The following is a statement from Amherst Mayor David Kogon:
Like the rest of the world, the Town of Amherst is now facing the reality that the COVID-19 virus will reach us eventually. There will be significant illness in our community. That is a certainty.
On behalf of council, I want to assure you the Town of Amherst is taking this threat very seriously.
In light of COVID-19 being declared a global pandemic, the Amherst Police Department would like to assure the community that we will continue to provide 24/7 frontline police service.
In many ways, we will continue to answer calls for service and provide the same emergency services, but will be utilizing screening questions to mitigate health risks in relation to COVID-19 when communicating with community members, staff and our officers.
In a further effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, follow the advice of our provincial and federal governments, and protect employees and the general public, Amherst town hall will be closed to the public – effective immediately.
For the time being there will be a reduced staff presence in the building, with many employees working remotely. Customers with an urgent service need may call our reception line at 902-667-3352. Service requests will be evaluated and addressed in terms of priority and staff capacity. In some cases, an in-person appointment may be arranged.
Due concerns around COVID-19, the committee of the whole meeting scheduled for 4 p.m. today, March 16, 2020, will not be open to the public.
While the public cannot attend the meeting in the council chambers, they can view it via live-streaming at https://amherst.ca/live-streamed-meetings.html. Communications staff will also be live tweeting and posting to Facebook as the meeting progresses.
The members of council and staff in attendance will practice social distancing by ensuring that no one sits directly besides anyone else. As a result, those viewing the session will see that the seating varies from the normal configuration.
Staff members who are not absolutely required will be advised not to attend the session.