COVID-19

COVID-19 - Updated to October 23, 2020

The Province of Nova Scotia declared a state of emergency on March 22, 2020, in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We must all follow the Public Health Orders and Directions. Further information is available at https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/.

During this extraordinary time, the Town of Amherst is focused on providing the essential services of fire and police protection as well as water and sewer services and the basic supports that those services require as we prepare and respond to the impacts of COVID-19 infections in Nova Scotia and to our community.

Keeping everyone safe and healthy, providing essential services and maintaining emergency response preparedness are the primary objectives for the Town of Amherst. The measures that we and others have taken WILL impact our customers. We regret any inconvenience and ask for your support and understanding through this challenging and unique circumstance.

Residents and members of the public are asked to please be patient and expect there may be additional changes as we move forward.

Status of Town Services

 Essential services of fire, police, water and sewer are not presently impacted.

At the present time, Town staff will not be entering residential or commercial premises except in cases of emergency or an urgent service need.

Building inspection services are impacted. For details please follow this link: https://amherst.ca/building-inspection.html 

We are staffing our main reception telephone line at 902-667-3352. Requests for service will be addressed on a priority and capacity basis considering the safety of the public and town staff. 

Status of Town Facilities

The Amherst Fire Hall is closed to the public, including the main meeting room on the second floor and the Russell Hunter Room;

The Amherst Police Department – Front counter/reception services are now available for the following services:

  1. Local Criminal Record Checks (by appointment only)
  2. Trailer Verifications (by appointment only)
  3. Accident reports (by appointment or by direction of staff)
  4. Payment of fines
  5. Event applications
  6. Other applications for pick up or drop off

To make an appointment, the public is encouraged to call (902) 667-8600 at which time, admin/dispatch staff will advise of the particular requirements for the service required. Our intention is to complete the requests within the time frame of the appointment.

Anyone calling to make an appointment or attending the police station will be asked a series of screening questions in relation to Covid-19 infection and risk. Access to the foyer will be limited. As a result, people attending the police station may be required to wait outside the locked doors until other parties have left. In some cases, event applications or other documents can be provided and returned via email. Appointments for Local Criminal Record checks and Trailer Verifications will be made during regular office hours only.

The Public Works Garage is closed to the public;

The Community Credit Union Business Innovation Centre is open to the public, with some modifications to accommodate public health protocols. The public can access the main floor and reception area between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday, excluding holidays. The public should check with the individual tenants for their office hours as they may be different. To ensure public safety and protection of staff only two people will be permitted in the lobby at one time and the public is requested to follow signs regarding procedure for entering and exiting the building and physical distancing. The conference room, hub and boardroom remain closed to the public.

The Amherst Stadium reopened on Sept. 9, 2020, but it isn't business as usual. The stadium is accepting ice rentals for practices and tryouts. Games, tournaments and competitions are not permitted under provincial state of emergency protocols at this time. The walking track is open, but with new COVID-related guidelines. The guidelines can be seen at  Walking Track Re Opening Guidelines . The stadium will not be open to the general public and the stadium's heated room, communty room and canteen remain closed. To view the Amherst Stadium return to operation plan, please go to:  Amherst Stadium Return to Operation Plan

Amherst Town Hall is open to the public, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.with some modifications in place to accomodate COVID-19 public health protocols.

To ensure the protection of customers and staff , the following will apply to those entering the town hall:

  1. All persons entering town hall are required to wear a mask
  2. Customers making payments or dropping off or picking up documents such as applications, etc will be required to enter and exit Town Hall through the designated doors that are marked with Enter and Exit signs.
  3. After completing their business, customers are asked to exit the building as soon as safety permits.
  4. The number of customers permitted in the lobby at one time will be five (5) and the two-metre physical distancing requirements will in effect.
  5. Customer meetings (other than reception) will be by appointment only. Phone or video meetings are encouraged whenever possible.
  6. All appointments are required to be scheduled in advance.
  7. Those requiring the use of the accessible entrance, making deliveries and attending pre-arranged appointments will be required to enter town hall via the ramp on the left side of the building.

Parks and trails within the Town of Amherst boundaries and the tennis court on Hickman Street are now open. Playground equipment is now accessible. Whenever possible, please respect other users while having fun in our parks by physical distancing. To report any issues in a park please call 902-667-3352.

Events/Programs

 All March break activities and future programming will be cancelled until further notice. This includes:

  • Indoor walking and any other activities at the Amherst Stadium
  • Learn to Lead
  • Youth on the Move
  • Living Well
  • Multisport
  • Volunteer appreciation event and presentations

Status of meetings of Council and Committees

All in person meetings of council and committees have been canceled until further notice due to the Minister's Order. Council will be meeting virtually. Minutes will be posted to the town's website.

Information for Business and Employers

The Cumberland Business Connector, on behalf of all three municipal units in the Cumberland Region is co-ordinating the flow of information to business and employers. This effort is also being supported by the Business Development staff in each of the municipalities. This information is available on the Connector’s website by clicking on the following links:

https://www.cumberlandbusinessconnector.ca/covid-19.html

https://www.cfib-fcei.ca/en/small-business-resources-dealing-covid-19

Community Supports

To view a list of community supports - everything from grocery stores to mental health, in the Cumberland region, please click on this link.  Community Supports Cumberland County COVID 19 April 2020

Health Related Information and Reminders

Nova Scotia Health Authority has established COVID-19 assessment centres. If you need in-person assessment, please call 811 and they will refer you to a centre. Do not go to a COVID-19 assessment centre unless 811 has referred you.

Visit novascotia.ca/coronavirus/ for information about protecting yourself and others from the spread of COVID-19.
Follow any advice and recommendations from your personal health care provider and governing bodies such as Public Health Agency of Canada regarding COVID-19.

For More Information from the provincial and federal governments:
• NS Health and Wellness Novel Coronavirus website
• Public Health Agency of Canada – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Outbreak updates
• Public Health Agency of Canada – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Awareness resource

Nova Scotia Health Authority - Interim Primary Care Access

The Nova Scotia Health Authority has established a virtual clinic for people who do not have a family doctor or nurse practitioner in Cumberland County to receive care for their more immediate primary health care needs. For more information please go to: http://www.nshealth.ca/news/interim-primary-care-access-people-without-family-practice-cumberland-county