The RMWB is currently focusing on redeploying employees to essential departments during the COVID-19 pandemic.
That was the answer given by Jamie Doyle, Chief Administrative Officer, when asked during an online town hall on Thursday whether the municipality would be laying off workers.
“We continue to look for redeployment opportunities first and foremost,” said Doyle. “Our commitment to keeping residents safe and healthy while providing important services, programs, and projects is a priority.”
Doyle also gave an example as some employees have been tasked with helping clean transit buses.
More and more cities across the country have started laying off municipal workers. This includes Calgary and Edmonton who laid off hundreds earlier this week.
“We understand the challenges that other communities are facing,” added Doyle.
Number of COVID-19 Tests
Dr. Kristin Klein with Alberta Health Services says nearly 4,900 tests have been completed across the north zone.
However, she didn’t clarify how many of these tests have been done in Wood Buffalo.
As of April 2, there have been 55 confirmed cases across northern Alberta. This represents just over one per cent of tests.
Three are confirmed cases in Fort McMurray.
“Initially, it was focused on returning travelers and now it’s more on high risk populations,” noted Klein. “What we are going to see is a change in how we’re detecting cases.”
Moving forward, those who aren’t being tested are being asked to stay home to avoid the potential of community transmission.
Meanwhile, none of the positive cases in Fort McMurray have needed to be treated at the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre.
Fort McMurray International Airport
A number of questions during the town hall were focused on the YMM Airport.
This included why it remains open and what measures are being taken to ensure they’re stopping the virus from entering the community.
“We have to remain open for important medical and domestic air travel and to facilitate the movement of important supplies in and out of the community,” said RJ Steenstra, President and CEO of the Fort McMurray Airport Authority.
Airports across the country have also implemented additional measures.
This includes conducting medical screenings for Canadians coming back into the country and refusing to allow anyone on a plane if they have any symptoms.
People who want more information about all the measures being taken across Alberta can visit the provincial government’s website.