COVID-19 - Information for Jasper
The health and safety of our community is our top priority.
In March, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak of COVID-19 a pandemic.
In May, the province announced Phase 1 of its economic relaunch. Jasper began welcoming visitors to the townsite and park with health and safety restrictions in place on June 1.
Learn more about our response to the COVID-19 pandemic and how this impacts you as a resident.
COVID-19 community updates
October 21, 2020
As of yesterday at 4:00 pm, the Alberta Health map shows Jasper in blue, placing us in the “watch” classification for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic.
The Municipality of Jasper received information from Alberta Health indicating that the reason for the change is that our community now has 11 active cases, which triggered a change in classification once we hit a 10 cases threshold.
The majority of cases are from known exposure, which shows that the situation is somewhat contained and that contact tracing was possible in relation to these cases.
Alberta Health officials continued to emphasize that we, as a community, must continue to be alert and do what we can to limit the spread. This includes:
- maintaining physical distancing;
- washing our hands often;
- wearing masks when physical distancing is not possible; and
- staying at home and arranging for testing if experiencing any symptoms
Anyone who knows they were exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19, even if they are asymptomatic, must isolate, self-monitor and arrange for a test.
Alberta Health commended Jasper as a community for its efforts, and encouraged us to continue to take all precautions necessary to limit the spread of the virus.
The Municipality of Jasper and Alberta Health Services – North Zone will continue to stay in close communication and monitor the situation.
Several resources are available on the Alberta Health Services website, including guidance for parents of children attending school and/or childcare.
Face coverings required in Jasper
As of August 4, face masks, or face coverings, are required on Jasper's downtown sidewalks and in all public indoor spaces.
Face coverings are required:
- On the west side of Connaught Drive between Hazel Avenue and Aspen Avenue;
- On Patricia Street between Hazel Avenue and Pyramid Lake Road;
- On all connecting public sidewalks between those streets;
- On all public sidewalks where a 2 metre distance cannot be maintained; and
- In all public indoor spaces, including all businesses, facilities, patios and indoor areas that are open to the public.
Everyone will be required to wear a face covering that fully covers their nose, mouth and chin when in public spaces, including specified sidewalks, stores, facilities and public buildings.
There are several exceptions to the rule, including children under two, people prevented from wearing a face covering due to medical conditions, and people eating or drinking while at assigned seating within the establishment from which they obtained the food or drink. Please note that people do not have to prove that they are medically exempt from wearing a mask.
Physical activity exemptions
Take the pledge to keep Jasper safe
We can protect each other from COVID-19. It's as simple as washing our hands, keeping our distance and wearing masks when distancing isn't an option.
Join Municipal Council in taking the pledge to Keep Jasper Safe by wearing a mask in the downtown business district and in public spaces where you're unable to maintain physical distancing.
Together, we can keep each other healthy and safe.
Facilities and Services
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many organizations to change the way they do business, including the Municipality of Jasper. We temporarily closed many facilities and implemented new practices to prevent the spread as we continue serving our residents. As the situation evolves, so does our municipal response. Below are the latest updates on what’s open, what’s closed and other municipal services.
Culture and Recreation
Fitness Centre, Aquatic Centre and Climbing Wall - OPEN
The Fitness Centre, Aquatic Centre and Climbing Wall reopened on September 21, 2020.
Activity Centre - OPEN
The Activity Centre reopened on September 21, 2020.
Face coverings and masks
Squash and racquetball court
Playgrounds - OPEN
Beginning June 12, municipal playgrounds reopened to the public.
Playgrounds have received thorough and comprehensive inspections, to ensure the safety of playground users. Regular inspections will continue throughout the summer.
To ensure the safety of children and families, individuals should take precautions when visiting playgrounds. Children may find it difficult to avoid touching their eyes, nose or mouth. This can lead to the spread of the virus to playground equipment, other children and families.
Skate park - OPEN
The skate park also reopened June 12.
Users should wait turns to use ramps and bars, consider wearing a mask and bring their own hand sanitizer and water.
Tennis courts -OPEN
With help from the Jasper Park Tennis Club, the tennis courts at the Activity Centre reopened on June 18. The middle court is currently not in use to help with physical distancing.
A lock remains in place. To obtain the access code, contact the Jasper Park Tennis Club at 780-852-4321.
Ball diamonds - OPEN
The ball diamonds at Centennial Park are open for free recreational use, but will not be maintained to league play standards this season.
Volleyball courts - OPEN
The volleyball courts reopened July 9. There is maximum of 24 players allowed on the courts. At this time spectators are not permitted.
The volleyball courts are currently being maintained by users. See more information.
Connaught Drive public washrooms - OPEN
The public washrooms on the corner of Connaught Drive and Hazel Avenue reopened on June 8.
Multipurpose hall - CLOSED
Events scheduled to be held in the multipurpose hall have been cancelled until the end of 2020.
Finance and Administration
As of July 7, the Administration office is once again open to the public. Office hours are 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday to Friday, with an hour closure for lunch between 12 pm and 1 pm.
To ensure the safety of staff and residents, only two visitors will be allowed in the office at one time. Outside, you’ll notice pylons indicating where to wait if there are already two people inside.
All visitors will be asked to use hand sanitizer before and after their visit. A hand sanitizing station is set up at the front desk.
Community and Family Services
The Community and Family Services building, located at 627 Patricia St., remains closed to the public. Staff are delivering services virtually or by phone.
Community Outreach Services - OPEN
Community Outreach Services is operating virtually and is now taking on-on-one meetings by appointment.
To make an appointment with an Outreach Worker for confidential, non-judgemental support, contact 780-852-2100. COS is open Monday to Friday, 8:30am - 4:30pm.
Daycare & Out of School Care - OPEN
Wildflowers Childcare’s early learning and Out of School Care (OOSC) programs resumed on June 8.
Following the updated Alberta Health Guidelines for daycares and out of school care programs, Wildflowers opened with up to 24 early learning spaces and eight Out of School Care spaces. In the future, as health regulations change, so could these numbers.
In order to meet the approved 2020 operating budget, there is reduced staffing for seasonal grounds positions and turf maintenance. This will be reflected in reduced service standards in the following areas:
- Irrigation, mowing, seeding, dethatching, aeration, fertilizing, and weed reduction in green spaces;
- Sports field maintenance, grooming and lining;
- Litter pickup and downtown cleaning;
- Lane and alleyway maintenance;
- Downtown flowers;
- Spring clean-up;
- General upkeep of assets, including removal of trash and debris, painting, landscaping, heavy equipment work, installing signage, etc.
There is also a reduction in contracted services like street sweeping and major sidewalk repairs.
On June 15, the Operations Department resumed plastic recycling, which had been suspended along with beverage container collection in March.
For now, the collection of beverage containers remains suspended, however, the Jasper Bottle Depot is open and accepting beverage containers.
In order to meet the approved 2020 operating budget, Council directed staff to reduce the Protective Services workforce –specifically to reduce staffing in Bylaw Enforcement. This will affect the following services:
- Response time to calls and complaints;
- Complaint investigation and resolution;
- Amount of foot patrols downtown;
- Enforcement of illegal camping;
- Response to general traffic infractions; and
- Decreased level of service for permits, storage lots, business licensing, encroachments, traffic control, noise complaints, animal control, inter-departmental support (street sweeping, snow removal, water works, illegal dumping), security at municipal facilities, emergency management support and general support to the community
Council will no longer meet in person for meetings
Out of an abundance of caution, Council made the decision to no longer meet in person at the Jasper Library and Cultural Centre. All meetings will be completely conducted through Zoom until further notice. This does not change public viewing of meetings.
The public can continue to watch live meetings through Zoom or watch them later on our YouTube channel. Instructions on how to tune in to live meetings are on the first page of every agenda package.
What is the Municipality doing?
Keep Jasper Safe - public health campaign
In mid-July, the Municipality developed a public health campaign to encourage residents and visitors to practice physical distancing and to wear mask in spaces where it isn’t possible to stay two metres apart.
This campaign also included in the Take the pledge! initiative.
Stickers and posters were delivered to businesses in the commercial business district on July 17.
The campaign also includes large reader boards at the east and west entrances to town and hand outs at the Parks Canada gates.
Sidewalk seating & retail extension permits
To help with physical distancing, the Municipality has created a Temporary Sidewalk Seating Extension Permit and a Retail Area Extension Permit. Permit holders can expand sidewalk seating or retail displays by using the parking lane in front of their business.
The speed limit in the commercial business district has decreased to 30km/h as part of the sidewalk seating and retail area extension project.
Municipality of Jasper COVID-19 Recovery and Relaunch
Find out how the Municipality of Jasper intends to navigate the recovery and relaunch of municipal facilities and services, including strategic guiding principles and a framework to guide decisions going forward.
Emergency Coordination Centre
The municipal Emergency Coordination Centre (ECC) deactivated on June 15 – the same day the Government of Alberta lifted the provincial public health emergency. All operational activities have been transitioned back to respective municipal departments.
The ECC was activated in March, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, to liaise with Alberta Health Services (AHS) and coordinate information sharing between local agencies and organizations, as well as mobilizing support for the community such as the community information phone line, the Jasper COVID-19 Mutual Aid Facebook page and the Emergency Social Services meal delivery program.
Municipal staff continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation in Alberta and continue to work with community partners to ensure public health directives are being followed. Staff are also prepared to re-activate the ECC if warranted.
Emergency Social Services (ESS)
ESS, a branch under the municipal ECC, answered the COVID-19 Referral Line, monitored the COVID-19 Mutual Aid Facebook page, assisted residents with food and basic needs deliveries, facilitated access to accommodation for residents who required a space to self-isolate and liaised with local agencies to provide the most up to date information to residents and the ECC.
- 246 meals delivered
- Meals were donated by the Community Dinner program, Coco’s Café and Easy Eats by Pursuit and were made available to residents through the activated ESS response.
- 4 deliveries of basic needs
- 8 volunteers trained and ready for food running or Friendly Phone Calls requests
- 50+ posters and flyers delivered and hung for Friendly Phone Calls
- 4 people helped in finding self-isolation accommodation
ESS was deactivated near the end of May - a typical first step as ECCs prepare to deactivate.
Council establishes COVID-19 Economic Recovery Task Force
Mayor Ireland was appointed as Council’s representative on the COVID-19 Economic Recovery Task Force; Councillor Damota was appointed as Mayor Ireland’s alternate.
The purpose of the Economic Recovery Task Force is to provide recommendations on strategies and actions to position the community to safely and effectively resume welcoming visitors, in accordance with public health directives. Member organizations seek opportunities for alignment and coordination between agencies, and work together to ensure that the conditions for future visitor economy success are met. Each member organization continues to act under their own jurisdiction and authority.
Property tax and utility bills penalty deferrals
In response to the impact COVID-19 is having on Jasper residents and business owners, Council deferred penalties on property tax and utility bills. This means bills are still due, but you have until September 1, 2020 to pay for them without additional costs.
Municipal building tenants
Council waived rent for tenants in all municipal facilities which are closed due to COVID-19. This waiver will remain in place until facilities re-open.
Council approves reduced budget in response to COVID-19
The pandemic forced facility closures and service constraints, and staffing reductions were implemented to reflect those changes. In April, Council approved the 2020 operating budget with a reduction of $982,000 from the 2019 tax requisition (a 12.3% decrease).
The Municipality is also facing loss of revenue from user fees due to facility closures and less use of municipal utility services, while some operating costs remain fixed. The reduction in the 2020 tax levy, reflecting economic concerns associated with the pandemic, will require continued workforce and service reductions. Council gave administration two forms of direction:
1) Plan for the possibility of facility closures until the end of 2020; continue the implementation of previously identified reductions; and reduce transfers to reserves by 25%; and
2) Bring facility or service restart requests to Council in a timely fashion as public health directives allow for those services to reopen.
Council also cancelled numerous capital budget projects, which had been approved earlier in 2020.
On March 15, Administration closed all municipal facilities and suspended some services including plastic recycling and bottle container collection. As noted above, some facilities have reopened while others remain closed as Council and staff discuss recovery and relaunch plans.
Information for visitors
As the province continues with its relaunch plan, we warmly welcome you back to Jasper.
We are encouraging visitors to come prepared with their own COVID-19 kit, including gloves, face masks and hand sanitizer. As per the provincial health recommendations, everyone is encouraged to wear a non-medical mask in public when it’s difficult to maintain a physical distance of two metres.
Jasper businesses have been working hard to put in place the appropriate measures to ensure the safest and best possible experience for guests and residents. Be prepared to wait in lines or change plans and respect all regulations set up by respective businesses. Remember to be patient as our business community adjusts to today’s normal. We are in this together.
Alberta COVID-19 information
Please respect others and share our public spaces, so we can all continue to safely enjoy them.
- Give others space to allow for safe physical distancing;
- Wear a mask if you know you will be unable to keep a two metre distance from others;
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water;
- Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when washing your hands isn’t possible;
- Stay home if you’re sick or if you’ve been in contact with someone who is sick
Whether you have symptoms or not, Alberta Health Services is asking all Albertans to get tested for COVID-19.
Book your appointment today at http://ahs.ca/COVID
The latest information about COVID-19 is available from the Government of Alberta at www.alberta.ca/covid19.
Concerned about an establishment or individual not following the Alberta public health orders?
File a complaint with Alberta Health Services online; the information will get communicated to the local health inspector, who will investigate the complaint:
Culture and Recreation
Membership fees for recreation facilities (including the gym, pool and activity centre) will not be charged during the closure. More information will be communicated to members as it becomes available.
Any inquiries for the Fitness and Aquatic Centre team can be directed to email@example.com or leave a message at 780-852-3663. Please note that all evening sports programs held in local schools (basketball, volleyball, pickle ball, etc.) are also cancelled.
Community Outreach Services
If you need support accessing federal, provincial or local services, Community Outreach Services is here to help.
Give us a call at 780-852-2100.
Check our website and social media for updates on the municipal response:
All individuals in Jasper should sign up for emergency alerts from the Municipality of Jasper.
Get your information from credible sources
Messages from the Mayor
Message from Mayor Ireland on COVID-19, April 2, 2020
Message from Mayor Ireland on COVID-19, March 23, 2020
Message from Mayor Ireland on COVID-19, March 20, 2020