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Sunday , 27 September 2020
Image credit: CDC

Bonnyville talks COVID-19 response, to remain status quo unless needed

Image credit: CDC

There are no plans to shut down the Bonnyville swimming pool or other public centres in Bonnyville in response to COVID-19, said Mayor Gene Sobolewski.

At Tuesday’s council meeting, town council discussed their emergency preparedness in case a situation like COVID-19 were to strike in Bonnyville.

Essentially, the town is keeping things status quo in countering the pandemic, as it was officially deemed by the World Health Organization on Wednesday, taking precautions when needed.

However, it could impact the local economy when it comes to falling oil prices globally.

“We talked about it more in the arena of preparedness and what is it that the town can do or what are we doing in terms of the response,” said Mayor Gene Sobolewski on The Morning After.

“The town is fairly limited in what we have the authority to legislate. We don’t have the authority to legislate rationing and things like that. Basically, that response comes from people with higher pay grades and us in Alberta Health Services in the province, for example.

“Concerning COVID-19, there is no immediate plans right now to shut down the operations of the pool and things like that because the transmittal of this virus is it’s very narrow in terms of how you catch it. And yes, you can catch it. It’s a very serious illness when this particular virus gets ahold of you.”

The federal government announced Wednesday that they’ll spend $1 billion to contain COVID-19 with half of the money going to provinces and territories.

Seven new cases were announced on Wednesday, including one in Vegreville, that raises the total to 19.

Premier Jason Kenney welcomed the funding, but worried it might not be enough.

He bemoaned the fact that global oil prices have dropped as well as global markets in light of the virus.

Plus, a global price war is emerging between Saudi Arabia, Russia, and United Arab Emirates each have said they will ramp up oil production which caused prices to fall again on Wednesday.

 

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“We can’t really do anything about the global situations and the stock market so essentially, this time around, it’s a double whammy. We’ve got the COVID-19 and the stock market reacting to that and then you’ve got China or Saudi Arabia and Russia into a spat and into a price war.

“So for the oil patch, that’s basically a double whammy, but we’ll have to see how long this plays out,” said Sobolewski.

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connect Media. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.