City of Fernie - Service Disruptions due to COVID-19/Staffing
The City of Fernie is experiencing significant challenges in supplies, staffing, and contractors directly related to COVID-19. Expect service disruptions in some areas.
All available staff and equipment will be working to clear snow during the forecasted winter storm event, with access to critical infrastructure and emergency services being our first priority.
They are asking for your patience as they do everything they can to complete priority routes with reduced staff and contractor support due to COVID. Downtown centre-plow windrows will be cleared as weather and staffing allows, likely on Monday.
They are coordinating directly with emergency service providers and addressing snow around fire hydrants as staff are available.
You can help the snow clearing team do an effective job by:
• Keeping vehicles off roads and boulevards. Use off-street parking spaces wherever possible.
• Parking on-street according to the Alternating Parking Schedule. Maps showing where you can park are here: www.fernie.ca/winterparking
• Understanding that it may take multiple days for snow clearing crews to complete their routes.
• Not interrupting or approaching equipment operators. For your safety, maintain a distance from equipment and allow operator staff to do their work.
• Following the directions of Flaggers. Vehicles and pedestrians not adhering to directions are considered a violation under the Motor Vehicle Act.
The City is actively adjusting scheduling and staffing to do their best to provide access and programming. Staff are also working directly with user groups on new requirements and changing restrictions. While they will make every effort to keep facility doors open, they ask for your understanding as they may be required to modify/reduce hours or close facilities with short notice.
Be advised they are also phasing-in the new proof of vaccination requirements imposed by the PHO including proof of vaccination for all patrons age 12+ at the aquatics centre.
More information on Provincial restrictions can be found on the provincial website at https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/info/restrictions
General Administration and City Hall
City Hall remains open for accepting and processing permits, applications and processing payments. Masks are required at City Hall. Those with an exemption from this requirement are asked to connect by phone or email as staff are happy to provide curbside or online service.
“The case numbers in Fernie are very concerning, we are seeing Omicron spread quickly through the community. We are in a unique situation as both a border community and a destination, so we need everyone to use all the layers of protection to keep themselves safe and help limit the spread. The next few weeks our organization is going to be challenged by COVID, but we are making sure our safety protocols are in place so we can continue to deliver services.
If you aren’t already vaccinated, please consider doing so.
I think about empathy right now, as it appears we’ve never needed it more. Please be mindful that many of our local businesses have also been impacted due to staff shortages, it has never been more important to practice patience, practice kindness and have empathy for anyone right now trying to operate in such a challenging time,” says Mayor Ange Qualizza
CAO Michael Boronowski shares, “I want to recognize and thank all of our employees who have been working around the clock to provide continuity of service to the community. I also want to acknowledge the frustrations with each challenge and disruption and thank our community members for their patience and understanding as we deal with the unprecedented challenges of this wave of the pandemic.”