Home > News > News Releases > Saint John following advice and direction from lead Public Health agencies and urges the public to do the same

Saint John following advice and direction from lead Public Health agencies and urges the public to do the same

13-Mar-2020

The City of Saint is closely monitoring the assessed risk level of the COVID-19 virus from Provincial and Federal Public Health officials. The public is encouraged to do the same. The health and well-being of our community and workforce will remain a priority. It is important to remember that in our system of government, it is the provincial level, through the Chief Medical Officer of Health (Public Safety), that sets policy and provides guidelines and direction for the safety of the population. Municipalities, such as the City of Saint John, are in support.

As of 12:00 p.m. today, March 13, 2020, the Department of Health has confirmed one case of COVID-19 in New Brunswick and reports that the risk is still considered low by medical experts. As the situation continues to evolve, new information and precautions are becoming available. Click here for New Brunswick Public Health updates from the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health. 

Preparations are underway across all City departments to ensure services will be delivered and employees are supported with precautionary measures, and in the event of an outbreak in this area. 

Since January 22, 2020, the SJ-EMO has received updates relating to COVID-19 from the NBEMO and has been involved in conference calls for regular updates from Public Health officials. The SJ-EMO is now activated to Level 1, enhanced monitoring and preparation stage and is supporting municipal departments with contingency planning in the event that staff and operations are impacted.

At municipal level, we have put in place the following:

In accordance with provincial recommendations, all public events organized by the City where attendance has the potential to be 150 or more people, will be cancelled until further notice.
We are actively encouraging residents and businesses who need to interact with City services to do so on line or by phone instead of at our counter services.
City-hosted in-person meetings with visitors from outside Atlantic Canada have been cancelled until further notice.
Work-related travel, outside of New Brunswick, has been restricted for City employees.
Basic safe practices for the prevention of COVID-19 transmission has been distributed to all  City staff. The key reminders are: wash your hands often, do not touch your face; cough into your sleeve or a tissue; social distancing including no hand shaking; and if you are sick, do not come to work, and seek medical assistance as required.
Business continuity plans to determine how and at what level we can provide services in the event of an outbreak are being developed.
The Saint John Emergency Management Organization is conducting exercises to enhance capability and connectivity.
All employees have been asked to self-monitor for symptoms and follow advice provided by Public Health and other lead agencies. 
We are continually monitoring the situation to determine potential additional measures and closures.

Q&A – CITY SERVICE UPDATES AND PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES

The following updates regarding City services and precautionary measures are available at this time. Further information will be provided as available. We thank the public for their attention and vigilance during this time.

Where should I go to receive health related information? For all health related information and advisories, please visit the Provincial Department of Health (Public Health) website. This is the lead agency for COVID-19 health information. 

What measures is the City of Saint John taking within public facilities to protect staff and citizens? The City is following the Provincial Government schedule and guidelines for cleaning procedures in all City-managed facilities. Our contracted cleaners have been asked to follow the same protocol. Enhanced cleaning procedures beyond the Provincial guidelines are in place in our most public facing facilities, including the City Market. This will help ensure that our most populated facilities operate in the safest manner possible.  

The Aquatic Centre, as an independent Commission of the City, has decided to restrict public access to its swimming pools effective immediately. For updates, visit the Aquatic Centre Facebook page and website.

What precautionary measures are being taken for City Transit Services and is there advice for those who travel by bus? Transit routes and services continue to operate as per the usual schedule at this time. Extra precautions have been taken to enhance cleaning procedures within the buses. 

Will City-hosted public meetings be cancelled or postponed? At this time, all meetings with City employees are being scheduled on a case-by-case basis and any cancellations or changes to the way in which meetings are conducted will be communicated to participating stakeholders and the broader community as necessary. City staff have been asked to schedule meetings via teleconference when possible, and until further notice. We remind the public that all open session meetings of Common Council and Committee are available online through www.saintjohn.ca

Will arenas remain open for public skating? At this time, all municipal arenas remain open for scheduled public skating. Members of arena-user associations such as skating and hockey should confirm cancellations and postponements with the respective associations and continue to check back for updates.  

Are there any precautions the public can support when interacting with our front-line Fire Service personnel? The Saint John Fire Department’s ability to respond to your emergency request for service is based on having personnel available. We respectfully request that during an emergency request for service and without breaching personal privacy, please inform the 911 Operator if you or anyone in your household has, or is suspect of having any highly contagious health condition such as COVID-19. This will allow the Fire Department to take the appropriate personal protection precautions prior to entry.  

Where a Fire Code Inspection is pre-arranged with a building owner/property manager; and where the building owner/property manager gives tenants 24 hour notice of entry for the purpose of a Fire Code Inspection, the Saint John Fire Department is asking tenants of multi-unit buildings (and only if asked), to inform their landlord of any self or mandatory isolation due to a highly contagious health condition such as COVID-19. This will allow the Saint John Fire Department to determine if the Fire Code Inspection should be rescheduled to a later date. 

Saint John Fire Stations have been restricted to City personnel only at this time. In the event of an emergency, please call 911.

What City services can I access online? Effective immediately, the City asks that all routine requests for service be made to us online or by phone rather than in person, until further notice. The City offers a number of services to the community online. All services remain available and we encourage the community to connect with us.   

Saint John Water Payments: https://www.saintjohn.ca/en/home/cityhall/sjwater/drinkingwater/rates/
waterpayments.aspx 

Saint John Parking Commission Ticket Payments: https://ipn.paymentus.com/rotp/sjpt 

Building Permit Applications: https://onestop.saintjohn.ca/Click2GovBP/index.html

Business Permits and Licenses:
https://services.bizpal-perle.ca/?lang=en&b=13 

Watch Common Council meetings: https://www.saintjohn.ca/en/home/cityhall/mayor-and-council/councilmeetings.aspx 

Customer service inquiries:  Call (506) 658-4455 or email

Stay informed with City updates:
Website: www.saintjohn.ca 
Twitter: @cityofsaintjohn 
Facebook: @cityofsaintjohnNB
Sign up for e-news: https://www.saintjohn.ca/en/home/news/newsreleases/default.aspx 
Sign up for Emergency Alerts:
https://ecc.sentinelsystems.ca/selfsub/?c=saintjohn 

i_rc_customerserv_quesMedia Inquiries


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