COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

Diagnosed cases of COVID-19 at three Ponoka businesses

Town ‘strongly encouraging’ residents to wear non-medical masks in public

At least three Ponoka businesses have reported confirmed cases of COVID-19 at their locations.

Sommer Home Hardware, the Ponoka Jubilee Library and Altitude Spa all announced on their Facebook pages on Oct. 25, that a case had been diagnosed, either among their staff, or of a person who had been at their location.

According to the post from Altitude Spa owner Kim Green, Alberta Health Services (AHS) advised that the case diagnosed in an individual at the spa was not the result of an in-workplace transmission.

The spa and dental hygiene staff are isolating based on the advice of AHS.

Sommer Home Hardware Building Centre advised customers on Oct. 25 that they had been notified that an employee had tested positive for COVID-19.

The employee had last been in the store on Oct. 21, was tested on Oct. 22, and received a positive test result on Oct. 24.

The store voluntarily closed on Oct. 25 to allow for a thorough disinfecting of the building.

“Please know the health and safety of our employees and our local community is paramount, and we remain committed to following all health and safety guidelines set out by Alberta Health Services,” stated the post.

The Ponoka Jubilee Library closed on Monday, Oct. 26, and reopened on Oct. 27 after a thorough disinfection of the library, as a precautionary measure following a staff member testing positive for COVID-19.

The library was disinfected with EnviroShield, that is thought to eliminate traces of the virus on surfaces.

“This pandemic has been continuing on for several months now and although we’re all getting tired, I encourage you to please continue being vigilant,” said Ponoka Mayor Rick Bonnett in a recent statement.

“Please continue to follow AHS requirements and recommendations to keep yourselves and everyone around you safe.”

He went on to explain that AHS has placed Ponoka County, including all municipalities in that area, under ‘watch’ status.

No additional measures are being put in place at this time, and residents are urged to continue practicing physical distancing, frequent hand washing or sanitizing, and to wear a mask in public when physical distancing isn’t possible.

“Town council is not mandating masks in public due to the enforcement requirements that come with that, but we are strongly encouraging you to wear non-medical masks in public.”

As of 1 p.m. on Oct. 27, the geospatial map on alberta.ca showed seven active cases for Ponoka (East Ponoka County) when on the “Local geographical area” setting.

Note: When the map is on the “Municipality setting” it includes numbers for Maskwacis under Ponoka County. For numbers most representative of Maskwacis, visit Maskwacis Health Services on Facebook.

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