The Province advised it had scheduled a press conference for a Provincial COVID-19 update at 2:30 PM local time November 23, 2020.
The Town participated in this Zone 2 teleconference with Health Zone 2 Municipal officials, Department of Health Medial Officer of Health and the Department of Local Government Officials at 3:00 PM local time November 23rd, 2020.
The Town’s EOC Group met yesterday at 3:45 PM local time on a virtual online platform to review and discuss the provincial press conference and Zone 2 teleconference and to review the Town’s Operational Plans given the Zone 2 Orange Phase restrictions.
The Town’s EOC remains at a Level 1 Status –Enhanced Monitoring, unchanged.
Health Zone 2 – Is currently at the Orange Level effective midnight, November 20, 2020.
The Town’s EOC Group will increase its schedule of regular meetings utilizing a virtual platform to minimize close contact during the meetings. The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday November 25th, 2020 at 2:00 PM local time.
This teleconference highlighted the following:
- Our Health Zone remains in a delicate state / situation described as in a combustive state, and the need of everyone’s active participation in all Public Health measures is needed now more than ever.
- Events on the November 13th weekend have contributed in placing a couple of hundred people at risk.
- 40 cases now active in Zone 2 related to the weekend of November 13th exposure.
- Outbreak at the Shannex Campus in Saint John.
- St. Joes Hospital and the Regional Hospital have been impacted due to staffing currently in isolation.
- Evidence of extensive and rapid acceleration of cases that prompted consideration to place our Health Zone 2 in RED.
- The next Two Weeks:
o It is believed the Zone will see more cases in this period.
o The message from Health is get tested even if experiencing mild symptoms.
o Limit the size of gatherings. Maintain the one household bubble.
- Enforcement efforts expanded during the ORANGE Phase:
o 35 to 45 additional enforcement officers fully engaged to enforce compliance to the Mandatory Order and mask use.
o Objectives of the enforcement are centered around mask use compliance.
o Active presence in the Sussex Area.
- Christmas guidelines appear to be nearing completion that could assist municipalities and organizations dealing with gatherings and the necessary protocols to schedule compliant safe events, if possible.
The Town has will continue to request public assistance in the following messaging:
- Follow current public health guidelines. It is necessary we all follow these simple measures to protect everyone’s health.
- Take the necessary time to refresh the new requirements in the ORANGE Phase.
- Stay home if you are sick, and do not assume this is just a simple cold.
- Get tested, if you have symptoms.
- The Online assessment tool is the quickest method to schedule testing. https://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/departments/ocmoh/cdc/content/respiratory_diseases/coronavirus/coronavirusexposure.html#/app/symptom-checker/guides/399/what-to-do
- Keep your numbers to a minimum to close contacts, in a small groups, and be as consistent as possible.
- Mandatory masking is critical to address our current ORANGE Phase.
- Follow Health directives. Your help is needed now more than ever.
The Town will announce the following changes to upcoming events:
- The Mayor’s Christmas Tree lighting ceremony scheduled for Friday November 27th, 2020 has been cancelled.
- The Town will reassess the scheduled Santa Claus parade prior to December 01, 2020.
- As of today’s date Tuesday November 24th, 2020; the Town continues encourage individuals and families to take time to exercise and be outdoors, but please do so responsibly. Our trails, parks and put of door facilities remain open for use as we believe that they are a great resource for remaining physically and mentally well. The Town advises that if residents do choose to use our trails and facilities that they be mindful of the ORANGE Phase requirement of wearing a mask while using the Town’s Trails, and maintaining appropriate distances between yourselves and others and also keeping control of your pets. Please observe the Town’s leash requirements and do not let pets run free for the safety of your fellow trail users.
The Town encourages responsible physical activity, and advise the public to wear a mask while on our trails, stay spaced, stay safe and always stay healthy as we all work through this provincial emergency.
- The EOC Group is currently reviewed with each department any operational issues experienced during our essential service operation and have begun preplanning related to service changes should the Zone 2 require more restrictive measures in the near future.
- The Town’s Fire Station, and Works facilities remain closed to the public. This status has remained unchanged since March 2020.
- The Town will advise, at this time, Town Hall, The Sussex Regional Library, and the 8th Hussar’s Sports Centre remain open, with additional restrictions introduced by the ORANGE Phase Provincial Mandatory Order. Mask use and social distancing is mandatory in these facilities.
Next EOC meeting is scheduled for 3:00 PM local time Wednesday November 25th, 2020. It is our intent, unless otherwise warranted, to provide the next Public Update report on Wednesday November 25th, 2020 at 3:30 PM.