinate the distribution of masks to residents. Masks will be provided at no charge.

The ECC has added new signage at the town’s entrances and throughout the business sector, encouraging people to practice physical distancing and adhere to all other public health directives. Information on safe relaunch guidelines has also been distributed to businesses.

Public health directives are put in place by the province, and are enforceable by our local Public Health Inspector, and in some cases, the RCMP. While municipal bylaw staff will be monitoring the situation in Jasper, any concerns or complaints should be directed to the AHS website, or to the RCMP if the situation warrants it.

Camping in Jasper National Park 

As of June 1, Jasper National Park is offering limited visitor access and basic services. All Jasper National Park camping facilities remain closed until at least June 21, 2020.

 Hygiene stations 

The ECC is working with the Rotary Club of Jasper to install several hygiene stations throughout the community.

Playgrounds, tennis courts and the skate park will reopen when resources become available

The Municipality of Jasper is taking a phased and balanced approach to relaunch efforts. Municipal playgrounds, tennis courts and the skate park will reopen once resources become available. Funding and resources for municipal services will be discussed at upcoming Council meetings.

At this time these facilities remain closed.

Volleyball courts will remain closed 

Organized sport events, games and leagues are prohibited under Stage 1 of Alberta’s relaunch strategy. Normal resumption of activities where physical and close contact among participants increases the risk of COVID-19 transmission, therefore, the outdoor volleyball courts at the Jasper Fitness and Aquatic Centre will remain closed until further notice.

Centennial Field is open, washrooms and play structure remain closed

Centennial Field, located at 520 Turret Street, is open for limited recreational use. If you choose to use the field remember that activities in public spaces require physical distancing of at least two metres. Activities should not include the sharing of common equipment, unless the individuals are from the same household. Groups must be limited to 50 people or fewer.

The washrooms and play structure at Centennial Park remain closed.

Commemoration Park, located on Pyramid Lake Road behind the Jasper Activity Centre, remains closed due to ongoing work on the Jim Vena Stage.

Help relaunch, safely. Prevention starts with awareness
Be informed on how you can protect yourself and others from COVID-19:

  • Isolate if you’re feeling sick
  • When out, maintain physical distancing of two-metres
  • Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds with warm water and soap
  • Cover coughs and sneezes and stay home if you are sick
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Wear a mask in public places where keeping a distance of two-metres is difficult

Friday, May 29, 2020 

Visitor services gradually reopening in Jasper

Starting June 1, 2020, Jasper will be ready to welcome visitors as services gradually reopen.

Jasper businesses have been working hard to put in place the appropriate measures to ensure the safest and best possible experience for our guests.

Jasper is a small, remote community with limited access to essential services. We ask that visitors plan their trip and know what to expect. This includes becoming familiar with the restrictions in place in Jasper National Park and researching which businesses and activities are open before arriving.

Parks Canada announced beginning June 1, 2020, Jasper National Park will offer limited visitor access and basic services. Until then, services remain suspended. All Jasper National Park camping facilities remain closed until at least June 21, 2020.

The health and safety of residents and visitors is of the utmost importance. Visitors should follow the advice of public health experts and make every effort to limit the spread of COVID-19, including necessary hygiene practices and physical distancing of two meters from others.

We also encourage visitors to come prepared with their own COVID-19 kit, including gloves, face masks and hand sanitizer. As per the provincial health recommendations, everyone is encouraged to wear a non-medical mask in public when it’s difficult to maintain a physical distance of two metres.

Stay safe 

As we start welcoming visitors back, the ECC will be adding new signage at the town’s entrances and throughout the business sector, encouraging people to practice physical distancing and adhere to all other public health directives.

Choose kindness 

Let’s be kind. It has been a stressful time for everyone. We must learn to adapt to the new reality and as much as it’s exciting to prepare for relaunch it will be stressful for us and for our guests.

As services gradually reopen remember to be respectful, follow local rules to keep us all safe, and be patient with front-line staff and visitors.

Adjusting to today’s new normal will take time for businesses, visitors and residents. Please be patient as we work through this together.

Where to find information:

Jasper National Park

Tourism Jasper

Jasper Park Chamber of Commerce

Municipality of Jasper Facebook page

The Fitzhugh

Playgrounds, tennis courts and skate park 

The ECC has reviewed provincial directives and is working with municipal management to determine the best course of action to ensure the safety of children and families who utilize municipal play structures. At this time municipal playgrounds remain closed.

The Municipality is also discussing how to safely reopen the tennis courts and the skate park.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Emergency Coordination Centre transitioning into recovery

As the pandemic carries on, the ECC is switching from a response mode to a recovery mode.

The safety of our residents and staff has always been our number one priority. We appreciate your kindness and patience as we figure out a recovery that works for Jasper.

The ECC is now meeting twice a week for brief meetings rather than four times a week.

Emergency Social Services (ESS), a branch under the municipal ECC, has been deactivated – a typical first step as ECCs move into recovery mode. All ESS services, like the community information and referral line, are now being managed by staff in the Community and Family Services Department as a part of everyday duties.

Playgrounds, tennis courts and skate park 

For now, the Municipality does not have a reopening date for playgrounds.

The ECC is reviewing provincial directives and working with municipal staff to determine the best course of action to ensure the safety of children and families who utilize municipal play structures.

In Stage 1 of its relaunch strategy, the province is lifting some restrictions for playgrounds, however it is up to municipalities to make their own determination on cleanliness and monitoring, in addition to ensuring playground inspections are conducted regularly.

The Municipality is looking at the possibility of reopening the tennis courts at the Jasper Activity Centre and the skate park. For now, they remain closed.

We will provide further updates when the Municipality has a plan in place. In the meantime, we hope families will find other ways to enjoy the outdoors.

Beverage containers and plastics recycling remain suspended

Recycling requires manual sorting by municipal staff. These categories of recyclables are the most likely to have been in contact with the COVID-19 virus (i.e. in contact with people’s mouths) and therefore pose a health and safety risk to staff.

For the health and safety of staff, the collection of beverage containers and household plastics remains suspended.

Residents should dispose of plastic items with their regular garbage for the time being.

The Jasper Bottle Depot has chosen to reopen and is accepting beverage containers.

Sidewalk seating 

Sidewalk seating permits are being issued by the Municipality, but only if businesses can show they can comply with provincial health directives, as per Alberta’s relaunch strategy.

For more information, visit: https://www.alberta.ca/assets/documents/covid-19-relaunch-guidance-restaurants.pdf

Be vigilant about physical distancing, hand-washing and isolating if you’re sick 

As the community begins to reopen in phases, it is more important than ever to take precautions to keep yourself and others safe from COVID-19.

  • Stay two metres away from others
  • Limit indoor group size to a maximum of 15 people (50 if outdoors)
  • Order online to have groceries or other items delivered if possible and support local!
  • Wash or sanitize your hands after touching communal surfaces

Jasper National Park remains closed until at least June 1

In alignment with our partners at Parks Canada, we’re asking visitors to save their trips to Jasper until national park services resume.

Camping in national parks, including Jasper National Park, will be suspended until at least June 21.

Some trails, day use areas, green spaces and recreational boating will be available starting June 1 at some national parks. Until then, all suspensions of visitor services and closures of facilities remain in place.

Be kind 

The reality is visitors will start coming back to Jasper in the near future. As a tourist community, we rely on visitors to keep Jasper’s local business community vibrant and resilient.

Please be kind to each other; we don’t know the circumstances of every person we see on the street.

Adjusting to today’s new normal will take time for businesses, visitors and residents. Please be patient as we work through this together.

Help support Jasper businesses 

Every small act gives our business community hope. Here are the ways you can support local businesses while physical distancing:

  • Some stores and restaurants have reopened. Visit in person and be sure to follow the establishment’s health directives.
  • Buy from local businesses online
  • Order delivery or takeout from local restaurants
  • Leave positive reviews of businesses you love on social media

Friday, May 15, 2020 

Visitors, we’re still not ready for you

With the Victoria Day long weekend upon us, the ECC asks that everyone follow provincial recommendations and save travel plans for a later date, when Jasper is once again ready to welcome visitors.

Jasper’s top priority has always been safety. Safety for our residents; safety for our workforce, all those front line hospitality employees who greet guests upon arrival and provide care and service throughout their stay, and of course the safety of our guests.

We are all anxious and eager to welcome guests back to our community when it is safe and responsible for us to do so.

View a message from Mayor Richard Ireland, reminding visitors that now is still not the time to visit Jasper: Message from Mayor Ireland on COVID-19, May 14, 2020 

Parks Canada weekend road closures to discourage illegal camping 

Jasper National Park has announced Highway 93a (from the junction with Highway 93 to Athabasca Falls) and Snaring Road (just beyond the Snaring Bridge) will be temporarily closed to vehicles from Friday, May 15 through to Tuesday, May 19, 2020. These roads remain accessible for cycling and hiking for local residents.

This closure is in place over Victoria Day long weekend to streamline operations and as a prevention for illegal camping. Camping—including sleeping in a vehicle—in roadside pullouts, trailheads, and day-use areas is illegal.

Highway 93a and Snaring/Celestine Road will reopen to vehicles on Tuesday, May 19 at noon.

The Maligne Road remains closed to vehicle access.

See the full Jasper National Park community update: https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/ab/jasper/visit/covid-19-info

Camping in Jasper National Park suspended until at least June 21

The federal government announced, on May 14, camping in national parks, including Jasper National Park, will be suspended until at least June 21, when the federal government will reassess how these services might resume.

Some trails, day use areas, green spaces and recreational boating will be available starting June 1 at some national parks. Until then, all suspensions of visitor services and closures of facilities remain in place.

The latest national park updates can be found here: https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/voyage-travel/securite-safety/covid-19-info

Some businesses can reopen starting May 14
Stay safe. Stay local. 

The Government of Alberta confirmed the province will proceed with the first phase of its relaunch plan starting May 14.

Some businesses like retail stores, hair salons and museums will be allowed to open, with restrictions, and people will be able to dine in restaurants and cafes with up to 50 per cent capacity.

In the community, many hotels and guest accommodations remain closed while owners and employees make preparations to safely resume operations when it is safe to do so.

Regional visitors are discouraged from coming to Jasper this long weekend. Local businesses are working hard to put in place the appropriate safety measures to welcome you again soon, but now is still not the time to visit.

Tips for businesses 

The Government of Alberta has created guides to help owners and managers prepare to safely reopen some businesses: https://www.alberta.ca/biz-connect.aspx#guidance

Residents, shop local when you can 

Residents are encouraged to shop local this weekend (and always), and provide some much needed income for Jasper businesses.

For businesses that cannot or choose not to reopen during the first phase of the province’s relaunch strategy, you can still support them in the following ways:

  • Order from local businesses online
  • Purchase gift certificates now to use later
  • Send messages of support on social media

Readjusting to today’s new normal will take time for businesses and residents, please remember to be kind and patient as we work through this together.

Check out the Shop Local Jasper Facebook page for more ways to support local businesses. 

ECC working with AHS to resume sidewalk seating

The ECC is working with Alberta Health Services (AHS) in an effort to reinstate the sidewalk seating program, which had been suspended in response to the pandemic. We are committed to assisting businesses through this process to ensure best health practices and compliance.

Check the Council Agendas and Council Highlights for updates on the Public Spacing in Public Places proposal.

Be vigilant about physical distancing, hand-washing and isolating if you’re sick 

As the community begins to reopen in phases, it is more important than ever to take precautions to keep yourself and others safe from COVID-19.

The Municipality of Jasper urges residents to continue following public health directives, including physical distancing, frequent hand washing, and isolating if you are sick.

Please also follow these directives while enjoying the outdoors – give people space on trails and sidewalks, don’t congregate in groups and practice good hygiene.

For the latest information about COVID-19 and public health directives, check the Government of Alberta website at www.alberta.ca/covid.

Canada Day events cancelled for 2020 

In keeping with Alberta Health Services’ public health directives, the Jasper Canada Day Committee has announced that Jasper’s 2020 Canada Day celebrations are cancelled.

We want to express our gratitude to the volunteers who sit on the Canada Day Committee for all of the work they do each year to throw an incredible day of celebrations in our community. We look forward to 2021 when we can once again gather for a pancake breakfast, parade and party in the park.

The Canada Day Committee’s full press release can be found on its Facebook page.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Visitors, please stay home 

In order to keep our residents safe and healthy, the Municipality of Jasper is still urging anyone planning a leisure trip to Jasper or Jasper National Park before June 1 to cancel their plans. This timeline is subject to change based on provincial health directives and further announcements by Parks Canada. All campgrounds and visitor services in Jasper National Park are closed until at least May 31.

Local law enforcement agencies are still monitoring traffic in town, at local trailheads and other points of interest. Clear signage is in place to indicate that only essential services are available in Jasper.

Non-essential travel not recommended

Although some businesses will be able to re-open starting May 14, non-essential travel is still not recommended for Albertans, but it is not prohibited. This means that there is no law or public health order stopping them from coming, despite our best communication efforts. Even if visitors are intercepted at an information check stop, they can still proceed into a community. This is a reality Jasperites need to prepare for ahead of the summer months.

Local partners are planning increased regional messaging to tell Albertans to stay home for the May long weekend. The Municipality is also engaged with the Economic Recovery Task Force, who will present information and guidance in the coming weeks to ensure Jasper is a safe place for residents, workers and visitors.

We anticipate a severe decrease in international visitors this summer, but regional visitors will be key to supporting local businesses. While we are still actively communicating with visitors that now is not the time to visit, this message will change as the health directives allow.

Jasper Home Accommodation update

The Director of Emergency Management sent a statement to the Jasper Home Accommodation, asking for its collaboration in keeping the community safe and limiting the number of visitors in Jasper.

There are currently no restrictions in place on private home accommodations from a municipal perspective, but the ECC is encouraging each and every operator to abide by provincial directives and avoid enabling visitors who are travelling for non-essential services.

The ECC is acutely aware of the financial impact this pandemic has on several homeowners in Jasper who count on the revenue from nightly rentals to pay their bills.

Support Jasper’s economy  

Jasper’s businesses are an integral part of our community.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many changes to every facet of our residents’ lives. These are challenging times for everyone.

 Many local businesses have had to close their brick-and-mortar stores, but many are adapting to continue to serve residents during this continued period of uncertainty.

While we’re encouraging visitors to save their travels to Jasper for a safer time, we want to keep Jasper’s local business community vibrant and resilient. You can help make a difference by supporting them today.

Here’s how:

Whenever possible, buy locally

  • Order from local businesses online
  •  Purchase gift certificates now to use later
  •  Order meals for takeout or delivery
  •  Send messages of support on social media

Keep up physical distancing and hand-washing 

We all have a role to play to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The Municipality of Jasper urges residents to continue following the public health directives, including physical distancing, frequent hand washing, isolating if you are sick, and limiting other interactions to essential services only (food, medications, etc.).

For the latest information about COVID-19 and public health directives, check the Government of Alberta website at www.alberta.ca/covid.

 Physically distancing outdoors 

When outdoors, take precautions to protect yourself and those around you:

  • Plan your activities with people from your own household
  • Plan your activity in advance to ensure physical distancing is possible

 If your activity involves a public place:

  •  Consider going during non-peak hours
  •  Walk along the sides of trails and other public pathways to maintain distance

 Meals donated to help with food insecurity

The Emergency Social Services (ESS) branch has noticed an increase in food insecurity in our community. Challenged with the current lack of financial resources and self-isolation requirements, many people do not have the resources to meet their basic needs. 

In the last month ESS has delivered 146 meals to residents in need. Meals were donated by the Community Dinner program, Coco’s Café and Easy Eats by Pursuit and are made available to residents through the activated ESS response.


Mental health resources

A public health emergency, like the COVID-19 pandemic, can increase anxiety, stress and fear, leaving many people feeling a loss of control. This may be exacerbated by public health directives to physically distance from others, as connection is often an important tool in coping with difficult situations. Try to be patient with yourself and others during this time, as people may not be coping the way they usually do. 

If you require support to get through these unprecedented times, there are many resources available to ensure that you find the care you need.

 Online resources 

 If you need to talk, call the 24-hour help lines: 

  • Mental Health Help Line at 1-877-303-2642
  • Addiction Help Line at 1-866-332-2322

 Kids Help Phone 

  • Website
  • Text CONNECT to 686868
  • Call 1-800-668-6868


Text4Hope


  • Free text messaging support during uncertain times.
  • To subscribe: text COVID19HOPE to 393939.
  • Fees may apply. Visit the website for more details.

Alberta 211 - Information on social supports

Friday, May 1, 2020 

Stay home – now is not the time to visit Jasper

On April 30, the Province of Alberta announced a multi-stage relaunch plan that will depend on the province’s continued ability to control the spread of the coronavirus and curb the number of COVID-19 patients who need hospital care. In Stage 1 of the province’s plan, some businesses and facilities would be allowed to gradually resume operations starting May 14. The Municipality of Jasper and its community partners will continue working together and provide updates as they become available.

For now, the Municipality of Jasper urges anyone planning a leisure trip to Jasper or Jasper National Park (JNP) before June 1 to cancel their plans. This timeline is subject to change based on provincial health directives and further announcements by Parks Canada. All campgrounds and visitor services in Jasper National Park are closed until at least May 31.

For more Jasper National Park information, see the JNP Community Updates.

Most Jasper businesses and hotels are closed or operating with severely restricted services. Following Premier Kenney’s message that some Alberta golf courses could open as early as May 2, the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge Golf course confirmed it is still closed; and anticipating a June 1 opening date.

Jasper takes pride in its ability to welcome visitors and offer memorable experiences, but now in, the midst of COVID-19, is not the time to visit. Our small hospital and its dedicated staff will be extremely challenged to provide the necessary services to our residents should the pandemic spread further through our rural community.

Local law enforcement agencies are monitoring traffic in town, at local trailheads and other points of interest. Clear signage is in place to indicate that only essential services are available in Jasper. Information check stops are not in place at this time, but will be implemented if they become necessary.

On April 30, the ECC released a news release (PDF), encouraging visitors to stay home. Mayor Richard Ireland has also conducted interviews with regional media outlets, reiterating the message that non-essential travel is not recommended.

When the world returns to some sense of normalcy, Jasper will be pleased, prepared and eager to welcome you.

The ECC is also asking Jasperites to avoid non-essential trips into other communities.

If you are concerned someone is not following public health orders, you can submit a complaint to AHS public health inspectors. More information on this can be found on the AHS website

Keep up the physical distancing

We all have a role to play to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The Municipality of Jasper urges residents to continue following the public health directives, including physical distancing, frequent hand washing, isolating if you are sick, and limiting other interactions to essential services only (food, medications, etc.).

For the latest information about COVID-19 and public health directives, check the Government of Alberta website at www.alberta.ca/covid.

Physically distancing outdoors 

As you go outside to take in this beautiful spring weather, please remember to follow public health recommendations and refrain from taking any unnecessary risks that can lead to preventable injuries, taking up valuable hospital beds during the coronavirus pandemic.

Jasper Community Garden & Jasper United Church Annual Plant Sale 

The Government of Alberta has deemed all agricultural businesses — including greenhouses, farmers’ markets, nurseries and garden centres — essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the weather gets warmer, residents can expect to see gardeners in the Jasper Community Garden.

The community garden is located on municipal lands, but is managed and operated by the Jasper Local Food Society; they will be responsible for implementing public health directives.

The Jasper United Church Annual Plant Sale is still scheduled to take place from May 28 – 30. The Jasper United Church will be responsible for implementing public health directives.

Sidewalk seating suspended 

In alignment with public health directives, Bylaw Services has suspended sidewalk seating for local businesses. Many restaurants remain open for take-out services.

Emergency Social Services (ESS) 

ESS, a branch under the municipal ECC, continues to focus on the social impact of the pandemic on the community through numerous programs.

In the last month, ESS staff have:

  • Delivered 146 meals
    Meals were donated by the Community Dinner program, Coco’s Café and Easy Eats by Pursuit and are made available to residents through the activated ESS response.
  • Answered 53 phone calls on the community information and referral line
    Some questions and concerns focus on visiting Jasper, camping, Jasper National Park Information and AHS protocols. 
  • Welcomed 1,642 members to the Jasper COVID-19 Mutual Aid Facebook page
    So far, the page has 586 posts, 3,522 comments and 18,751 reactions (likes, dislikes, loves) 

For more information on ESS resources, see: COVID-19 Resources for Residents 

Friday, April 24, 2020

Keep up the physical distancing

While Alberta hasn’t seen the predicted increase in diagnosed COVID-19 cases during the month of April, it is crucial – now more than ever – to continue our efforts to flatten the curve.

The Municipality of Jasper urges residents to continue following the public health directives, including physical distancing, frequent hand washing, isolating if you are sick, and limiting other interactions to essential services only (food, medications, etc.). 

For the latest information about COVID-19 and public health directives, check the Government of Alberta website at www.alberta.ca/covid.

Stay Home – now is not the time to visit Jasper

The Municipality of Jasper ECC is working with Parks Canada, the RCMP and Tourism Jasper to ensure visitors are aware that now is not the time to visit Jasper.

Anyone considering a visit to a Parks Canada location before June 1 should cancel their plans. Highways, roadways and park gates that pass through Jasper National Park remain open, but all motor vehicle access by visitors is suspended until further notice. All non-essential travel should be cancelled.

Visit our Facebook page for a detailed post on the Municipal COVID-19 Referral Line frequently asked questions, which addresses access to Jasper during the pandemic.

Increased visitor traffic monitoring

As the weather gets warmer, the ECC and local law enforcement personnel will continue to monitor visitor traffic in the area and communicate with the public as required. A traffic reader board will be placed at the east town entrance to discourage any visitors from entering the town site. Information check stops are not required at this time but will be implemented if they become necessary.

Contractors working around Jasper

Residents may notice an increase in the number of contractors in town. This includes project staff for Trans Mountain, CN Rail (track maintenance) and the Whistlers Campground project. The Municipality of Jasper, Parks Canada and Alberta Health Services are working together to ensure public health directives are being adhered to and are reviewing safety plans provided by contractors.

These projects and associated work are considered essential services and do not go against provincial guidelines. Contractors housed in Jasper are not considered visitors and are expected to follow the advice of public health experts on physical distancing, hygiene and limiting their interactions to essential services only.

Public health orders and enforcement during COVID-19

If you are concerned that an individual or establishment is not following the provincial public health directives, you can submit a complaint on the Alberta Health Services (AHS) website:

https://ephisahs.microsoftcrmportals.com/create-case/

Before submitting a complaint, residents are encouraged to:

  • review current restrictions at www.alberta.ca/covid;
  • use their best judgement to determine the severity of the situation and decide if a complaint is necessary; and
  • submit a complaint by completing the online form referenced above.

Complaints submitted on the AHS website are forwarded to the local health inspector for investigation and shared with the Municipal Emergency Coordination Centre (ECC) when appropriate. The ECC is in close contact with Alberta Health Services and ready to assist as required, which includes voicing concerns observed or communicated locally to the appropriate authority.

Physical distancing in municipal parks

While municipal outdoor spaces are still open, residents using them must follow physical distancing rules and avoid group activities such as basketball, soccer or ultimate frisbee. Even if you are standing at least two metres away from others, the COVID-19 virus can spread through surfaces, including sporting equipment.

Municipal parks, green spaces and the off-leash area are still open, but playgrounds remain closed. Please remember to take all necessary precautions, including washing your hands often and actively supervising children and pets.

The Municipal Emergency Coordination Centre (ECC) 

During a community emergency, municipal staff assemble under the appropriate Incident Command System (ICS) structure, which in the case of the COVID-19 pandemic, is an Emergency Coordination Centre (ECC). This system allows organizations and their staff to work together under a common structure, which facilitates collaboration and information sharing specific to an incident or crisis. Our community partners at Parks Canada and Alberta Health Services have also activated their respective emergency plans, which means every agency is functioning under a similar, predictable structure.

The COVID-19 pandemic is a health emergency, which means Alberta Health Services is the lead agency. The Municipality’s role in this incident is to:

  • ensure the health and safety of staff and residents;
  • maintain essential municipal services; and
  • support Alberta Health Services as required.

It is crucial that the Municipal ECC remain active in the event of an increase in diagnosed COVID-19 cases in Jasper.

Given the extended duration of the COVID-19 crisis, municipal staff currently involved in the ECC are doing so on a part-time or as-needed basis and continue to perform their regular duties during the work week. The ECC is functioning under a partial activation, which means only necessary positions are filled. There are currently two unionized staff and nine management staff involved in the ECC. The structure is designed to accommodate reductions and increases in staffing and resources as the incident unfolds.

Any non-essential services provided by the Municipality are either closed or being reviewed by Council for cost reductions. Check the Council highlights and associated agenda packages for details, or watch Council meetings online every Tuesday morning at 9:30 am.