MEDICINE HAT, OCTOBER 5, 2020 – Under the guidance and direction of AHS South Zone Medical Officer of Health, the YMCA of Medicine Hat, has been actively working since August 31, 2020 to implement preventative measures to reduce the threat of COVID-19 spreading within YMCA of Medicine Hat Before & After School Care Programs.

Late last night we were advised that 1 employee who had contact with the Herald Before & After School Care program on September 28th tested positive. The YMCA is working cooperatively with the Medical Officer of Health to ensure they have the information needed to conduct thorough contact tracing.

The YMCA of Medicine Hat operates 11 Before & After School Care programs throughout the city serving approximately 600 children. The Herald program has approximately 15 children registered with varying attendance schedules. All Covid-19 public health guidelines have been followed within the program including increased sanitization and disinfecting, reduced capacity, increase social distancing, etc.

“Since the beginning of this pandemic, the YMCA, Alberta Health Services and the Medicine Hat Public School Division have been in close contact, working together to ensure the safety of YMCA staff and families” said Sharon Hayward, CEO YMCA of Medicine Hat. “Our approach at all times, has been guided by local and provincial health officials. While all recommended protocols were in place, we continue to review our efforts to ensure a safe environment at our YMCA. We are grateful for the ongoing support and direction from local health agencies and our community. We will continue to work together to fight the spread of COVID-19.”

The Medical Officer of Health has advised the YMCA to temporarily close the Herald Before & After School Care program for 14 days from the date the employee was last there. This means we anticipate re-opening the program on October 13, 2020. During this closure, our understanding is that AHS will complete thorough contact tracing to identify anyone who may have been in close contact with this individual.