January 22nd, 2021

City’s new promotional videos plea for safety

By COLLIN GALLANT on November 20, 2020.

cgallant@medicinehatnews.com@CollinGallant

A new series of online videos asks Hatters to “ACT NOW” to slow the spread of the coronavirus and limit the impact to vulnerable people, businesses and essential service workers.

Police chief Andy McGrogan and fire chief Brian Stauth both ask in recorded messages on the city’s social media feeds to help protect their officers’ health.

Fitness instructor Ed Stiles says we all need to work together to keep public facilities and stores open.

The series comes from the city’s communications office days after councillors said they wanted to see a stepped-up promotional campaign while they consider a local mask bylaw, potentially at the Dec. 7 meeting.

City emergency managers also said they are now evaluating isolation efforts for city workers deemed essential, like police, fire and utility crews.

“I’m asking you to protect my firefighters so we can protect you,” said Stauth, who says lost time due to diagnosis would hamper the department’s operational readiness.

“It presents threats to all of us, our health livelihoods and even our lives – please consider the impacts.”

The general advice is to wear a mask, wash hands often, maintain two metres distance and isolate if you are feeling sick.

The province also calls on Albertans to limit indoor social gatherings, and in some cities with higher levels, has halted indoor fitness classes.

Stiles, a trainer at the Family Leisure Centre which closed in March and reopened in the summer, asks Hatters to do their part.

“It’s time to do everything in your power to slow the spread of COVID 19,” he said. “It presents a real threat to our physical and mental heath if our rec facilities were forced to shut down again.

“Let’s stop the spread and keep our participants healthy.”

Late last week, local cases rose to levels where the provincial health authority is considering stiffer restrictions on certain businesses and activities.

They rose from 34 cases in Medicine Hat on Friday to 50 on Monday, and new cases has counted two, four and 11, in order, over the past three days.

“This is a shared responsibility,” said McGrogan. “We need to be looking out for each other.

“It’s a real risk to public safety and first responders. Keep them healthy so they can help you should you need us.”

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