Home > News > News Releases > COVID-19 Response: The City of Saint John prepares for transition to delivery of essential services only and closes City Hall and all other municipal facilities to the public

COVID-19 Response: The City of Saint John prepares for transition to delivery of essential services only and closes City Hall and all other municipal facilities to the public

Following recent recommendations from the Chief Medical Officer of Health concerning efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community, the City of Saint John will begin transitioning to an essential services delivery model, effective end of day today, March 17, 2020. This move will enable the City to redeploy staff to focus on providing the most essential services to the community, and supporting Public Health efforts if necessary. Saint John City Hall and other municipal facilities will close, along with their public-serving counter services. We all have an important role to play in the defense against COVID-19 and we appreciate the precautions and efforts of staff and our community during this unprecedented time.

The following services will continue to be delivered using measures to protect staff and the public:

• Public safety services. This includes police and fire response, as well as the emergency management organization (SJ-EMO) which as of the afternoon of March 17 activated to a level 2, partial activation, for the coordination and operations of the municipal response. 
• 911 operations centre. In the event of an emergency, the public should continue to call 911.  Individuals who are experiencing mild to moderate symptoms or think they may have COVID-19 should call Tele-Care 811.
• Other essential services include Saint John Water drinking water and wastewater treatment services; emergency public works; emergency building inspection and permitting; road clearing; public communications; and select essential support services that enable the above services to operate efficiently and safely. 
• Services deemed “highly desirable”, including Saint John Transit services, solid waste collection services*, and select vendors at the Saint John City Market (based on their discretion) remain operational at this time. They are subject to varying levels of service.  Any required changes to these services will be communicated through the City of Saint John website and social media channels. 
*NOTE: Only garbage that is packaged in the proper size garbage bag, sealed and placed curbside as per the City of Saint John Solid Waste By-law will be picked up. Anything not properly bagged and sealed will not be collected. 
• Common Council meetings. The City retains the ability to call emergency meetings of Common Council as required. Further information regarding scheduled Common Council meetings will follow.

Protective Measures. City staff carrying out essential services will follow all provincial safety protocols to protect themselves and the public from COVID-19. This will include practicing social distancing, washing hands and/or using hand sanitizer, wearing any required protective gear, and cleaning high touch surfaces. Employees who feel ill will immediately be asked to self-isolate and have been provided with instructions on how to report any COVID-19 symptoms to the health authority. We ask that you respect these measures and help protect our staff by following the same advice. 

What City facilities are closed?

All City buildings and facilities, including some that are operated by commissions or closely affiliated to the City, are closed to the public, including:

• City Hall, 15 Market Square 
• Municipal Operations Building, 175 Rothesay Avenue
• Leisure Services, 171 Adelaide Street
• All Fire Stations
• All Saint John Water drinking and wastewater treatment facilities
• All City-operated arenas, including the Charles Gorman, Hilton Belyea, Peter Murray and Stewart Hurley
• All City-funded community centres, Carleton Community Centre, the Nick Nicolle Community Centre, the South End Community Centre, and the Millidgeville Community Centre and the Irving Oil Field House drop-in programs.
• All visitor eating areas in the Saint John City Market 
• The Canada Games Aquatic Centre
• TD Station
• The Lord Beaverbrook Rink 
• Saint John Energy
• Saint John Transit counter services and offices

For updates to closures, visit www.saintjohn.ca/coronavirus. 

Please contact individual organizations, agencies and businesses for any impact there may be to their operations. 

Only critical or emergency customer service requests will be dealt with at this time. Please call (506) 658-4455 or email your urgent requirement to .

Stay connected and informed

For more information and updates about the City of Saint John and the COVID-19 response, visit www.saintjohn.ca/coronavirus, follow us on social media Twitter or Facebook, and sign up to receive City e-news
i_rc_customerserv_quesMedia Inquiries

Corporate Communications
City of Saint John
11th floor, City Hall
(506) 649-6008