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Community Advisory: COVID 19 Update #2 – March 19, 2020

Thursday March 19th, 2020 Update Report #2 – 9:30 AM.

The Town’s EOC was activated to a Level 1 Status on March 17th – Active enhanced monitoring. There is no change to our status.

The Town has been invited to participate in a teleconference with emergency and municipal officials in Regions 8, 9 and 10 next Wednesday March 25th. Dr. Kimberly Barker will lead the teleconference with situational information and with the most up to date information on the mitigation efforts to limit the transmission of the Covid-19 virus.

The following is a summary of decisions as review at the EOC Groups meeting held at 10:30 am Wednesday March 18th, 2020:

ACTIVATION STATUS:
The EOC is will be placed at a Level 1 Status – Active Monitoring unchanged.

The Town’s EOC Group has scheduled regular meetings at the Town’s EOC on Monday, Wednesday and Friday’s for the foreseeable future. This schedule does not include the teleconference meetings with the District Medical Officer of Health.

SITUATION REPORTS – UPDATE REPORTS:

  • The Town’s EOC group met on Wednesday 10:30 am and has prepared this report. The next scheduled meeting will take place Friday March 20th, 2020 at 10:00 am at the Town’s EOC.
  • The Town has enhanced computer access on Wednesday March 19th, 2020.
  • The Town will monitor daily press briefings undertaken by the Provincial Chief Medical Officer of Health scheduled for 2:30 PM daily.
  • The Town will participate in the weekly teleconference call with the District Medical Officer of Health and Region 8, 9 and 10 EMO Officials.
  • The Town will advise and direct C0VID-19 information through the PNB website issued by the Chief Medical Officer of Health. https://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/departments/ocmoh/cdc/content/respiratory_diseases/coronavirus.html

FACILITIES – ACTIONS IMPLEMENTED:

  • Effective at 5:00 pm local time, March 17th, 2020 the Town will limit / restrict public access to the Sussex Fire Station, Town Hall, the 8TH Hussar’s Sports Centre, Sussex Regional Library, and the Town’s Works Garage.
  • Service at the each sites has been undertaken remotely via the telephone, cellphone, facsimile, email and other electronic means where possible.
  • Rotational access to work centres to permit staff duties has begun. Progress will be evaluated at each EOC meeting.
  • All service deemed essential are being carried out / scheduled to provide minimal staff clustered within Town facilities.

STAFFING, ESSENTIAL NON-ESSENTIAL SERVICES:

  • Department Heads have been working on the development of and categorizing services into essential and non-essential. We believe we have a work plan to address essential services and is currently in day two (2) of testing.
  • Staff meeting has been completed on Tuesday March 17th , 2020 at 3:00 PM local time. Many topics on the mitigation efforts / measures and our effort to be part of the COVID-19 solution.
  • The Town remains committed to the operation of our Municipal Water System as the essential service. The following operational changes will be undertaken:
    o The first round of potability testing was completed on Wednesday March 18th, 2020 excluding the need to enter private residences. The EOC Group will assess on Friday any operational issues as a result of the first modified testing method. The Town will review the tests with the Department of Health to verify our modified potability testing to satisfy the Town’s testing requirements under its approval to operate.
    o No issues experienced nor identified with our Sewer system operational testing will remain unchanged, but the system will be operated as a critical public service.
    o No issues identified with winter maintenance operations will be maintained as an essential service uninterrupted for the remainder of the winter.
    o Staff rotational sequencing to maintain operations daily.
  • Sussex Fire have implemented response complement to limit exposure and provide effective emergency response services. No issues identified to date.

OPERATION ISSUES:

  • The increased use of wipes and the public impression these are “flushable” in the town’s sewer system are creating issues with the effective operation of our Wastewater Pumping Lift Stations. Pump / impeller clogs has introduced operational hazards to town staff attempting removal of the tangled wipes. In many instances these wipes have entangles dangerous sharps in the clog such as needles. The needle stick hazard is of high concern with the wastewater operators.
  • Alternate delivery schedules and pickup schedules are underway.
  • Developing an alternative call / service access during normal business hours through the Town’s Answering Service is being developed.
  • Delivery of water and sewer test samples workaround is being developed in the event our current pickup by a private contractor needs to be changed.

PUBLIC CONTACT:

  • The Town are in the process of developing guidelines to assist Town Staff and residents to maintain social distancing and to provide confidence and comfort to both the Sussex resident and the Sussex Staff addressing the service needs of the resident.

VIRTUAL MEETING PRE-PLANNING:

  • Community Services Director and the Assistant Town Clerk have developed operational requirements of conducting a virtual council meetings to broadcast a meeting on the Town’s website using Youtube. It is Administration’s opinion this method will meet the requirements of the Local Governance Act of New Brunswick, specifically Section 69 of the Act, and given the circumstances of the Covid-19 mitigation effort.
  • The Town has completed the setup of a cloud meeting application and have tested this setup. Although not perfect, at this point we are now able to complete / participate in a meeting remotely.
The Town of Sussex Emergency Operations Centre is currently active to monitor the Town response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19).More Information