New Brunswick

Fredericton prepares for second wave of COVID-19

The City of Fredericton is preparing for a potential second wave of COVID-19. With school starting soon, and some university students returning to the city, staff are looking at how they would handle another outbreak. 

Learning from the initial response to the pandemic will make it easier to handle second wave, says city CAO

The city of Fredericton will be prepared to deal with a second wave of COVID-19.

The City of Fredericton is preparing for a potential second wave of COVID-19. With school starting soon, and some university students returning to the city, staff are looking at how they would handle another outbreak. 

"If there's a second wave, how does it impact our ability to provide service? What if our staff members get infected? What measures can we put in place," said Chris MacPherson, the chief administrative officer for the city.

"We'd almost go back in a phased approach, hopefully not to the way it was in March and April, but certainly we can change the way we do business quickly now because we've done it in the past."

MacPherson is part of a group getting daily briefings from the province. He said the city would look to the province on when to decide to reinstate precautions.

Learning from the start

One of the changes the city made was to provide tables outside where people could sit after getting take out from a restaurant. MacPherson said that will continue until the weather becomes too cold. 

City staff will continue to make use of outside seating for meals until it becomes too cold. (Fredericton City Hall)

"We'll do the best we can to keep them out as long as possible as long as it's comfortable for people to use," said MacPherson. 

More staff have also started going back to work in city buildings, but there will be people that work from home for the foreseeable future, said MacPherson. He said city employees will also continue to wear masks and maintain physical distancing.

"We did look at it as a bit of an opportunity to actually see if we could deliver business differently and try to learn from that," said MacPherson.

"We're trying to keep the best parts of it, such as remote working for some people, and keeping shifts separated where possible, and we'll continue with that and hopefully get through to the end of this pandemic whenever that will be."

About the Author

Philip Drost is a reporter with CBC New Brunswick.

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