CommunityWise mask use and room booking update

Dear Members,

After a long and challenging 16 months we are happy to inform you of coming changes to CommunityWise’s building access, including room bookings, as Alberta enters Stage 3 of the provincial re-opening plan. 

In addition to the difficulties of navigating the pandemic, the building is currently under-going significant construction work, and the efforts needed to keep up with the constantly changing and stressful times has also had an impact on CommunityWise staff capacity. We are taking this opportunity to make shifts in the way things are done, and to move forward with caution and in a good way.

CommunityWise will not be going back to “the way things were before” but will use this time as an opportunity to take a slow and measured approach that balances the many and varied needs of everyone at the building, including CommunityWise members, volunteers, guests and visitors, contractors working at the building, and the CommunityWise staff collective.

Continued Mask Use
As an historic building and shared space for many people, the CommunityWise building is a unique environment that comes with unique considerations. While the historic nature of the building is something we cherish, it presents a significant part of the challenge for us, as an older building with narrow hallways and a radiator heating system. These characteristics means that the building doesn’t have an air filtration system that would allow us to monitor or filter air flow within the building, which is a particular concern with more infectious COVID-19 variants currently circulating.

Provincial mask guidelines outline the importance of continuing to wear masks in closed indoor spaces and areas with limited ventilation, which can be high risk transmission environments for COVID-19. For this reason, regardless of the decision made by Calgary city council on July 5, masks continue to be required to access the CommunityWise building until further notice.

CommunityWise will continue to provide disposable masks and hand sanitizer for everyone who comes to the building, and we rely on members to ensure that your staff, board members, volunteers, and visitors are aware of the necessity of wearing a mask or other face covering while at the building. 

Common Room Bookings
We understand that the use of common spaces is a key feature of membership at CommunityWise, and that the lack of bookings over the last 16 months has been a challenge for many important gatherings. The gracious understanding from CommunityWise members about the importance of working together to limit the risk of illness has been wonderful to see, and we’re pleased to share that we will soon begin allowing common room bookings again for selected priority groups.

Our first priority group for beginning common room bookings again are peer support groups. If your organization holds peer support groups that are included in our first priority group, CommunityWise will contact you. Bookings will only be available in the common room to begin, as the largest and best ventilated space, and for a shorter time slot than was previously available.

We anticipate that additional categories of bookings will become available in about 6 weeks. This will be dependent on continued mask use at the building, current COVID-19 statistics, construction and accessibility in the building, and CommunityWise staff capacity to ensure that the building remains as safe as possible for all our members and visitors, including people who have increased vulnerability to infectious illness.

We understand that many are eager to return to familiar uses of the CommunityWise building and end guidelines that have directed our person-to-person interactions over the past 16 months. We hope that our slow and measured approach to finding our new normal will help us all stay as safe and healthy as possible.

If you have any questions please reach out to info@communitywise.net or call us at 403-261-9660.

Sincerely, 
CommunityWise Resource Centre Staff Collective

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