Esterhazy prepares for COVID-19
March 26, 2020, 5:36 am
The rapid impact of COVID-19 in Canada continues as it begins to hit towns in Saskatchewan.
The Town of Esterhazy has announced they have closed their town office to the public due to COVD-19 until further notice as a precautionary measure.
The official means of communication with the town office staff will be by email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
For those wishing to be contacted by phone they can provide their phone number in the email and an office staff member will contact them.
Esterhazy will also be closing the S.N. Boreen Centre and Dana Antal Arena Centre until further notice and any questions surrounding that can be directed to the town office email.
The Town of Esterhazy says they will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and keep the public informed as decisions that impact the community are made.
With the restrictions around COVID-19 increasing the council of the Town of Esterhazy recognized they needed to make a change to adjust to the pandemic.
“We said all along that we were going to take our instructions from what Saskatchewan Health’s direction was,” said Esterhazy Mayor Grant Forster. “It came down to when the province announced they were closing the schools.”
“That was the thing that finally made us react and say we have to do something now, this is real.”
Seeing how quickly things were changing in Canada and the decision being made to flatten the curve of COVID-19, Forster said they had to do their part.
“Essentially the two things were Sask. Health putting out their recommendations on the social distancing and limiting the size of gatherings and then the schools closing,” said Forster. “No point in all of these people doing these preventive measures and us not falling in line.”
Making the decision to close public buildings in the town was tough says Forster, but it was the smart move and the community understands the decision.
“It wasn’t an easy decision because there are people who had things planned, but for the better good of the community we had to react as we did,” said Forster.
“I’m not getting the sense that people are upset with us, they know that this has to be done and it’s the best way to control the spread and they’re doing what they have to.”
With the spread of COVID-19 in Canada, Forster says local businesses in Esterhazy are starting to feel the impact.
“What we’re seeing now is a few businesses have closed their doors for the time being,” said Forster.
Forster says you can see the town starting to prepare for a potential long-term situation as COVID-19 grows in Canada, but he doesn’t believe there’s hysteria about it around town.
“We’re starting to see store shelves being empty, so I’m assuming people are getting prepared for a required quarantine for everyone, but I don’t think there’s any sense of panic,” said Forster.
“People are going about their business trying as best they can to limit their exposure.”
Right now Forster thinks people in Esterhazy are more worried about how to deal with school closures, but says the community is stepping up and working together.
“There’s concern with the schools closing about childcare and that kind of stuff, but I’m seeing lots of notices about high school students offering up babysitting services because school is out,” said Forster.
“Lots of people are taking it in stride and doing things that they need to do to help out the community and help themselves get through this,” said Forster. “So far I’m impressed with what I’m seeing and proud of the way that people are reacting to this.”
Forster is happy to see the town focussed on getting prepared for the dire situation that is COVID-19.
“People are doing what they can to get prepared and ready to survive this,” said Forster.
“It’s impressive how well people are getting themselves prepared. I’m very happy with how things are going.”
Canada hasn’t had to deal with something unknown like this in decades says Forster and it’s a learning experience for the town.
“We’ve never been through this in any form,” said Forster. “We’ve never had the whole world shutdown like it has been.“
“We’re fortunate we’ve never gone through the war time measure that our parents and grandparents had to go through and this is probably as close as we’ll see it.”