Emergency Coordination Centre COVID-19 Updates

One of the municipal Emergency Coordination Centre’s (ECC) objectives is to provide weekly updates during the COVID-19 pandemic. Updates are published on Fridays. Daily Municipality of Jasper updates are posted on the municipal Facebook page: Municipality of Jasper.

Friday, May 29, 2020 

Visitor services gradually reopening in Jasper

Starting June 1, 2020, Jasper will be ready to welcome visitors as services gradually reopen.

Jasper businesses have been working hard to put in place the appropriate measures to ensure the safest and best possible experience for our guests.

Jasper is a small, remote community with limited access to essential services. We ask that visitors plan their trip and know what to expect. This includes becoming familiar with the restrictions in place in Jasper National Park and researching which businesses and activities are open before arriving.

Parks Canada announced beginning June 1, 2020, Jasper National Park will offer limited visitor access and basic services. Until then, services remain suspended. All Jasper National Park camping facilities remain closed until at least June 21, 2020.

The health and safety of residents and visitors is of the utmost importance. Visitors should follow the advice of public health experts and make every effort to limit the spread of COVID-19, including necessary hygiene practices and physical distancing of two meters from others.

We also encourage 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.

Stay safe 

As we start welcoming visitors back, the ECC will be adding new signage at the town’s entrances and throughout the business sector, encouraging people to practice physical distancing and adhere to all other public health directives.

Choose kindness 

Let’s be kind. It has been a stressful time for everyone. We must learn to adapt to the new reality and as much as it’s exciting to prepare for relaunch it will be stressful for us and for our guests.

As services gradually reopen remember to be respectful, follow local rules to keep us all safe, and be patient with front-line staff and visitors.

Adjusting to today’s new normal will take time for businesses, visitors and residents. Please be patient as we work through this together.

Where to find information:

Jasper National Park

Tourism Jasper

Jasper Park Chamber of Commerce

Municipality of Jasper Facebook page

The Fitzhugh

Playgrounds, tennis courts and skate park 

The ECC has reviewed provincial directives and is working with municipal management to determine the best course of action to ensure the safety of children and families who utilize municipal play structures. At this time municipal playgrounds remain closed.

The Municipality is also discussing how to safely reopen the tennis courts and the skate park.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Emergency Coordination Centre transitioning into recovery

As the pandemic carries on, the ECC is switching from a response mode to a recovery mode.

The safety of our residents and staff has always been our number one priority. We appreciate your kindness and patience as we figure out a recovery that works for Jasper.

The ECC is now meeting twice a week for brief meetings rather than four times a week.

Emergency Social Services (ESS), a branch under the municipal ECC, has been deactivated – a typical first step as ECCs move into recovery mode. All ESS services, like the community information and referral line, are now being managed by staff in the Community and Family Services Department as a part of everyday duties.

Playgrounds, tennis courts and skate park 

For now, the Municipality does not have a reopening date for playgrounds.

The ECC is reviewing provincial directives and working with municipal staff to determine the best course of action to ensure the safety of children and families who utilize municipal play structures.

In Stage 1 of its relaunch strategy, the province is lifting some restrictions for playgrounds, however it is up to municipalities to make their own determination on cleanliness and monitoring, in addition to ensuring playground inspections are conducted regularly.

The Municipality is looking at the possibility of reopening the tennis courts at the Jasper Activity Centre and the skate park. For now, they remain closed.

We will provide further updates when the Municipality has a plan in place. In the meantime, we hope families will find other ways to enjoy the outdoors.

Beverage containers and plastics recycling remain suspended

Recycling requires manual sorting by municipal staff. These categories of recyclables are the most likely to have been in contact with the COVID-19 virus (i.e. in contact with people’s mouths) and therefore pose a health and safety risk to staff.

For the health and safety of staff, the collection of beverage containers and household plastics remains suspended.

Residents should dispose of plastic items with their regular garbage for the time being.

The Jasper Bottle Depot has chosen to reopen and is accepting beverage containers.

Sidewalk seating 

Sidewalk seating permits are being issued by the Municipality, but only if businesses can show they can comply with provincial health directives, as per Alberta’s relaunch strategy.

For more information, visit: https://www.alberta.ca/assets/documents/covid-19-relaunch-guidance-restaurants.pdf

Be vigilant about physical distancing, hand-washing and isolating if you’re sick 

As the community begins to reopen in phases, it is more important than ever to take precautions to keep yourself and others safe from COVID-19.

  • Stay two metres away from others
  • Limit indoor group size to a maximum of 15 people (50 if outdoors)
  • Order online to have groceries or other items delivered if possible and support local!
  • Wash or sanitize your hands after touching communal surfaces

Jasper National Park remains closed until at least June 1

In alignment with our partners at Parks Canada, we’re asking visitors to save their trips to Jasper until national park services resume.

Camping in national parks, including Jasper National Park, will be suspended until at least June 21.

Some trails, day use areas, green spaces and recreational boating will be available starting June 1 at some national parks. Until then, all suspensions of visitor services and closures of facilities remain in place.

Be kind 

The reality is visitors will start coming back to Jasper in the near future. As a tourist community, we rely on visitors to keep Jasper’s local business community vibrant and resilient.

Please be kind to each other; we don’t know the circumstances of every person we see on the street.

Adjusting to today’s new normal will take time for businesses, visitors and residents. Please be patient as we work through this together.

Help support Jasper businesses 

Every small act gives our business community hope. Here are the ways you can support local businesses while physical distancing:

  • Some stores and restaurants have reopened. Visit in person and be sure to follow the establishment’s health directives.
  • Buy from local businesses online
  • Order delivery or takeout from local restaurants
  • Leave positive reviews of businesses you love on social media

Friday, May 15, 2020 

Visitors, we’re still not ready for you

With the Victoria Day long weekend upon us, the ECC asks that everyone follow provincial recommendations and save travel plans for a later date, when Jasper is once again ready to welcome visitors.

Jasper’s top priority has always been safety. Safety for our residents; safety for our workforce, all those front line hospitality employees who greet guests upon arrival and provide care and service throughout their stay, and of course the safety of our guests.

We are all anxious and eager to welcome guests back to our community when it is safe and responsible for us to do so.

View a message from Mayor Richard Ireland, reminding visitors that now is still not the time to visit Jasper: Message from Mayor Ireland on COVID-19, May 14, 2020 

Parks Canada weekend road closures to discourage illegal camping 

Jasper National Park has announced Highway 93a (from the junction with Highway 93 to Athabasca Falls) and Snaring Road (just beyond the Snaring Bridge) will be temporarily closed to vehicles from Friday, May 15 through to Tuesday, May 19, 2020. These roads remain accessible for cycling and hiking for local residents.

This closure is in place over Victoria Day long weekend to streamline operations and as a prevention for illegal camping. Camping—including sleeping in a vehicle—in roadside pullouts, trailheads, and day-use areas is illegal.

Highway 93a and Snaring/Celestine Road will reopen to vehicles on Tuesday, May 19 at noon.

The Maligne Road remains closed to vehicle access.

See the full Jasper National Park community update: https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/ab/jasper/visit/covid-19-info

Camping in Jasper National Park suspended until at least June 21

The federal government announced, on May 14, camping in national parks, including Jasper National Park, will be suspended until at least June 21, when the federal government will reassess how these services might resume.

Some trails, day use areas, green spaces and recreational boating will be available starting June 1 at some national parks. Until then, all suspensions of visitor services and closures of facilities remain in place.

The latest national park updates can be found here: https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/voyage-travel/securite-safety/covid-19-info

Some businesses can reopen starting May 14
Stay safe. Stay local. 

The Government of Alberta confirmed the province will proceed with the first phase of its relaunch plan starting May 14.

Some businesses like retail stores, hair salons and museums will be allowed to open, with restrictions, and people will be able to dine in restaurants and cafes with up to 50 per cent capacity.

In the community, many hotels and guest accommodations remain closed while owners and employees make preparations to safely resume operations when it is safe to do so.

Regional visitors are discouraged from coming to Jasper this long weekend. Local businesses are working hard to put in place the appropriate safety measures to welcome you again soon, but now is still not the time to visit.

Tips for businesses 

The Government of Alberta has created guides to help owners and managers prepare to safely reopen some businesses: https://www.alberta.ca/biz-connect.aspx#guidance

Residents, shop local when you can 

Residents are encouraged to shop local this weekend (and always), and provide some much needed income for Jasper businesses.

For businesses that cannot or choose not to reopen during the first phase of the province’s relaunch strategy, you can still support them in the following ways:

  • Order from local businesses online
  • Purchase gift certificates now to use later
  • Send messages of support on social media

Readjusting to today’s new normal will take time for businesses and residents, please remember to be kind and patient as we work through this together.

Check out the Shop Local Jasper Facebook page for more ways to support local businesses. 

ECC working with AHS to resume sidewalk seating

The ECC is working with Alberta Health Services (AHS) in an effort to reinstate the sidewalk seating program, which had been suspended in response to the pandemic. We are committed to assisting businesses through this process to ensure best health practices and compliance.

Check the Council Agendas and Council Highlights for updates on the Public Spacing in Public Places proposal.

Be vigilant about physical distancing, hand-washing and isolating if you’re sick 

As the community begins to reopen in phases, it is more important than ever to take precautions to keep yourself and others safe from COVID-19.

The Municipality of Jasper urges residents to continue following public health directives, including physical distancing, frequent hand washing, and isolating if you are sick.

Please also follow these directives while enjoying the outdoors – give people space on trails and sidewalks, don’t congregate in groups and practice good hygiene.

For the latest information about COVID-19 and public health directives, check the Government of Alberta website at www.alberta.ca/covid.

Canada Day events cancelled for 2020 

In keeping with Alberta Health Services’ public health directives, the Jasper Canada Day Committee has announced that Jasper’s 2020 Canada Day celebrations are cancelled.

We want to express our gratitude to the volunteers who sit on the Canada Day Committee for all of the work they do each year to throw an incredible day of celebrations in our community. We look forward to 2021 when we can once again gather for a pancake breakfast, parade and party in the park.

The Canada Day Committee’s full press release can be found on its Facebook page.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Visitors, please stay home 

In order to keep our residents safe and healthy, the Municipality of Jasper is still urging anyone planning a leisure trip to Jasper or Jasper National Park before June 1 to cancel their plans. This timeline is subject to change based on provincial health directives and further announcements by Parks Canada. All campgrounds and visitor services in Jasper National Park are closed until at least May 31.

Local law enforcement agencies are still monitoring traffic in town, at local trailheads and other points of interest. Clear signage is in place to indicate that only essential services are available in Jasper.

Non-essential travel not recommended

Although some businesses will be able to re-open starting May 14, non-essential travel is still not recommended for Albertans, but it is not prohibited. This means that there is no law or public health order stopping them from coming, despite our best communication efforts. Even if visitors are intercepted at an information check stop, they can still proceed into a community. This is a reality Jasperites need to prepare for ahead of the summer months.

Local partners are planning increased regional messaging to tell Albertans to stay home for the May long weekend. The Municipality is also engaged with the Economic Recovery Task Force, who will present information and guidance in the coming weeks to ensure Jasper is a safe place for residents, workers and visitors.

We anticipate a severe decrease in international visitors this summer, but regional visitors will be key to supporting local businesses. While we are still actively communicating with visitors that now is not the time to visit, this message will change as the health directives allow.

Jasper Home Accommodation update

The Director of Emergency Management sent a statement to the Jasper Home Accommodation, asking for its collaboration in keeping the community safe and limiting the number of visitors in Jasper.

There are currently no restrictions in place on private home accommodations from a municipal perspective, but the ECC is encouraging each and every operator to abide by provincial directives and avoid enabling visitors who are travelling for non-essential services.

The ECC is acutely aware of the financial impact this pandemic has on several homeowners in Jasper who count on the revenue from nightly rentals to pay their bills.

Support Jasper’s economy  

Jasper’s businesses are an integral part of our community.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many changes to every facet of our residents’ lives. These are challenging times for everyone.

 Many local businesses have had to close their brick-and-mortar stores, but many are adapting to continue to serve residents during this continued period of uncertainty.

While we’re encouraging visitors to save their travels to Jasper for a safer time, we want to keep Jasper’s local business community vibrant and resilient. You can help make a difference by supporting them today.

Here’s how:

Whenever possible, buy locally

  • Order from local businesses online
  •  Purchase gift certificates now to use later
  •  Order meals for takeout or delivery
  •  Send messages of support on social media

Keep up physical distancing and hand-washing 

We all have a role to play to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The Municipality of Jasper urges residents to continue following the public health directives, including physical distancing, frequent hand washing, isolating if you are sick, and limiting other interactions to essential services only (food, medications, etc.).

For the latest information about COVID-19 and public health directives, check the Government of Alberta website at www.alberta.ca/covid.

 Physically distancing outdoors 

When outdoors, take precautions to protect yourself and those around you:

  • Plan your activities with people from your own household
  • Plan your activity in advance to ensure physical distancing is possible

 If your activity involves a public place:

  •  Consider going during non-peak hours
  •  Walk along the sides of trails and other public pathways to maintain distance

 Meals donated to help with food insecurity

The Emergency Social Services (ESS) branch has noticed an increase in food insecurity in our community. Challenged with the current lack of financial resources and self-isolation requirements, many people do not have the resources to meet their basic needs. 

In the last month ESS has delivered 146 meals to residents in need. Meals were donated by the Community Dinner program, Coco’s Café and Easy Eats by Pursuit and are made available to residents through the activated ESS response.


Mental health resources

A public health emergency, like the COVID-19 pandemic, can increase anxiety, stress and fear, leaving many people feeling a loss of control. This may be exacerbated by public health directives to physically distance from others, as connection is often an important tool in coping with difficult situations. Try to be patient with yourself and others during this time, as people may not be coping the way they usually do. 

If you require support to get through these unprecedented times, there are many resources available to ensure that you find the care you need.

 Online resources 

 If you need to talk, call the 24-hour help lines: 

  • Mental Health Help Line at 1-877-303-2642
  • Addiction Help Line at 1-866-332-2322

 Kids Help Phone 

  • Website
  • Text CONNECT to 686868
  • Call 1-800-668-6868


Text4Hope


  • Free text messaging support during uncertain times.
  • To subscribe: text COVID19HOPE to 393939.
  • Fees may apply. Visit the website for more details.

Alberta 211 - Information on social supports

Friday, May 1, 2020 

Stay home – now is not the time to visit Jasper

On April 30, the Province of Alberta announced a multi-stage relaunch plan that will depend on the province’s continued ability to control the spread of the coronavirus and curb the number of COVID-19 patients who need hospital care. In Stage 1 of the province’s plan, some businesses and facilities would be allowed to gradually resume operations starting May 14. The Municipality of Jasper and its community partners will continue working together and provide updates as they become available.

For now, the Municipality of Jasper urges anyone planning a leisure trip to Jasper or Jasper National Park (JNP) before June 1 to cancel their plans. This timeline is subject to change based on provincial health directives and further announcements by Parks Canada. All campgrounds and visitor services in Jasper National Park are closed until at least May 31.

For more Jasper National Park information, see the JNP Community Updates.

Most Jasper businesses and hotels are closed or operating with severely restricted services. Following Premier Kenney’s message that some Alberta golf courses could open as early as May 2, the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge Golf course confirmed it is still closed; and anticipating a June 1 opening date.

Jasper takes pride in its ability to welcome visitors and offer memorable experiences, but now in, the midst of COVID-19, is not the time to visit. Our small hospital and its dedicated staff will be extremely challenged to provide the necessary services to our residents should the pandemic spread further through our rural community.

Local law enforcement agencies are monitoring traffic in town, at local trailheads and other points of interest. Clear signage is in place to indicate that only essential services are available in Jasper. Information check stops are not in place at this time, but will be implemented if they become necessary.

On April 30, the ECC released a news release (PDF), encouraging visitors to stay home. Mayor Richard Ireland has also conducted interviews with regional media outlets, reiterating the message that non-essential travel is not recommended.

When the world returns to some sense of normalcy, Jasper will be pleased, prepared and eager to welcome you.

The ECC is also asking Jasperites to avoid non-essential trips into other communities.

If you are concerned someone is not following public health orders, you can submit a complaint to AHS public health inspectors. More information on this can be found on the AHS website

Keep up the physical distancing

We all have a role to play to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The Municipality of Jasper urges residents to continue following the public health directives, including physical distancing, frequent hand washing, isolating if you are sick, and limiting other interactions to essential services only (food, medications, etc.).

For the latest information about COVID-19 and public health directives, check the Government of Alberta website at www.alberta.ca/covid.

Physically distancing outdoors 

As you go outside to take in this beautiful spring weather, please remember to follow public health recommendations and refrain from taking any unnecessary risks that can lead to preventable injuries, taking up valuable hospital beds during the coronavirus pandemic.

Jasper Community Garden & Jasper United Church Annual Plant Sale 

The Government of Alberta has deemed all agricultural businesses — including greenhouses, farmers’ markets, nurseries and garden centres — essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the weather gets warmer, residents can expect to see gardeners in the Jasper Community Garden.

The community garden is located on municipal lands, but is managed and operated by the Jasper Local Food Society; they will be responsible for implementing public health directives.

The Jasper United Church Annual Plant Sale is still scheduled to take place from May 28 – 30. The Jasper United Church will be responsible for implementing public health directives.

Sidewalk seating suspended 

In alignment with public health directives, Bylaw Services has suspended sidewalk seating for local businesses. Many restaurants remain open for take-out services.

Emergency Social Services (ESS) 

ESS, a branch under the municipal ECC, continues to focus on the social impact of the pandemic on the community through numerous programs.

In the last month, ESS staff have:

  • Delivered 146 meals
    Meals were donated by the Community Dinner program, Coco’s Café and Easy Eats by Pursuit and are made available to residents through the activated ESS response.
  • Answered 53 phone calls on the community information and referral line
    Some questions and concerns focus on visiting Jasper, camping, Jasper National Park Information and AHS protocols. 
  • Welcomed 1,642 members to the Jasper COVID-19 Mutual Aid Facebook page
    So far, the page has 586 posts, 3,522 comments and 18,751 reactions (likes, dislikes, loves) 

For more information on ESS resources, see: COVID-19 Resources for Residents 

Friday, April 24, 2020

Keep up the physical distancing

While Alberta hasn’t seen the predicted increase in diagnosed COVID-19 cases during the month of April, it is crucial – now more than ever – to continue our efforts to flatten the curve.

The Municipality of Jasper urges residents to continue following the public health directives, including physical distancing, frequent hand washing, isolating if you are sick, and limiting other interactions to essential services only (food, medications, etc.). 

For the latest information about COVID-19 and public health directives, check the Government of Alberta website at www.alberta.ca/covid.

Stay Home – now is not the time to visit Jasper

The Municipality of Jasper ECC is working with Parks Canada, the RCMP and Tourism Jasper to ensure visitors are aware that now is not the time to visit Jasper.

Anyone considering a visit to a Parks Canada location before June 1 should cancel their plans. Highways, roadways and park gates that pass through Jasper National Park remain open, but all motor vehicle access by visitors is suspended until further notice. All non-essential travel should be cancelled.

Visit our Facebook page for a detailed post on the Municipal COVID-19 Referral Line frequently asked questions, which addresses access to Jasper during the pandemic.

Increased visitor traffic monitoring

As the weather gets warmer, the ECC and local law enforcement personnel will continue to monitor visitor traffic in the area and communicate with the public as required. A traffic reader board will be placed at the east town entrance to discourage any visitors from entering the town site. Information check stops are not required at this time but will be implemented if they become necessary.

Contractors working around Jasper

Residents may notice an increase in the number of contractors in town. This includes project staff for Trans Mountain, CN Rail (track maintenance) and the Whistlers Campground project. The Municipality of Jasper, Parks Canada and Alberta Health Services are working together to ensure public health directives are being adhered to and are reviewing safety plans provided by contractors.

These projects and associated work are considered essential services and do not go against provincial guidelines. Contractors housed in Jasper are not considered visitors and are expected to follow the advice of public health experts on physical distancing, hygiene and limiting their interactions to essential services only.

Public health orders and enforcement during COVID-19

If you are concerned that an individual or establishment is not following the provincial public health directives, you can submit a complaint on the Alberta Health Services (AHS) website:

https://ephisahs.microsoftcrmportals.com/create-case/

Before submitting a complaint, residents are encouraged to:

  • review current restrictions at www.alberta.ca/covid;
  • use their best judgement to determine the severity of the situation and decide if a complaint is necessary; and
  • submit a complaint by completing the online form referenced above.

Complaints submitted on the AHS website are forwarded to the local health inspector for investigation and shared with the Municipal Emergency Coordination Centre (ECC) when appropriate. The ECC is in close contact with Alberta Health Services and ready to assist as required, which includes voicing concerns observed or communicated locally to the appropriate authority.

Physical distancing in municipal parks

While municipal outdoor spaces are still open, residents using them must follow physical distancing rules and avoid group activities such as basketball, soccer or ultimate frisbee. Even if you are standing at least two metres away from others, the COVID-19 virus can spread through surfaces, including sporting equipment.

Municipal parks, green spaces and the off-leash area are still open, but playgrounds remain closed. Please remember to take all necessary precautions, including washing your hands often and actively supervising children and pets.

The Municipal Emergency Coordination Centre (ECC) 

During a community emergency, municipal staff assemble under the appropriate Incident Command System (ICS) structure, which in the case of the COVID-19 pandemic, is an Emergency Coordination Centre (ECC). This system allows organizations and their staff to work together under a common structure, which facilitates collaboration and information sharing specific to an incident or crisis. Our community partners at Parks Canada and Alberta Health Services have also activated their respective emergency plans, which means every agency is functioning under a similar, predictable structure.

The COVID-19 pandemic is a health emergency, which means Alberta Health Services is the lead agency. The Municipality’s role in this incident is to:

  • ensure the health and safety of staff and residents;
  • maintain essential municipal services; and
  • support Alberta Health Services as required.

It is crucial that the Municipal ECC remain active in the event of an increase in diagnosed COVID-19 cases in Jasper.

Given the extended duration of the COVID-19 crisis, municipal staff currently involved in the ECC are doing so on a part-time or as-needed basis and continue to perform their regular duties during the work week. The ECC is functioning under a partial activation, which means only necessary positions are filled. There are currently two unionized staff and nine management staff involved in the ECC. The structure is designed to accommodate reductions and increases in staffing and resources as the incident unfolds.

Any non-essential services provided by the Municipality are either closed or being reviewed by Council for cost reductions. Check the Council highlights and associated agenda packages for details, or watch Council meetings online every Tuesday morning at 9:30 am.