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Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

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Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

As the Novel Coronavirus: COVID-19 outbreak continues to evolve around the world, the City of Yellowknife  is  working with partners to manage potential impacts within our community. This includes working with the Government of the Northwest Territories and residents to plan for and mitigate impacts, and ensure continuity of local essential services.

The GNWT Department of Health and Social Services is the lead for information and response to pandemic planning in the NWT, and the City continues to work with them and follow their advice.  Get the latest updates from the GNWT Department of Health and Social Services or the Government of Canada about  (COVID–19).

The City Planning to Emerge Wisely

The City of Yellowknife is pleased to be planning the re-opening of City programs, services and facilities, in line with the GNWT’s recent ‘Emerging Wisely’ announcement. To ensure that we re-open safely, and are following capacity and other restrictions that are in place, many factors must be considered. The City would like to thank residents for your ongoing patience as staff work to do this in a planned and safe manner, as quickly as possible. The City’s top priorities remain public and staff safety, and continued essential service delivery.

The City is developing its’ re-opening schedule and will communicate all updates with the public, via the City webpage and on social media. Residents can also contact the City by emailing CustomerService@yellowknife.ca or calling 920-5600

What Can I Do to Protect Myself and Others Around Me?
 Everyone has a role to play.  There are a number of best practices to prevent it and how to try to keep it from spreading if you do get the virus, including:
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or hand sanitizer, particularly after  sneezing, blowing your nose or coughing.
  • Clean and disinfect in your home
  • Stay home if you are sick
  • If you are sick, avoid close contact with others
  • Turn away and cover your nose/mouth when you sneeze/cough with a disposable tissue, or sneeze/cough into your elbow
  • Throw used tissues into the garbage
What is the City Doing to Prepare?
 The City of Yellowknife is currently working on a number of things:
  • Connecting regularly with the Office of the Chief Public Health Officer at Health & Social Services (GNWT) to stay apprised of current information and potential/planned actions
  • Planning for our role if COVID-19 becomes a significant issue for our community, and the actions we will take if a response is required through emergency planning and business continuity planning
  • Increasing the work to keep any facilities and services remaining open facilities clean/virus free - both with our staff and with contracted janitorial service providers
  • Ensuring information from the correct/expert sources is available and accessible
  • The City has stepped up its efforts to sanitize public transit and public spaces, and signs have been posted at city buildings that remind those entering that they should stay away if they exhibit cough, fever or flu-like symptoms.
What City Facilities and Programs have been Affected? 

The health, safety and wellbeing of all community residents and our staff is the City’s top priority. To this effect, as a pre-emptive measure, the following City facilities will be closed to the public until further notice:

  • City Hall
  • Fieldhouse
  • Multiplex
  • Ruth Inch Memorial Pool
  • Yellowknife Community Arena
  • Curling Club
  • Yellowknife Public Library
  • Solid Waste Facility (see below for contractor information)

ESSENTIAL SERVICES

All essential City services are continuing and residents can still contact the City by calling 920-5600, emailing CustomerService@yellowknife.ca or visiting www.yellowknife.ca

EVENTS

Events and programs run by the City have been suspended and the Yellowknife Visitor Centre, which is currently run out of City Hall, has been closed. The City will update residents as the situation develops. For information on programs, memberships and refunds, visit www.yellowknife.ca/programs

PARKING

The City of Yellowknife will be offering free parking, and not enforcing parking meters effective Monday, March 23 until further notice. All other parking regulations will be enforced, such as fire lanes, handicap stalls, and loading zones. This includes parking restrictions on Franklin Avenue from 3:00 – 9:00 a.m. and 4:30 – 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

In addition, the City would like to inform residents that parking on 48 Street is reserved for patients at the Primary Care Centre and meters on 47 Street will be bagged and reserved for parking for health care workers at the Primary Care Centre in the downtown until further notice. The City thanks residents for their cooperation and understanding at this time

TRANSIT

Transit Routes A, B and C are all operating on their regular routes and times Monday through Saturday.  Express Route B will be out of service, both morning and afternoon runs, beginning Monday, March 23rd until further notice.

Yellowknife Accessible Transit Service (YATS) is running on its regular schedule.  Click here to view the complete route and schedule.

The City is asking residents to limit public transit use to essential travel only at this time, for grocery pickups, medical travel or to get to work. When using public transit, practice social distancing, as advised by the Government of Canada. Click here for more information.

Transit Fares Temporarily Waived

The City of Yellowknife is temporarily waiving transit fees to support residents that require public transportation services while also maintaining a safe work environment for transit drivers. The City is asking residents who do not require the bus to kneel or extend its ramp, to embark and disembark via the mid or rear door of the bus to provide social distancing for the drivers and also to not occupy seats or space within 2 meters of the driver.  Buses will be limited to seating capacity only, no standing.

GARBAGE

The Solid Waste Facility is open to the public with reduced hours Monday to Friday, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and in a designated Public Drop-Off area only. A maximum of 10 people (vehicles) will be permitted on-site at any given time to ensure physical distancing and to adhere to the public health orders currently in effect in the NWT. Contractors may continue to access the Solid Waste Facility during regular business hours, Monday through Friday. Click here for more information.

TRUCKED SERVICES

Residents are reminded to keep access to their garbage bins, sewage pumpouts and water delivery clear. Due to recent measures implemented in preparation for the potential impacts of COVID-19 these areas have been difficult for City contractors to access.  Please be advised that if access to your pump outs or garbage bins is blocked service delivery will not be possible.

WASTE PRACTICES

During this time, the City asks residents to be mindful of their waste practices, to help our staff continue to deliver essential services, including residential and commercial waste and organics collection.

Here are a few simple steps we can all take to help ourselves and each other:

  • Do not flush baby wipes, disinfectant wipes, shop towels, or other similar products. These types of materials, even when labelled ‘flushable’, increase sewage system blockages and potential damage to personal property - especially in Yellowknife’s cold temperatures, where we are prone to freezing.
  • Reduce and divert waste as much as possible. Residents should bring recyclables to the Blue Recycling Depots and put food waste in green carts. Until further notice, dog waste will be allowed in black carts. If safe to do so, residents should store large items, such as pallets, until further notice.
  • Compress black cart waste, when it is safe to do so, to optimize space.
  • Water delivery and sewage pump-outs are continuing as scheduled. The City asks residents on trucked water and sewer service to conserve water as much as possible and maintain clear access to delivery points. This will allow service delivery providers to address any increased demand that may occur, and lower any potential impacts on services.

The City recognizes that there is a handful of residents without access to regular garbage collection, or who require access to the Solid Waste Facility for honey bag drop-off. These residents should contact the Solid Waste Facility at swfinfo@yellowknife.ca or (867) 669-3406 to set up an appointment.

The City will continue to evaluate service delivery as the situation develops and will inform the public of any changes.

 

CITY PLAYGROUNDS AND OUTDOOR RECREATION AREAS OPEN

The City of Yellowknife is pleased to announce that all City playgrounds and outdoor recreation areas are now open and asks residents to follow all Public Health Orders and guidance of the Chief Public Health Officer.

When using playgrounds and any outdoor recreation areas, under the Orders and advice of the Chief Public Health Officer relating to Covid-19, residents should:

-        Ensure that there are no more than 25 people within the space (participants and observers) at any time.

-        Maintain a physical distance of 2 metres or more from persons who do not reside in the same household, except as follows:

  • Children 12 years of age and under may engage in outdoor play or sports with one another and are not required to maintain a minimum distance from one another while so engaged in outdoor play or sports.
  • Persons may play outdoor sports, with the exception of rugby. Spectators are required to maintain a minimum of 2 metres distance from one another. Players should physically distance where possible and should adhere to COVID-19 guidelines from their national and provincial sports organizations. Players and spectators together must not exceed 25 persons in any outdoor location.

-        Use face masks whenever a physical distance of 2 metres cannot be maintained.

It is encouraged that playgrounds only be used by children 12 years and under. If you are sick or not feeling well, please do not enter the area and return home to self-isolate. Please ensure proper hand sanitizer is used (self-supplied) as recommended by the Chief Public Health Officer, including before and after the use of any equipment.

 

PREVENTION

The City has increased efforts to sanitize and keep clean any facilities and services remaining open and operational, and has posted information in City facilities, to help inform residents on how to protect themselves and each other. 

What Waste Management measures is the City taking?

With more residents working and learning from home there is unfortunately an increase in household waste. This has resulted in a need for additional residential waste pickup. The City will be taking the following temporary actions in order to help accommodate this increase in residential waste:

  • Weekly Black Cart waste collection will begin and Green Cart (organics) waste collection will be temporarily suspended, effective Monday, April 6, 2020. For the time being, residents should dispose of organic waste in Black Carts;

*For the week beginning Monday, April 6, residents may place either their Green or Black Cart at the curbside for collection of general residential waste. Only one cart can be collected.

  • Dog waste can temporarily be disposed of in Black Carts;
  • The Solid Waste Facility is open to the public with reduced hours Monday to Friday, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and in a designated Public Drop-Off area only;
  • In order to uphold social distancing, the City is working with Ingraham Trail residents to address their residential garbage needs;
  • Residents with honey bags or without access to regular garbage collection, can access the Solid Waste Facility Monday to Friday from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Bi-weekly, Green Cart (organics) waste collection will resume, effective June 1, 2020, and the City will return to its regular Curbside Cart Program schedule.

Why are these measures necessary?

The City of Yellowknife is taking difficult yet necessary action to ensure safe waste management operations are continued during the global, COVID-19 pandemic. Waste management is an essential service and, at this time, our top priorities are public and staff safety, and continued essential service delivery.

With more residents working and learning from home there is unfortunately an increase in household waste. This has resulted in a need for additional residential waste pickup.

Has the City considered all possible solutions?

The City continues to tackle complex waste management issues resulting from COVID-19 and all our decisions are made with public and staff safety, and continued essential service delivery as the top priorities. Waste management is an important issue for Yellowknifers and residents have reached out with questions and suggestions. Council and Administration are working to provide the best possible solutions in this quickly evolving situation.

What can residents do?

By following simple yet effective waste management practices, residents can assist the City in tackling this issue:

  • Reduce waste wherever possible;
  • Divert waste by bringing recyclables to the Blue Recycling Depots;
  • Compress Black Cart waste, when it is safe to do so;
  • For now, store larger waste items, including spring cleaning, home renovation waste, etc.;
  • Do not illegally dump garbage.

What can I do with my dog waste?

Dog waste can temporarily be disposed of in Black Carts.

What can I do with my organic waste?

For the time being, residents should dispose of organic waste in Black Carts. The City would like to advise residents that bi-weekly, Green Cart (organics) waste collection will resume, effective June 1, 2020, and the City will return to its regular Curbside Cart Program schedule.

What about residents with honeybags?

Residents with honey bags or without access to regular garbage collection, can access the Public Drop-off Monday to Friday, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

How long will these measures be in place?

The City continues to evaluate the situation surrounding COVID-19 in Yellowknife and reminds residents that these measures are temporary. The City will inform the public of any changes.

What if I Owe the City Money?
At this time, citizens and businesses are encouraged to keep their accounts current by using the City’s online services, making payments through their banks, mailing or dropping off cheques at the City Hall drop box, or calling City Hall.  However, in recognition of the current extenuating circumstances, the City will be waiving penalties on late payments (eg. property taxes, utilities).
What are the current Northwest Territories travel restrictions? 

Until further notice, as ordered by the NWT Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Kami Kandola, all travel into the Northwest Territories is prohibited, with limited exceptions for residents and certain service providers, to combat COVID-19 in the territory. NWT residents returning from outside the NWT from any Canadian or international destination must self-isolate.

Those returning who do not have accommodations in which to self-isolate when they return should contact protectnwt@gov.nt.ca or 1-833-378-8297 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. 7 days a week. Each case will be assessed and appropriate measures will be taken to facilitate self-isolation.

For more information on Travel Restrictions for entering NWT, visit GNWT Public Health Services

How Can I Socially Distance Myself? 
 For residents who are social distancing, the City would like to provide the following links, tips and ideas for keeping busy:
  • Taking advantage of the City’s Virtual City Hall and eServices, or your financial institute’s online services to make payments;
  •  Use your library card to access the Yellowknife Public Library’s e-books and Lynda Library resources – find out more at www.yellowknife.ca/library
How to Stay Informed?
 There is a lot of information available on COVID-19 and we urge you to keep informed through official websites such as the Government of Canada Public Health Services or the GNWT Public Health Services.

Its important for us all to remain calm and thoughtful,  get information from reliable sources, take precautions to keep you and your families safe, and remain community-minded supporting friends and neighbours who may need a little more support if you can.

Additional Resources

 

Hours of Operation

Winter Hours effective following the Labour Day Weekend
until prior to the Victoria Day Weekend (September to May)
Monday to Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: Closed

Summer Hours effective following the Victoria Day Weekend
until prior to the Labour Day Weekend (May to September)
Monday to Friday: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: Closed

Mailing Address & Phone Numbers

Yellowknife City Hall
4807 - 52 Street, P.O. Box 580, Yellowknife, NT X1A 2N4

Switchboard - (867) 920-5600
Mayor/City Administrator - (867) 920-5634
Booking Clerk - (867) 669-3457
Municipal Enforcement (MED) - (867) 920-5630
After Hours (MED) - (867) 920-2737
After Hours (Public Works) - (867) 920-5699