Updates from the City of Sherbrooke

By Gordon Lambie

On Tuesday afternoon the city of Sherbrooke’s Emergency Measures Coordinator, Stéphane Simoneau provided an update on the local situation with regard to the coronavirus, noting that the city had 52 out of a total 1,400 employees absent due to control measures. Of that number 27 were absent due to precautionary isolation and 25 for family obligations. No municipal employees were sick with COVID-19.
Although Simoneau acknowledged the fact that many other municipalities have opted to close their municipal offices, he said that Sherbrooke is keeping the doors open at its points of service throughout the city while increasing precautions around personal hygiene and encouraging anyone able to do so to share their concerns or questions via the telephone or website.
“It is important to continue to deliver services to the population,” he said.
The emergency measures coordinator praised the actions of the Provincial Government so far.
“These emergency announcements can be stressful, but the government’s strategy is excellent,” Simoneau said. “There needs to be certain level of urgency to get people’s attention.”
Although it might seem like the situation escalated very quickly, the coordinator said that this was very much a part of the plan.
“It is important to recognize that we did not start at level one of the provincial pandemic plan,” he said. “We started out as if the pandemic was already declared on our territory when it was announced on the global level. We’re applying measures that normally would have come much later, but as an aggressive prevention strategy.”
While the work is taking place under different circumstances than usual, a regular city council meeting took place on Monday night.
At that meeting the council reaffirmed a commitment to regulations keeping offices of more than 750 square metres concentrated in the downtown core, unveiled the details of the Galt Street West development plan (available in French at sherbrooke.ca/galtouest) and launched the second step of an effort to become the host city for the 2023 Quebec Winter Games.
The city also announced on Tuesday that there will be a higher than usual volume of heavy truck traffic moving between the Espace Centro dig site downtown and the old dump on chemin des Pèlerins. Roughly 20,000 tonnes of contaminated soil is being moved to the site until it can be properly treated in warmer weather.

Published in the Thursday, March 19 edition of The Record.

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