Third COVID-19 case reported in Grande Prairie region

Six municipalities in the Alberta Peace say the biggest COVID-19 risk facing the region is the return of travellers from outside Canada.

There were 20 confirmed cases in Alberta's northern health zone as of March 24. So far, three have been reported in the Grande Prairie region.

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It's mandatory for anyone who has travelled outside of Canada to go into quarantine for 14 days to prevent the potential transmission of the COVID-19 virus.

“The biggest risk to the region is the return of residents who have been out of Canada,” said Dan Lemieux, acting director of emergency management for the Grande Prairie Regional Emergency Partnership.

“It is critical that they return to their homes immediately and not make any stops. Do not stop to visit family, do not stop to pick up any pets, don’t even stop for groceries. And once you are home, please stay there in isolation for two weeks.”

The City of Grande Prairie, County of Grande Prairie, as well as Beaverlodge, Wembley, Sexsmith, and Hythe make up the partnership.

Federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu has said she is considering criminal penalties for travellers who don't follow government orders to self-isolate when they return home.

Lemieux said the municipalities recognize that returning residents will need to buy groceries and other items upon their return home. However, he encouraged them to ask for help from family and neighbours, or to use online shopping.

“It is critical that you avoid contact with others for the full 14 days and do not go out into the community for any reason," said Lemieux. 

"For the rest of the community, if you know of a snowbird returning home, reach out to them to see if you can help them gather supplies they’ll need and deliver them to their door without making contact.” 

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