City of Winnipeg further reducing non-essential services due to coronavirus pandemic

The City of Winnipeg is suspending non-essential in-home appointments and further reducing non-essential services in the ongoing effort to stop the spread of the new coronavirus.

The changes will go into effect in the coming days, the city said in a release on Wednesday.

“The City of Winnipeg remains committed to maintaining essential services while balancing the health, safety and well-being of our employees and residents,” reads a statement from the city.

The changes include the following:

  • Animal services will now only be responding to emergency and stray animal calls, which can be reported by contacting 311.
  • The assessment and taxation department and bylaw enforcement services will be suspending all interior residential and commercial property inspections starting Thursday and instead doing the work through photos or by phone.
  • The City of Winnipeg Archives at 50 Myrtle St. will be closed to the public starting Wednesday, but archive services can still be accessed online.
  • City hall wedding ceremonies are suspended until further notice starting Saturday, but wedding licences will still be available at the city’s clerk department at the Susan A. Thompson building at 510 Main St.
  • Water meter inspections, removals and replacements and on-site meter reading by city staff will be suspended starting Thursday. Customers still need to provide regular meter readings to avoid estimated bills by calling 204-986-44445 or going online.
  • Open fire or fireworks permits will no longer be available in person at the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service (WFPS) headquarters starting Wednesday. Permits and licensed service persons applications and renewals can be obtained by calling 204-986-8200.
  • Tours of WFPS stations and in-class presentations have been cancelled until further notice.
  • WFPS locations will no longer be collecting book donations for the April Children’s Hospital Book Market, which has been cancelled.
  • Winnipeg Transit is suspending in-office and community assessments of those who require those services to determine their eligibility or to re-register for Winnipeg TransitPlus starting Thursday.

The city says Winnipeggers can still make payments for certain city services online or through 311, and regular updates on the city’s COVID-19 response are available on the city’s website.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials say the risk is low for Canadians but warn this could change quickly. They caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are asked to self-isolate for 14 days in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. And if you get sick, stay at home.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

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