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Posted on: March 30, 2020

UPDATED March 30, 2020 at 6:30 p.m.

Covid

COVID-19

The media is actively covering the Coronavirus and as the number of cases in our Province rises, we understand that people have questions about what’s happening and how they can protect themselves.

For updated, accurate information about COVID-19 in Alberta, visit the Alberta Health Services at: https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/topics/Page16997.aspx 

The City of Brooks’ number one priority is the safety of our citizens, staff and visitors. We are preparing and planning for how we will address it if, and when, there are cases that potentially impact the health and wellness of our community.

What is the City of Brooks Doing?

* * * Facebook Live Videos, including a Q&A with Mayor Morishita, are available the bottom of this page.

Playgrounds and Outdoor Equipment Closed

For protection and safety, the City of brooks has decided that all playgrounds and outdoor equipment will be closed. At this time, we are going to leave the playing fields, walking trails and pathways open. We know with warmer weather coming people will look to our outdoor spaces for physical activity, fresh air and a mental break. But we also know how serious it is to do our part to stop the spread and limit contact between people.

We’re asking everyone to do their part – maintain a social distance whenever you’re out in public, and parents, please make sure your children are following the guidelines whether you’re supervising them or not.

State of Local Emergency

On March 18, 2020, the City of Brooks declared a State of Local Emergency (SOLE) to support the Province of Alberta’s efforts to combat the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. On March 25, 2020, the City renewed their SOLE.

At this time, this declaration is PROACTIVE only - we are not responding to any specific issue that has arisen. A State of Local Emergency (SOLE) Declaration gives a municipality special authorities to be used in the interest of the common good during an emergency.

Utility Collection Changes

The City of Brooks is aware of the difficulties residents and businesses are facing amidst this COVID-19 pandemic.  Due to all the uncertainty, City Council has decided that effective March 17, 2020:

  • All utility disconnections (shut offs) will be deferred for 90 days.
  • All door tag notices warning about shut offs will be deferred for 90 days.
  • All penalty charges will be deferred for 90 days.
  • Utility transfers to taxes will be deferred for 90 days.
  • Customer overdue reminders will be re-written explaining the following:
    • The ratepayer has an overdue amount.
    • Water/Sewer & Garbage services are essential services and they will not be discontinued because of non-payment during this period.
    • Utility Customers will be expected to pay for these services at some time; however, the City will not be following ourcollection processes or charging penalties on overdue amounts during this period.
    • We encourage customers to make payments, or partial payments to their accounts whenever possible to clear up balances. The City has several options for customers to make payments such as online, via telephone, or through the drop box on the east side of City Hall.
  • The City may not be maintaining the same schedule for sending out utility bills in the near future.

We will monitor the COVID-19 situation and make further revisions after 90 days if needed. 

Facility Closures

Following the announcement from Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, the City of Brooks has CLOSED all City Facilities to the general public. This closure is for precautionary reasons only. Our hope is that by following the lead of the Alberta Government we can keep our citizens safe.

All essential services are still being offered and residents requiring assistance will still be able to contact City Staff via telephone, email or our electronic systems such as My Brooks Online Services and Newell Connect. As further operational decisions are made, we will be making announcements to the public. We will monitor this daily in concert with AHS and the Chief Medical Officer of Health.  All of these difficult decisions are being made to protect the health and safety of our residents.

We have a team of people working to ensure the continued safety and wellness of our community and we will continue to take direction from the Public Health Agency of Canada and Alberta Health on this issue. As we receive information, this website will be updated as necessary, as well as the City’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/CityBrooks/. Any new updates regarding our operations and the use of our facilities will be posted.

How to Stop the Spread and Protect Yourself

To help protect you and your family against all respiratory illnesses, including the flu and COVID-19, you should:

  • STAY AT HOME and away from others if you are feeling ill. Do not go to a doctors office or the hospital. Take the online assessment tool through Alberta Health and follow the recommendations.
  • Practice “social distancing.” Health Canada recommends keeping at least 2 metres distance between yourself and other people.
  • Use good hygiene practices, such as frequent hand washing.
  • Avoid touching your face, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched.
  • Follow good respiratory hygiene; cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze (dispose of the used tissue immediately).

Symptoms & What Should You Do:

If you have symptoms such as fever, cough and difficulty breathing, have traveled outside Canada or have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19, use the online screening tool developed by Alberta Health.  This self assessment tool will determine whether you need to call Health Link 811 to get tested. Call volumes to Health Link 811 are currently high, so be patient if you are required to call. If you are not seriously ill, do not go to a physician’s office, a health care facility or a lab. Call 911 if you are seriously ill and need immediate medical attention and inform them that you may have COVID-19.

Alberta Health Services - Emergency Management/COVID-19
This website will be used to keep health care professionals and community members updated on the latest information available.

Government of Alberta - Coronavirus Information for Albertans
This website provides an overview of the virus and the steps the Province is taking to protect Albertans.

Public concern over COVID-19 provides an opportunity to remind everyone the steps we can take to protect ourselves from COVID-19 are the same steps we should be taking every day to protect ourselves from common illnesses, such as the cold and influenza.

Videos

The City of Brooks and Mayor Morishita are broadcasting video updates. These videos are posted on our Facebook page, however, if you do not have access to Facebook, you can view the videos here:

March 30, 2020 - Facebook Live Video No. 3


March 25, 2020 - Facebook Live Video No. 2

March 20, 2020 - Facebook Live Video No. 1

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