The City of Fredericton is closing its doors in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19 in New Brunswick.
On Monday night, the municipality decided to shut down City Hall among other public spaces, including arenas, school gyms, a number of seniors centres, and the Fredericton Boyce Farmers Market.
All municipal standing committee meetings have been postponed until the end of March, and the public is being asked to direct any payment and permitting inquiries to the city’s website.
Council-in-committee and regular council meetings will continue, the municipality has confirmed, with a special focus on agenda items that are required to keep the city up and running.
“Staff carrying out essential services will follow all provincial safety protocols to protect themselves and the public from COVID-19,” said the announcement.
“This will include practicing social distancing, washing hands and/or using hand sanitizer, wearing protective gear, as appropriate, and cleaning high touch surfaces. Employees who feel ill will immediately be asked to self-isolate.”
The closures follow recommendations from New Brunswick’s chief medical officer, who on Monday confirmed the province’s seventh presumptive case of the novel coronavirus.
To date, there are two confirmed diagnoses and five presumptive ones.
Essential services in the City of Fredericton will continue to operate, including police, paramedic and fire departments, as well as waste collection, utilities and road clearing.
Fredericton Transit will also continue operations as normal, but will undergo additional cleaning measures as a precaution.
The Fredericton Courthouse — and all courts in New Brunswick — face new restrictions, including the barring of the general public from proceedings, the hearing of appeals by telephone when possible, and the postponement of select proceedings (those with jury trials, for example) until further notice.
Some public worship gatherings have been suspended in Fredericton too, including the Anglican Diocese of Fredericton, which announced Monday it will examine options for livestreaming prayer.