COVID-19 Frequent Asked Questions and Answers
Region of Queens Municipality
March 27, 2020
21. Is Hunts Point Beach closed? It wasn’t included on the list of beaches, so I am hoping it is open.
ANSWER: Under the Provincial State of Emergency, ALL Municipal and Provincial beaches are closed to the public. All beaches in Nova Scotia belong to the province, and therefore are ALL closed. The access to some beaches are not provincially owned however; the beaches are still closed.
22. Are all Municipal properties that are closed to the public signed?
ANSWER: Region of Queens Municipality owns dozens of parks, playgrounds, facilities, and even a beach area (Beach Meadows Beach), located throughout Queens. While staff have posted signs and erected barricades at a large number of our sites, it is impractical to post signs at all of them.
We request that people do not remove the signs and/barricades. They are there as a reminder of their closure under the Provincial Declaration of the State of Emergency. The public are required to stay at home for their own safety and to prevent spread of this serious virus to others. Even if signs and/or barricades are not present, police are still empowered under the State of Emergency to issue significant fines.
23. My parents don’t have the internet, and are missing a lot of the important updates that I am seeing posted online. Is there a way for them to be able to access this important information?
ANSWER: Region of Queens Municipality is aware that not all residents have access to the internet to receive the most up-to-date, and factual information, much of which is posted online. Region of Queens Municipality has been sharing information and resources from Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness on its social media pages and website. This information is available to be sent by mail to Queens County residents without internet. To request an information package, please contact Heather Cook, Communications Coordinator at 902-354-5741 and provide a name and mailing address.
24. I’ve really been missing my beach walks. If people practice social distancing, would the Municipality consider reopening Beach Meadows Beach?
ANSWER: While we sympathize with people wanting to use beaches, the decision to close them was not a Municipal one, as the province has ordered ALL beaches to be closed across the province in the Declaration of a State of Emergency on March 22, 2020. Residents can walk the sidewalks in Liverpool, Milton and Caledonia, or along roadways where it is safe in low-traffic areas.
We are all doing our part to flatten the curve on the spread of COVID 19, and hope that the efforts of many (and temporary inconvenience) will slow the spread to a point that the State of Emergency can be lifted. When that occurs, Region of Queens Municipality will evaluate the safety of reopening parks and beaches for our residents to enjoy.
25. Is Meals-On-Wheels still operating?
ANSWER: VON Queens County has suspended the Meals on Wheels Program. Frozen meals are being delivered as an alternative. Call the office for information and to purchase frozen meals – 902-354-3297. Pick up is available at VON Queens County’s office or delivery is available. For regular updates on program cancellations, reductions and modifications to VON services, visit https://www.von.ca/en/program-cancellations
26. How do I contact the Food Bank?
ANSWER: In this time of increased demand on services provided by the Queen’s County Food Bank, as well as to ensure the safety of their volunteers and clients, there have been some changes in operations and distribution of food. Check the Queen’s County Food Bank Facebook page for detailed information and updates.
27. Am I still able to borrow equipment from the Red Cross for my medical needs?
ANSWER: Although all Red Cross offices across Nova Scotia are now closed, the offices are continuing with the health care equipment pick-up and drop-off program. This program operates by appointment only from Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. until 12 noon each day. Some of the supplies available are walkers, canes, and wheelchairs. Call 902-543-8565 to make an appointment.
28. Is it true that Fire Departments are no longer allowed to respond to medical calls, unless it is a real medical emergency?
ANSWER: To reduce exposure of fire fighters in Nova Scotia to COVID-19, Emergency Health Services (EHS) has stipulated that medical first responders, such as fire fighters, are not to attend medical calls, except for motor vehicle collisions, or if requested by paramedics for difficult extractions, until further notice. Call 911 in the case of an emergency, and the dispatcher will send the appropriate emergency service providers to help.
29. Can I get fined if I carpool to work with a coworker?
ANSWER: Carpooling to work is currently not permitted. If at all possible, find an alternate way to work. Those who reside within the same household (ie; families and others who reside together) are able to travel within the same vehicle. Those who do not reside co-habitate may not travel in the same vehicle. Those classified as essential service workers are exempt fom the social distancing rule.
30. I think that someone in the community has returned from a trip outside of Canada and has not self-isolated when they returned. I am really concerned that they will infect someone with Corona Virus. Who do I call to report them?
ANSWER: Everyone has been asked to be vigilant and cautious when we do leave our homes, stay at home as much as possible, practice social distancing of at least 6 feet, keep groups to 5 or fewer, and to self-isolate if we have travelled outside of Nova Scotia, and most of us are feeling very cautious and careful to limit exposure to COVID-19. Over the past few weeks, it has been a turbulent time for travelers – some who planned to travel cancelled their trips, others returned home early, and others are arriving as they can get back home.
While self-isolation is mandatory for anyone who has travelled outside of Nova Scotia effective March 23, there are a few exemptions, listed here: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/#alerts
If you are aware of someone not following provincial direction, have a conversation with them first – they may need help. If a call to police is needed, please call a non-emergency number for the police that serve your community, Queens County residents can call the Queens Detachment of the RCMP at 902-354-5721. Do not call 911.
Region of Queens Municipality
March 26, 2020
11. I’ve noticed that some services in the community have changed their hours, or are closed. Will my garbage collection change?
ANSWER: At the present time, waste collection remains unchanged. Place your sorted waste curbside on your usual collection day. If you would like to receive reminders of your waste collection day and notification of special clean up days, download the R6recycles app, or if you don’t have a mobile device, call 902-354-3455 to sign up to receive automated phone calls to alert you.
12. I’ve been home a lot more lately, and cleaned out the closets. Is the landfill still open? I might clean up the garage too. Can I go a few times?
ANSWER: The Municipal Solid Waste Management Facility is located at 3750 Hwy. 8, Milton, and is open Monday to Friday from 8:00am to 4:00pm and on Saturday from 8:00am to 2:00pm. Residents of Queens County are allowed free access to the Municipal Solid Waste management Facility. Loads must be sorted and delivered directly from your household in a non-commercial vehicle (and/or trailer) of less than one-tonne capacity.
13. How many people can be in a grocery store at once?
ANSWER: The Provincial State of Emergency classifies grocery stores and select other essential services as excempt from the limit of 5 persons in a group for gatherings, and states that social distancing is required. For information about how many may be in a grocery store at once, you should contact your local grocery store. They will be able to inform you on how their store is managing numbers of customers. One person per household should be designated to go to places like grocery stores to limit social contacts.
14. We’ve been having some nice weather; are beaches and parks open?
ANSWER: Under the Provincial State of Emergency, Municipal and Provincial parks and beaches are closed to the public. While we sympathize with people wanting to use beaches, we are unable to allow access to them due to the Declaration of Provincial State of Emergency, which orders all beaches to be closed across the province. Residents are permitted to walk the sidewalks in Liverpool, Caledonia and Milton, or along roadways where it is safe in low-traffic areas in their neighbourhoods across Queens County.
15. Can I visit friends or relatives who live at Hillsview Acres Residential Care Facility?
ANSWER: Hillsview Acres Residential Care Facility, along with all long term care facilities in Nova Scotia, were closed when the State of Emergency was declared on March 22, 2020. Many of the residents of long term care facilities are considered to be at high risk of contracting COVID-19, and great care has been taken to keep these vulnerable members of our community safe. Family members are able to call their loved ones.
16. I’ve been offered a job – how do I get a Criminal Records Check done?
ANSWER: RCMP detachments are closed to the public, and Criminal Records Checks are currently not being done. If the job you have been offered is a health care profession, a Criminal Records Check can be prioritized. Contact Queens Detachment of the RCMP at 902-354-5721.
17. Who do I call if I think I have symptoms of COVID-19?
ANSWER: Do not call 911. Also, please note that not everyone who has concerns about COVID-19 needs to call 811. Don’t call if you don’t need to – keep the lines open for those who need them. To find out if you need to call, use the COVID-19 online self-assessment. https://when-to-call-about-covid19.novascotia.ca/en If you are advised to call 811 after completing the screening tool, the staff at 811 will refer you to a COVID-19 assessment centre. Only go to an assessment centre if you are referred by 811.
18. What do I do if I need treatment for a medical condition that is not related to COVID-19?
ANSWER: Many doctors’ offices, clinics, dentists, and other medical services are closed to the public unless for emergencies. Some doctors, clinics, nurse practitioners and other medical services may have appointments for non emergency patients virtually, through phone calls. A number of non-urgent clinics, services, programs and appointments have been reduced or suspended. For an up-to-date inventory of what services this entails, please refer to: www.nshealth.ca/coronavirus and click on “Visitor Restrictions and Temporary Closures”
If you have an emergency, call 911 or visit the nearest emergency department. As well, please note that the Mental Health Crisis Line operates 24/7 at 1-888-429-8167.
19. How many people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Nova Scotia?
ANSWER: For the most current information on the number of positive tests for COVID-19 in Nova Scotia, check the Provincial website: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/#cases
20. I don’t feel well. What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
ANSWER: COVID-19 symptoms include fever, cough, difficulty breathing, and pneumonia. The severity can range from mild to severe, and in some cases, infection can lead to death.
Region of Queens Municipality
March 25, 2020
1. Is there local delivery of prescriptions and groceries available so that residents don’t have to leave their home?
ANSWER: There are several groups and organizations organizing such services including Queens County Seniors Safety in conjunction with our MLA Kim Masland. The telephone numbers are (902) 350-0231 (Shelley Walker, Queens County Senior Safety Coordinator), and 902-354-5470 (Kim Masland, MLA office). Additionally, many stores that are remaining open as essential services are offering free delivery. Those services are also posted on-line https://www.facebook.com/1027542470635198/posts/2936857006370392/ or you can call a specific business directly.
2. How can we stop residents from hoarding?
ANSWER: Covid-19 has created anxiety in our community and some people are very nervous and feel the need to stock up on certain products for fear they will run out. Our food industry has said that the food supply network is strong and residents should not feel the need to stockpile food or toilet paper. Please only shop for what you would normally need for a few days or a week at a time and encourage your family, friends, and neighbours to do the same. If we all cooperate, there will be plenty for everyone without the anxiety.
3. Can there be a special time each day to broadcast updates on a local radio station about COVID-19?
ANSWER: We continue to feed information from the Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness who are the lead agency on this issue, to residents as it becomes available. We are also aware of the multitude of other people sharing this information as well so we do not want to give our community information overload and not read any of it. We will continue to work with all media partners and do our best to continue to provide timely and factual updates, including these frequently asked questions and answers. There may be interviews or paid advertising to update residents on occasion on CKBW or QCCR FM.
4. Is there any way to ensure local businesses that remain open have hand sanitizer at their entrances for customers to use?
ANSWER: Queens EMO cannot force local businesses to have hand sanitizer at the entrance of their stores for customers to use, but where available, many do. We encourage all residents whenever possible to carry small bottles of hand sanitizer with them and wash their hands regularly throughout the day, especially after coming into contact with public infrastructure like door knobs, countertops, et cetera. While a store may not have public hand sanitizer at their entrance, we do know that they are all employing rigorous cleaning of their store all day long to keep you safe.
5. Is the Trestle Trail still open?
ANSWER: Yes, the bridge portion of the trail is open as an important transportation route for those wanting to go from Main Street to Bristol Avenue for things like groceries. The trail portion connected to Pine Grove Park however is closed.
6. Can you set up a local command centre which will provide and distribute consistent accurate information of concern? This could be the operations centre to coordinate services to combat the spread of the virus and produce written information to be provided to residents.
ANSWER: We are being careful not to entice people to visit public facilities at this time and are trying to distribute as much information as possible electronically. It is very important that if you know residents without the Internet that you share this information with them regularly. Nova Scotia Health and Wellness is the lead agency and we are simply re-posting their information. They are the experts. We should not be relying on information about Nova Scotia from any other source.
7. Can 8-1-1 handle all the calls into it?
ANSWER: On March 24, 2020, Premier McNeil announced an increase of 8-1-1 medical practitioners answering telephones from 78 people to over 130 people, and added nurses. This enables them to answer 50 percent more calls. Capacity will double again on April 3.
8. Is the Municipal Public Well still open and what is being done to keep it safe?
ANSWER: Yes, the well on Main Street, Liverpool is still open. The well water is safe. The concern is around dozens of people touching the taps every day. Resident’s need to treat this public facility the same as other public uses that residents might come into contact with like shopping carts handles, door knobs, counters, et cetera. Any resident that comes into contact with such things should immediate wash their hands or apply hand sanitizers to prevent the spread of any potential viruses.
9. I want to help. What can I do?
ANSWER: So many people have reached out in various ways and want to help people and businesses in our community. Everyone should be very proud. The best way to help right now is to stay home whenever possible. If you are working, work safely by washing your hands regularly and practice social distancing of at least 6 feet from others at all times. Avoid visiting friends and family and talk with them virtually or on the telephone. And while we protect our health, we must also support our local businesses as much as possible. Many offer pickup or delivery. Please don’t forget to support your local businesses when you do have to venture out and get supplies.
10. Will there be any consideration given by the Municipality to extend payment of bills for taxes and water and sewer because so many people are off work now and not getting paid?
ANSWER: Council is currently reviewing all of the payments that the municipality bills for each spring and is considering ways it can support it residents and businesses during this difficult time. We expect to release the details of these changes in the near future.