May 14, 2020
Public Service Announcement
For Immediate Release

Update – Coronavirus (COVID-19)

SACKVILLE, N.B. — The Town of Sackville continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation very closely and following the instructions given by the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health for New Brunswick.

In an effort to protect our employee and residents, and to continue to provide essential services to our community and help reduce the spread of the virus, the following measures have been implemented and are based on the information we currently have. Given the manner in which the COVID-19 situation is progressing, we will look to provide further updates as this situation continues to develop. 

UPDATE FROM THE PROVINCE
The Province of New Brunswick has initiated Phase Two of their recovery plan, which was released on May 8, 2020. The plan includes continuing to allow 2 households to exclusively socialize with one another, opening of some businesses and restaurants, outdoor gatherings of 10 or less people are now permitted provided they are practicing social distancing, and opening of daycares, among other things.  Please note that some aspects of the plan are different than what is being enforced locally given the expectation for sanitization stations on site so please be sure to check updates locally and review the remainder of this Public Service Announcement for the most accurate local information.  You can find Phase Two of the provinces’ plan here.

TOWN RESUMING OPERATIONS
On May 19, 2020 Town staff will be returning to the workplace on a full time basis.  On May 25, 2020 Town Hall will be open to the public from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.  To ensure the health and safety of our staff and the public, a thorough operational plan that follows the requirements outlined by the province of New Brunswick has been implemented.  The public can expect to be asked a health assessment questions before being permitted to enter the building, and traffic will be limited.  Wearing face masks will be at the discretion of the individual. For questions about the Town’s operational plan, please contact Jamie Burke, CAO, at 1-506-364-4930 or j.burke@sackville.com.

REDUCING THE POSSIBILITIES OF TRANSMISSION
We all have an obligation to reduce the spread of the virus. Residents need to follow the prevention measures suggested by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health for New Brunswick to reduce the possibility of spreading the virus as presented on the website of Health New Brunswick.

Key messages include:

  • Wash your hands often.
  • Cough and sneeze into the elbow.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with your hands.
  • Cough into a tissue and throw it away.
  • Stay at home if you are sick.
  • Avoid contact with a sick person.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if there is no soap and water.
  • Avoid shaking hands.
  • Practice social distancing, (maintain at least 2 metres (6 feet) distance between yourself and others)
  • If a person experiences any two symptoms, complete the online self assessment or call Tele-care 8-1-1. Symptoms include: Fever above 38°C, new or worsening chronic cough, sore throat, runny nose, headache, new onset fatigue, new onset muscle pain, diarrhea, loss of taste or loss of smell, and individuals under the age of 18 and experiencing purple fingers or toes.

Residents must follow good health practices and strict adherence to the measures as outlined by the Province of NB to help reduce the delay and spread of COVID-19.

We are in contact with the Province’s Emergency Measures Organization and are currently reviewing Town operations to ensure business continuity and service delivery (especially essential services) in the event of an emergency activation.

Additional measures may be added as directed by the New Brunswick Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health. We will keep you informed through our social media sites and website.

For more information, please visit the following websites:

Government of New Brunswick

Government of Canada

INFORMATION LINE AND EMAIL
A toll-free information line and email address, which offers services in both languages, has been established by the Province of New Brunswick to help answer non-health related questions, including questions about compliance with the state of emergency. The number, 1-844-462-8387, is operational seven days a week from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The email address is helpaide@gnb.ca. Concerns about workplace safety should continue to be directed to WorkSafeNB.

OTHER IMPORTANT NUMBERS
Tele-care: Patient Connect NB; 811
Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868
CHIMO Helpline (crisis line): 1-800-667-5005
RCMP: 911 for emergencies only
Sackville Memorial Hospital: 364-4100

COVID-19 TASK FORCE
On April 5, MLA Megan Mitton, Sackville Mayor John Higham, Dorchester Mayor JJ Bear, Port Elgin Mayor Judy Scott, and Fort Folly First Nation Chief Rebecca Knockwood, established the Tantramar COVID-19 Task Force (TCTF). The TCTF includes key community volunteers from unincorporated areas of Tantramar, such as Aulac and Cape Tormentine. The TCTF has been mandated to coordinate an appropriate community response to the COVID-19 pandemic. If residents need help during the COVID-19 pandemic with groceries, prescriptions, or other issues, they can contact the TCTF for assistance at enquiry.tctf@gmail.com. You can also visit the Tantramar COVID-19 Facebook page for a side variety of resources available to support Tantramar residents.

WORKSAFE NB – HEALTH AND SAFETY MEASURES FOR WORKPLACES
WorkSafe NB has introduced heath and safety measures for workplaces, including precautionary measures to mitigate the risk of transmission of COVID-19 when a workplace can not maintain a two-metre separation between people. We are aware of these requirements and are implementing procedures as necessary. You can read the health and safety measures here.

COUNCIL MEETINGS AND BUSINESS
The Special Council Meeting for the month of June is scheduled for June 1, 2020 at 6:30pm.  The June Regular Council Meeting is scheduled for June 8, 2020 at 7:00pm.  Both will be streamed live on the Town’s website.  The meeting will take place virtually with Microsoft TEAMS software. All essential Town services, including water testing, lift station checks, garbage collection, etc., are continuing as normal.

INFORMATION KIOSKS
We are aware that not all residents have access to a computer and that most of the Town’s local information on COVID-19 is being shared by the Town’s website and social media channels. To help more residents, our two kiosks have been reinstalled on Bridge Street where the Town’s Public Service Advisories are being posted.

GROCERY SHOPPING TIPS

  • Designate one person in your household to get essential items, such as groceries, prescriptions, fuel, etc.
  • Do not make daily visits to the store.
  • Wait your turn when shopping and avoid reaching over others.
  • Always maintain social distancing and make sure there is 6-feet (2-metres) between you and another individual at all times.
  • Pay very close attention to the instructions provided by the store.
  • Use one of the delivery or pick-up options available.
  • Wherever possible, stay home.

E-MAIL AND PHONE SCAMS
Unfortunately, e-mail phishing and telephone scams are increasing, and we want to remind residents and business owners to be mindful to use caution when opening e-mails and providing personal information over the telephone.

SELF-CARE
The Chief Medical Officer of Health for New Brunswick has emphasized the importance of people taking care of themselves during this stressful time and has encouraged healthy eating, exercising and getting enough sleep.

UPDATES FROM LOCAL BUSINESSES
As a result of COVID-19 and the State of Emergency in the Province of New Brunswick, many of our local businesses have been forced to close, change processes and alter opening hours. To help promote these necessary business changes we have created a page to share current opening hours and options. If you have an update that you would like us to include, please contact 364-4930. Business updates can be found here.

WATER QUALITY FOR BUSINESSES
If reopening your business after several weeks, water quality can deteriorate.  When a business re-opens, it is recommended to flush all taps to refresh the water that has been stagnant for a long period of time by flushing toilets and run water in bathtubs first, followed by all other water sources (Kitchen and bathroom sinks, showers, washing machines, etc.  Flushing should be performed until the water runs clear and is cold, generally about 5 to 15 minutes. For more information visit www.watercanada.net.

DISINFECTANT WIPES
While we encourage residents to take the necessary precautions to ensure their homes and belongings are clean, please do not flush these wipes as they can clog our sanitary sewer lift station pumps. These wipes belong in your clear bag.

FACILITIES, ACTIVITIES AND OTHER EVENTS

  • Town Hall will re-open to the public on May 25, 2020 from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. Please be mindful of new operational changes that have been implemented.
  • Public Works Facility will remain closed to the public until further notice.
  • Our unionized employees are working two split shifts of one week on and one week off and are focusing on essential services only. In addition, managers are alternating working remotely where possible.
  • The following recreational facilities remain closed to the public until further notice:
    • Tennis and basketball courts, baseball fields, town-owned soccer fields, playground equipment, skate and bike park, Tantramar Veteran’s Memorial Civic Centre, Bill Johnstone Memorial Activity Centre, the Visitor Information Centre/Craft Gallery and the Community Garden.
  • All town operated public washrooms remain closed.
  • The public boat launch at Lillas Fawcett Park will be open by Friday, May 1. The dock will be installed this week to accommodate emergency response needs and all users are expected to respect social distancing requirements.
  • The boardwalk areas in the Waterfowl Park are designated one-way in order to respect social distancing requirements. New signage has been installed in the park and online with updated mapping and instructions on the one-way areas. Please do not run or stop on the boardwalks so that the 2-meter mandatory social distancing requirements can be adhered to.
  • Town parks and trails remain open and are being monitored for activity and observations with respect to social distancing.
  • The Sackville Public Library is closed until further notice.
  • The Fire Station operational areas are available to active members only and required town staff.
  • Water bill and property tax payments can be made online. Dog tags and By-law ticket payments are being suspended until further notice. Water Bills for the period of January 1 to March 31, 2020 will go out the week of May 11th to 15th and have a 60 day due date and senior discount date.
  • Interest will not be charged on overdue water and sewer accounts for the month of March.
  • All deliveries, courier pick-ups, etc., will continue at Town facilities with minimal interaction.
  • We will work with our community stakeholders to encourage cancellation and/or postponement for non-Town facilitated events and programs.
  • The May 2020 Municipal Elections have been delayed until on or before May 2021.
  • The border between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia is closed to all non-essential travel as part of the Nova Scotia State of Emergency.

These measures are intended to reduce the spread of the virus to protect the health of our employees and community. In all other respects, it is business as usual for our organization, including Office Hours at Town Hall, snow clearing, garbage collection, police and fire protection, water and wastewater utilities, etc.

OTHER TOWN CANCELLATIONS

Recreation Programs:
All in-person town operated recreation programs are cancelled until further notice.  We continue to offer virtual and physical distancing programs to keep our residents active.  For programing opportunities follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sackvillenb.

Events/Workshops:
All Town operated events that result in large gatherings of people have been cancelled for the remainder of 2020 unless otherwise directed by the province.  Plans are underway to offer options virtually for some of our events, including Canada Day.

Please stay tuned for updates as they become available.  Cancelled events include:

  • Volunteer Recognition Night
  • Bordertown Festival
  • Sports Wall of Fame Induction Ceremony
  • Concerts in the Park
  • Movies in the Park
  • In-person Canada Day Celebrations
  • BHP Challenge
  • Friday Night Antique Car Cruise
  • New Brunswick Day Celebrations
  • MTA Corn Boil
  • Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

Others: 
Visitor Information Centre Opening – Pending

Fall Fair and the Sackville Street Chalk Art Festival:
Unfortunately, our list of cancelled events includes the popular Sackville Street Chalk Art Festival, the 20th Anniversary of the Sackville Fall Fair and the always popular Family Day at the Doncaster Farm.  We wish this was not the case but promise to come back bigger and better than ever once the COVID-19 pandemic subsides.

CLEANING OF TOWN FACILITIES
The municipality has already taken measures in its facilities to try to reduce the risks of contamination, such as:

  • The frequency of cleaning in high traffic areas has been increased.
  • Additional cleaning has been introduced in public areas.
  • New automatic hand sanitizing stations have been installed throughout Town Hall.
  • Posting of COVID-19 information posters, websites and other information as produced by the provincial government.
  • Monitoring of soap dispensers in order to ensure that they are always filled.

TRAVEL FOR TRAINING AND MEETINGS OUTSIDE THE PROVINCE
For prevention reasons, work-related travel for training and meetings that is to take place outside the province is suspended for our employees, with the exception of the Amherst area which is permitted with management authorization.

INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL
The Town is following the Federal and Provincial Government’s travel advice, including:

  • All employees have been encouraged to avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice.
  • All travellers arriving in Canada from international points as of March 13, 2020 must self-isolate for 14 days. Self-isolation means staying at home and avoiding contact with other people to help prevent the spread of disease to others in your home and your community.
  • All international travellers must self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days after returning to Canada. If you start having symptoms, immediately call Tele-care 8-1-1. Describe your symptoms and travel history. They will provide advice on what you should do.

 

Media contact:
Jamie Burke
Chief Administrative Officer
Town of Sackville
506.364-4930
j.burke@sackville.com