RED DEER -- The City of Red Deer has closed additional city departments to the public due to COVID-19.

The closures were announced Tuesday after the provincial government declared a state of public health emergency.

The city has closed emergency services counter service as well as counter service at the RCMP detachment downtown.

Red Deer will also cut all public access to its departments in the professional building, civic yards, and the land and economic development office.

City Hall will remain open to the public; however, access will only be permitted to the main floor.

These measures follow the Alberta's chief medical officer of health's recommendations of social distancing.

"We know that we provide vital services to our residents as well as to our region," said Karen Mann, Red Deer's emergency operations director. "In order to do that, taking some of these social-distancing steps helps us to keep our staff safe and at work."

In regards to the city hall main floor staying open to the public, Mann said residents should call beforehand to determine they need to come to the building.

Cemetery services, waste management facilities, and the Sorenson Station Transit customer service will still remain open. However, Mann asked residents to remember the instruction of staying home if they are feeling unwell.

“We want to remind our residents about that critical role they play in helping to keep each other safe.”

As for a timeframe as to how long these closures will remain in place, Mann said it is still indefinite.

“For the time being, all facilities that are closed, will remain closed, but we are re-evaluating as we get additional information from the chief medical officer of health.

All reports can still be sent to police through email and by phone. Non-emergency reports will be accepted between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. In an emergency, call 911, and please notify the operator if you are experiencing flu like symptoms.

The city’s call centre will be open between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. at 403-342-8111.