All Town of Huntsville facilities have been closed with the exception of Town Hall, but that may be next.
Huntsville Mayor Karin Terziano held a teleconference this afternoon (Monday, March 16) and said discussions are ongoing about closing Town Hall. “We’re trying to set up a business continuity plan so that we’re still able to service the public the best we can even if we close the door to the public,” she said, referring to the possibility of conducting municipal business via email or by telephone.
Terziano said a decision on whether to keep the doors open at Town Hall is expected to come later today or tomorrow.
She also said municipal staff have been working with the nurse practitioner office at the Canada Summit Centre. “We’ve worked with them to make arrangements for them to be able to get their patients access into their office within the Summit Centre on an appointment basis, and that’s so that we don’t put any more undue pressure on the hospital and the rest of the health care community.”
A meeting is expected to take place tomorrow (Tuesday, March 17 at 5 p.m.) at which time council will pass a resolution to cancel all scheduled committee meetings. Terziano said the meeting will be short, people will be spaced out, and she encouraged members of the public to sit it out.
While public health is the lead on the response to the COVID-19 virus in the community, the mayor urged people calling Telehealth concerned about possible symptoms and looking for advice to continue to hold. “I heard today they added another 130 operators in order to hopefully help that but yes I was actually talking to the hospital today and they most definitely want people to continue to follow that route,” she added.
Those who are critically ill and suspect they may have the virus are asked to call the hospital ahead, if possible.
Terziano said while panicking is part of human nature, “I don’t think anybody should be panicking but I think that everybody should be responsible looking after themselves and doing the social isolation,” she added. “Everything that each individual does is what’s going to stop this. So we’re just encouraging people to be really sensible and smart about what they’re doing. To not do things that they don’t have to do and to stay home as much as they can. I think this is something that we can control as a community. We certainly are encouraging other non-essential businesses to consider whether it makes sense to be open to the public.”
Among the issues on the table for council consideration is whether to extend the due date and/or void the penalty for those having difficulty paying their property tax.
Click here for Doppler’s other COVID-19 coverage (ongoing updates)
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