By Jaymie L. White
Special to the Appalachian
WEST COAST – Under Alert Level 4, which will be reassessed on Jan. 17, households are instructed to keep within a tight 10 consistent contacts, and certain businesses and organizations, such as retail stores, restaurants, and gyms can remain open under public health guidelines at a diminished capacity and at their own discretion. Bars, lounges, and cinemas are to remain closed, and dancing at formal gatherings is prohibited.
The Omicron variant and significant spike in active cases has caused a strain on the healthcare system, and Stephenville Mayor Tom Rose hopes to see the numbers decrease as quickly as they rose.
“I’ve been watching some of the international news on Omicron and it comes up fast in the curve, but it drops fast too. It’s a short-lived variant, so hopefully this will be the 4th and last wave and things will be back to normal very soon."
For residents in the Bay St. George area, the majority of businesses and organizations will remain open; however, each municipality will make their own decision regarding if their town offices will remain open to the general public. If your municipality is not listed, you should call your local town office to discuss the protocols they have in place.
Town of Stephenville
There will be no changes to services offered. The fire station and public works departments will remain working under guidelines and with no overlap during shift change to reduce the possibility of exposure. The town office will remain open as well from Monday to Friday with one staff member in the building to mitigate possible transmission.
Town of Lourdes
The town office will remain open; however, emails are set up for payments, so residents don’t need to come to the office. If attendance is required, only one person will be permitted to enter the office at a time and the office will be fully sanitized before someone else arrives.
Town of Kippens
The town office is closed to the general public, and if there are any issues that need to be discussed, residents are asked to call the office rather than come in.
Town of Cape St. George
The town office and other facilities are remaining open according to public health guidelines.
Town of Port au Port East
The town office is open and running as normal. People are asked to wear masks and follow proper guidelines when going to the office for an appointment.
Town of Port au Port West
The town office is staying open, but only one person will be admitted into the office at a time, and a mask and Vax Pass will also be required for entry.
Town of Stephenville Crossing
The town office is closed to the general public to protect staff who are high-risk. Appointments are currently suspended.