With new information coming in everyday related to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s vital that people in cities, towns and villages have an idea of how their community leaders are approaching the escalating situation.
With that, The Outlook reached out to the Town of Outlook to gain a perspective on how the Town is handling the pandemic and what measures they’ve been implementing.
Chief Administrative Officer Huguette Lutz emailed this reporter with the following:
“Council is following the provincial rules; as municipalities, we are not permitted to ‘overstep’ (I refer you to the interaction between the City of Regina and the province, as well as the Town of Gravelbourg and the province). We have closed our facilities to the public. We are, however, implementing a plan to try to ensure that our water treatment plant operators stay safe: they are working in two-week rotations at the water plant (and nowhere else); one is on a two-week ‘work from home’ isolation. Once that two-week isolation period is over, that operator will go to work at the water treatment plant, and another will be on two-week isolation, working from home. Their work from home will consist of paperwork that is not critical but still needs to be updated.
We have provided our landfill operator and waste collection personnel with additional protective equipment (masks, gloves, etc.), so that they can avoid contact as much as possible. Our other public works personnel have been instructed to work alone, with cell phone contact on a regular basis to ensure their safety.
We ask that everyone cooperate as much as possible with the self-distancing and self isolation as needed, to get the Covid 19 under control.”
In addition, perhaps in response to the request for information from local media, the Town of Outlook issued the following release on Monday morning, March 30:
“In this time of uncertainty, we want to assure everyone that the Town of Outlook is taking the necessary precautions to protect our community against the COVID-19 virus while continuing to provide essential services.
The safety and well-being of our employees and residents remains our top priority, and we are observing the mandated isolation, social distancing, and quarantine guidelines established by the Provincial Government.
We have implemented a rotational isolation protocol for our water treatment plant operators to ensure we are providing a safe working environment for them while protecting the Town’s water supply. This also applies to the Town’s waste water system, where employees are taking additional precautions to protect themselves.
All other public works staff are working independently as they are not able to conduct their duties from home. Garbage and recycling services will continue as regularly scheduled, however we ask that persons who exhibit symptoms of COVID-19, persons who have come into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, and persons who have travelled outside of Canada within the last 14 days take extra precautions to responsibly dispose of their waste. Please ensure that any items that have come into contact with your mouth, nose, eyes, or hands are disposed of in your regular garbage, including items that you would normally recycle. Please make sure your garbage bags are securely tied, and double bag where necessary.
We understand that social distancing is challenging for many of our residents, especially those who truly live the small-town lifestyle. We would like to thank the residents who have demonstrated the highest level of commitment to our community’s safety by practicing social distancing. We would also like to extend our thanks to our business community who have continued to provide an outstanding level of service during this difficult time. As always, we encourage everyone to support our local businesses wherever possible, however please call ahead, order online or over the phone, and stay home if you do not absolutely have to go out.
The Administration Office remains closed to the public, however we are still here to help you over the phone and online during regular business hours at 306-867-8663.”
Administrator Lutz also told The Outlook that the Ministry of Health was granted permission by the Town to utilize the Civic Centre if it were needed. When reached for comment, the Health ministry stated that it couldn't comment on what the building would be used for, either because a plan had not been put in place or the facility may not be used at all.