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Municipality to close offices and transition to an essential service approach amid COVID-19 response

(Fort McMurray, AB – March 16, 2020) – In an effort to prepare for, and prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB) will be closing all offices to the public and transitioning to an essential service approach for municipal operations. 

“At this time, we are taking the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect our community,” said CAO Annette Antoniak. “These steps align with the advice and recommendations made by public health officials and the federal government and we’re committed to doing our part to keep residents and employees safe, while continuing to provide essential services.”

Closures

  • Effective immediately, all municipal offices will be closed to the public until further notice. While offices are closed, online services will continue to be available and essential services will be provided. 
  • On March 13, the Municipality announced the closures of community facilities and postponed upcoming events. This announcement is available here.
  • Effective March 18, 2020, the public drop-off area at the landfill will be closed. Services for commercial users of the landfill will continue to be available.   

Members of the public that have meetings or other engagements scheduled with the Municipality should follow up with organizers to determine a plan for these activities. 

Service Updates  

  • Once your curbside collection bins are picked up this week (March 16-20), recycling and garbage are to remain together (not separated), bagged and placed in a curbside collection bin. Beginning March 23, crews will pick up two bins per home regardless of the colour of the bin on the regular curbside collection schedule. For the current week garbage and light blue bins will be picked up as usual.

  • In the upcoming days, recycling depots throughout Fort McMurray will be unavailable.  
  • Rural garbage and recycling depots will remain open until further notice
  • Public transit will remain open with increased cleaning and preventive measures in place. Please note, the lost & found will be closed until further notice.
  • All payment options for utilities, tickets and other Municipal services will continue to be available online. 

Further information and service updates will be released as they become available in the coming days.   

Essential services 
During these closures, staff will be working from home or in alternative working arrangements to ensure the essential services that keep community members safe and the municipality running continue to be provided.  

As this situation evolves, some services may be adjusted in order to manage resources effectively. For a full list of service adjustments and all Municipal service updates, please visit rmwb.ca/COVID19

Alberta Health Services remains the trusted authority and primary information source on updates on COVID-19. Factual, up-to date information will continue to be available on the AHS website, alberta.ca/covid19.

For further information or questions, contact PULSE at 780-743-7000, toll-free 1-800-973-9663 or online at rmwb.ca/pulse

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Media inquiries:
media@rmwb.ca 

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