PEI

Charlottetown closes municipal buildings, arenas to public to prevent spread of COVID-19

Charlottetown Mayor Philip Brown says the city has been in contact with provincial MLAs and federal MPs to ensure everyone is on the same page in the battle to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

'I want to reassure Charlottetown residents,' says Mayor Philip Brown Tuesday

Charlottetown Mayor Philip Brown updates the media and public on the COVID-19 situation on Tuesday. (Wayne Thibodeau/CBC)

Charlottetown Mayor Philip Brown says the city has been in contact with provincial MLAs and federal MPs to ensure everyone is on the same page in the battle to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

"We all agreed that we must move forward collectively as our shared goal is to ensure that all Islanders are safe," he said in a news conference at City Hall on Tuesday.

Brown said the city is trying to "keep all options open" for city staff and the city is in the process of reviewing essential staff to determine what the next steps will be.

"We will have a plan out in the next few days," Brown said, urging everyone to be calm.

The city has announced that as of Wednesday, the city's two fire stations will be closed to the public, along with the police station, the public works garage, the wastewater treatment plant and City Hall offices. Essential service employees will continue to work from these facilities and will assist the public via online, phone, and email services, Brown said. 

The city's bus system, T3 Transit, will continue to operate but will be reduced to seating room only, with no standing allowed, to allow social distancing among passengers.

Charlottetown police Chief Paul Smith says public safety will operate as normal. (Wayne Thibodeau/CBC)

Coun. Julie MacCabe will self-isolate for two weeks when she returns from a trip to the Caribbean, Brown said. 

"The more we are in step on this issue, the more successful we will be," Brown said. "I want to reassure Charlottetown residents."

Ice to be removed

Fire Chief Randy MacDonald said firefighters will be practising social distancing during calls. He said training has been suspended. 

Police Chief Paul Smith said the department will cease criminal record checks. He said public safety will operate as normal.

Brown reiterated that all recreation facilities will be closed. The city will remove the ice from Simmons and Cody Banks arenas, then thoroughly clean them.

The city has a special meeting planned for Wednesday on its budget. Brown said councillors will be spaced at least two metres apart or will be able to phone in.

COVID-19: What you need to know

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Common symptoms include:

  • Fever.
  • Cough.
  • Tiredness.
  • But more serious symptoms can develop, including difficulty breathing and pneumonia, which can lead to death.

    What should I do if I feel sick?

    Isolate yourself and call your local public health authority. Do not visit an emergency room or urgent care centre to get tested.

    How can I protect myself?

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Be aware of evolving travel advisories to different regions.
  • More detailed information on the outbreak is available on the federal government's website.

More from CBC P.E.I.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shane Ross is a former newspaper and TV journalist in Halifax, Ottawa and Charlottetown. He joined CBC P.E.I.'s web team in 2016.

With files from Nicola MacLeod

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