Southwest Calgary church handed AHS order over lack of masks and no limit on gathering
Environmental Public Health inspectors with AHS attended the Southside Victory Church on Dec. 7 and found a number of violations of the CMOH orders related to COVID-19. (File/Google Maps)
CALGARY -- A lack of a clear mask mandate, no physical distancing and a group performance are just some of the violations health inspectors found at a Calgary church last week.
Alberta Health Services issued a work order against Southside Victory Church Fellowship, a church community operating on 1A Street S.W., after an inspection on Dec. 7 discovered a number of issues that were in violation of CMOH orders.
The official noted a lack of masks being worn by attendees, church staff/volunteers as well as the pastor, an auditorium filled with attendees who were from different households that were not social distancing as well as a live music performance on the stage.
"The pastor was asked about the attendance at the service and was unable to provide an accurate number with how many people were present in the building, and stated he did not know the maximum capacity currently allowed as per CMOH Order 40-2020," the AHS order reads.
"There did not appear to be anyone on site counting or overseeing the numbers of attendees coming into the building and therefore, maximum capacity may have been exceeded."
Officials requested the assistance of the Calgary Police Service at the building and officers "counted approximately 180 to 200 people leaving the building at approximately 1 p.m."
The inspector also noted a lack of COVID-19-related signage to inform anyone possibly exposed to the illness not to enter.
As a result, AHS ordered the church administration to ensure a mask mandate was in place, cease handing out items that cannot be cleaned and sanitized, make sure the building does not exceed its proper capacity laid out as per the CMOH orders among other items that needed to be addressed.
The order set out a deadline for all work to be completed by Dec. 13.
CTV News has reached out to Southside Victory Church Fellowship for comment about the order but has not heard back.
According to a post on the church's Facebook page, staff have made the decision to return to a virtual format for their services.
There are no details about any enforcement against anyone in connection with the AHS inspection.