EDMONTON -- The emergency department at the Devon General Hospital will reopen to the public on Aug. 18.

The ER was temporarily closed to new patients on April 20, a move to help protect the hospital's long-term care residents from COVID-19 exposure.

“This is excellent news for Devon residents,” Devon Mayor Ray Ralph said in a written release. “As Alberta Health Services works to safely restore departments and services like this across the province, I want to thank each and every one of you who helped make this possible through the safety measures we undertook together.”

New measures are in place to ensure the residents' continued safety, including a temporary barrier between the ER and the rest of the hospital. Staff will work in only one unit at a time.

The reopening will happen in stages, with AHS monitoring patient safety.

Beginning Aug. 18, the ER will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week and will eventually return to 24-hour operations.