Brandon Sun readers requested specific questions be asked at COVID-19 news conferences with chief public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin and Lanette Siragusa, chief nursing officer with Shared Health.
QUESTION: I’ve heard that home care attendants from a small rural community in the Prairie Mountain Health region will be forced to go to Brandon to help at Fairview Personal Care Home. These attendants will apparently be living at a nurses’ residence for a period of time — two weeks. These same attendants visit actual homes in their community, rather than facilities. Can you confirm this is this the new plan and, if yes, how is this protective for those who need home care?
SIRAGUSA: I know conversations have been going on with the Prairie Mountain Regional Health Authority. I know that they were trying to find a way to have home care support the personal care home, which is not an unreasonable place to redeploy them. Also, as you know, being from Brandon, the travel distances are challenging, so trying to accommodate work at a different place and provide accommodations or support the workers’ family life and work life. I think those conversations continue to happen. I haven’t received formal confirmation that a decision has been made at this time.
QUESTION: Why have officials shut down outdoor activities for kids such as sledding and skating on outdoor ponds, especially if they were sticking to small groups of two-to-three kids?
ROUSSIN: Outdoor group sizes are five. So if you were out on a pond with less than five people or going for walks or anything … We shut down recreational facilities, outdoors, right now, just because we wanted to decrease the risk of large amount of people gathering. If you had an outdoor hockey rink we would expect only five people to be on it at a time, right now. So outdoor recreation facilities have been shut down just for the short period. But, still, there’s a lot of outdoor recreation that can occur. The group size limits are five.
Do you have a question about something in your community? Send your questions to [email protected] with the subject line: Readers Ask.
The City of Edmonton is clamping down on enforcement of the mandatory mask bylaw and will require masks in all city recreation facilities even if an individual is exempt.
On Friday, interim city manager Adam Laughlin announced the change, which will take effect Dec. 1 in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19 as cases spike in the Edmonton region. The city has previously advised businesses to make accommodations for those exempt from wearing a face covering by allowing them in or providing curb-side pickup.
But Laughlin said further restrictions are required with the growing number of cases. Masks can be removed when exercising or swimming inside the facilities but must be worn at all other times.
There are currently 6,614 active cases of COVID-19 in the Edmonton Zone.
“We’ve reached the tipping point where the rate of the spread of the virus could grow and cause even more devastating to our health and safety of our residents and our economy,” he said. “The priority right now is shutting down the spread of transmission and protecting our health system.”
The city’s five recreation facilities will remain open for individual exercise and swimming, but Laughlin said 22 arenas will be closing between Dec. 1-18. These arenas weren’t open to the public, but available for bookings by leagues or community organizations. Only the Downtown Community Arena will remain open as part of the World Junior Hockey Championships to be hosted at Rogers Place.
Three city-run senior centres and the St. Francis Xavier Sports Centre will also close and all indoor events and group activities at city facilities will be cancelled, Laughlin said.
Two popular holiday attractions will also look a little different this year. Zoominescence at the Edmonton Valley Zoo will continue but all guests must wear a mask and book timed-entry tickets in advance. Crestwood’s popular Candy Cane Lane will be drive-through only, with sleigh rides and food trucks cancelled this year.
Laughlin cautioned Edmontonians that if there isn’t a reduction in virus transmission by Dec. 15 an expansion or enhancement of restrictions may be required through the holidays. This could include the city taking its own action by ordering the closure of restaurants or businesses.
He also asked residents to avoid non-essential travel as much as possible and shop locally within their neighbourhoods.
Council’s emergency advisory committee is next scheduled to meet on Dec. 10.
ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) — Even though it’s been more difficult this year to get a workout in, experts say it’s essential for both physical health and overall happiness.
Peter Stenson says he goes for a walk on a daily basis. “And if I go a day without a walk, I don’t feel too good.” He added working out on Black Friday also helps to burn off the extra calories from Thanksgiving the night before.
The World Health Organization recommends adults get at least 150 minutes of exercise per week, while children between 5 and 17 should get 1 hour per day.
Though many things were different this year, one Rochester family did their best to keep some things consistent.
“We tried to still make some stuff on our own,” said Brian Koski. “Which ended up making us eat a little later than usual. We zoom called with half of our family, with my wife’s family. And then we did another video call with my side of the family. So that was different.”
Different with an opportunity the day after for some outdoor physical activity before the cold settles in.
“We live in Minnesota, it’s such nice weather right now, it hasn’t really gotten very cold,” said Koski. “We should all get outside.”
LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Lafayette Parks and Recreation is taking a new approach when it comes to connecting with the community.
“It was a way to raise morale internally, but to try to give the public something positive and fun during a scary time,” Lafayette Parks and Recreation Marketing Manager, Samantha Haville, told News 18.
Haville has not only used the account to raise morale but promote safe activities as well.
“Our parks are open,” Explained Haville. “We wanted to encourage people to safely get outdoors and enjoy some fresh air and sunshine.”
Haville says the TikTok account has also served as a hiring tool for the department.
“Some of our returning lifeguards danced to a trending song and we kind of put out a call [for lifeguards],” Haville says the message was well received. “Immediately following we received tons of applications.”
Back in July, the department posted a video to Living on a Prayer.
“Jon Bon Jovi himself actually shared our video on his Instagram,” Haville told us.
Haville has no plans on stopping the videos any time soon. She told News 18, “It seems to be something positive and something to look forward to. I think we’re going to keep going and see where it takes us.”
Click here if you’d like to view the team’s TikTok videos.
WHITEHORSE, YT, Nov. 27, 2020 /CNW/ – The safety and well-being of Northerners are top priorities of the governments of Canada and Yukon.
That is why governments have been taking decisive action to support families, businesses and communities, as they adapt to the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic and support the creation of good, middle-class jobs.
Yukoners need recreational facilities that are accessible, efficient and environmentally responsible.
The Honourable Larry Bagnell, Member of Parliament for Yukon, on behalf of the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development, and on behalf of the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities; and the Honourable John Streicker, Minister of Community Services, for the Government of Yukon, announced funding for recreational infrastructure at the Mount Sima ski hill in Whitehorse.
The Mt. Sima ski hill upgrades will include new electrical, pumping and stream flow control measures, as well as converting snow-making away from reliance on diesel power. These upgrades will facilitate snow-making opportunities during the low-snow parts of the season and protect natural surroundings, including Sima Creek.
The installation of LED lighting on the ski hill will help build increased capacity for training and special events on the ski hill.
The Government of Canada is investing over $3.7 million in this project through the Investing in Canada plan through the Rural and Northern Communities Infrastructure Stream (RNIS) and the Community, Culture and Recreation Infrastructure Stream (CCRIS). The Government of Yukon is providing more than $1.4 million.
“Rural and Northern Canadians are facing unprecedented challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, but they also have unique opportunities for growth and innovation. We know that the travel and tourism sector is one of the most heavily impacted sectors by the pandemic. That is why the funding announced today for Mt. Sima – a popular winter destination for all Yukoners – will help improve the operations of this valued facility, which serves as an important winter activity and skill development venue for Yukon residents of all ages. The safety and well-being of Northerners are top priorities of our government and we will continue to support businesses and families as they adapt and move toward the post-COVID recovery.”
The Honourable Larry Bagnell, Member of Parliament for Yukon, on behalf of the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development,
“It’s more important than ever that Canadians have the opportunity to get outside to stay healthy and active while protecting our natural winter environment. The Government of Canada is investing more than $3.7 million in better winter sports infrastructure for Yukon skiers and snowboarders, including upgrades to electrical and pumping systems, improved snow-making operations and eco-friendly lighting on Mt. Sima. Canada’s infrastructure plan invests in thousands of projects, creates jobs across the country, and builds cleaner, more inclusive communities.”
The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
“Mount Sima has recently emerged as a destination training facility for
Weeks have elapsed since the last embers of the Badger Fire — which turned decades-old forest growth to ash — were extinguished.
Recent storms have washed small amounts of soot and sand down streams, but the smell of burnt trees and grasses still lingers within the canyon walls.
About this series
This story is the fifth in a multi-part series on the Badger Fire and its eﬀects on South Hills. Read the previous parts at go.magicvalley.com/badgerfire.
Next week’s story explores the science of increasingly large wildfires, how they’re changing the West and how the Badger Fire fits into the new normal for wildfire.
Among the noticeable changes in the South Hills is the noise — or the lack thereof.
The familiar sounds of fall recreation are missing as many trails and roads remain closed.
Gone are the bicycle hubs buzzing on descents of Third Fork, the “BRAPP!” from motorbikes and ATVs among the aspen groves near Bostetter Campground, and the gentle claps of horse hooves from trail riders ascending Badger Mountain.
The forest is nearly silent.
And it’s not clear when recreation will return to the South Hills or what it will look like when it does.
But when it does, the people who use the area say they hope they’ll be involved in making improvements.
Until further notice, all Town of Vulcan recreation facilities are now closed for all group and team activities.
The Town closed the facilities starting Friday, following the Alberta government’s Nov. 24 announcement of public health measures to protect the health-care system and slow the spread of COVID-19.
The Vulcan District Arena was open last Wednesday and Thursday, allowing Vulcan Skating Club members and Vulcan Minor Hockey teams to use the facility.
While Vulcan’s recreation’s recreation facilities are currently closed for group and team activities, the recreation facilities are for single family and one-on-one coaching, reads the Facebook page of the Town of Vulcan’s recreation department.
All bookings must be made by noon the day before, during business hours from Monday to Friday. Phone 403-485-6659 or email [email protected] for inquiries and bookings.
Bonnie Ellis, the Town’s community services manager, said the recreation department’s programming has stopped for the time being.
“We’re still going to look for ways to keep the community active,” she said.
Derek Sager, president of the Vulcan Minor Hockey Association, said the league in which Vulcan teams play, the Central Alberta Hockey League (CAHL), is still running.
But that’s only for teams based in communities classified as being “open,” and there are not many communities within the CAHL classified as open, said Sager.
Vulcan County is not one of them, instead falling into the province’s “enhanced” category. As of end of day Nov. 24, there were 100 active cases of COVID-19 in Vulcan County, according to Alberta government data.
Vulcan Minor Hockey teams could resume practising and playing games once Vulcan County is classified as “open,” said Sager.
MAHWAH, NJ — How early is too early to put up your holiday decorations? The jury is still out, but, if you’d like to participate in Mahwah’s first annual holiday lighting contest, it may be time to consider getting them together.
The Mahwah Recreation Committee is sponosring a new, annual, holiday lighting contest starting this year.
“With the uncertainty of today’s times, we wanted to launch a new event that would embrace the creativity and spirit of all Township residents throughout Mahwah while still adhering to the health guidelines during this pandemic,” the committee said, in a statement.
The contest will have three winners from each of the six sections of town, the committee said, meaning 18 total winners will be selected. Town sections, according to the news release, will be determined based on the town’s recycling sections.
Judging will take place the week of Dec. 13, but the deadline for registration is Dec. 6. Winners will be announced Dec. 19.
Prizes will be in the form of gift certificates to area restauarants. The winner gets $100, $50 for second place and $25 for third place.
From the committee, here’s how you can register and find your section:
“Visit www.mahwahtwp.org; go to Recreation, then click on Holiday Lighting Contest and fill out the form. Find your recycling section: Visit www.mahwahtwp.org; click on Garbage and Recycling, then click on Find Your Recycling Section to look up your street.”
When archaeologists of the future excavate at Windsor to procure data on life in an ancient New England rural community, they will discover if they are diligent that not only were Hereford beef steers successfully raised and ranged far from their native West, but that the hilltop folk of this so-called sophisticated age still took whole-hearted pleasure in the simplest forms of sport originated generations ago by country-dwelling forefathers. The former unusual phase of current life at Windsor is well known, but the latter has just come to the fore with the organization of the Windsor Recreation Association.
No elaborate equipment and organization such as that required to amuse a contemporary golf-playing, football-going city generation could possibly provide pleasure to match that evidently taken by the community of Windsor in the regular Sunday afternoon sports events at Brookvale Farm. For two hours or more, starting at 2 o’clock there are contests in buck-sawing, barrel-rolling, rifle-shooting, wood-chopping, hare-and-hounds — in short, almost the whole run of feats of skill, strength and endurance enjoyed infrequently by the men of past generations on the hill. The same simple events are being revived in a big way, to banish care and keep wits sharp.
Some 30 men, largely of younger years, comprise the active participants, but not the onlookers — men, women and a very generous representation of the juvenile element of the community, always outnumber them. Cheering is vociferous and advice voluminous, and at the same time, both serious and ludicrous. No doubt is left that the people generally are having as much fun as the choppers, the sawyers and the shooters.
There are two teams — known as the tigers and the Wildcats. the energy and determination of their wilderness namesakes undoubtedly are equaled by the contestants, but the utter good humor with which they plunge in is in sharp contrast. Incidentally, real wildcats roam the back country of Windsor, and occasionally one is shot not far from the scene of the Recreation Association meeting place — Brookvale Farm.
The whole series of weekly contests is for a dinner, a read, bang-up good country dinner which the losers must give the winners. But that is a thing of the future. Right now, with good weather holding out there is no thought of bringing the contests to a close.
This Story in History is selected from the archives by Jeannie Maschino, The Berkshire Eagle.