RED DEER -- Lacombe County has introduced new COVID-19 measures after being moved to Alberta’s list of communities under enhanced status.

Areas under enhanced status have more than 50 active cases per 100,000 people.

As of Wednesday morning, Lacombe County had 11 active cases of COVID-19 – a case rate of 50.5 per 100, 000 people.

Lacombe County’s enhanced status applies to the communities of Blackfalds, Bentley, Eckville, Alix, and Clive, as well as all hamlets and summer villages within the county’s municipal boundaries.

As a result, the county has implemented a number of voluntary and mandated public health measures.

“They’re important and they’re needed because we need to manage this public health emergency that we’re dealing with right now,” said the county’s director of emergency management Drayton Bussiere.

There is a 15-person limit on indoor and outdoor social and family gatherings.

Both indoor and outdoor wedding ceremonies and funeral services are limited to 50 people.

Additionally, restaurants, bars, lounges, and pubs must stop liquor sales by 10 p.m. and close by 11 p.m. until Nov. 27.

The county is also asking residents to take voluntary action by limiting the number of their cohorts to three, wearing a mask in all indoor work settings, avoiding social gatherings inside homes or outside of the community, and reducing the number of employees in the workplace at one time.

“I’m supportive of the fact that we’re making some additional changes as cases rise. And we’ll have to just wait and see if they work and if people are following the voluntary measures,” said Bussiere.

“I think we’ll see some improvement, and if we don’t, than we’ll see what the province decides to do after.”

The county is also reminding residents to wear a mask when they cannot physical distance, practice good hygiene, stay home if symptomatic, avoid non-essential travel, and to get a flu shot to keep influenza cases low so health workers can focus on the COVID-19 pandemic.