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Village of Foremost office closes front door in wake of COVID-19 pandemic

Posted on March 25, 2020 by 40 Mile Commentator
Village of Foremost Mayor Lorne Buis

By Justin Seward

Commentator/Courier

The Village of Foremost is encouraging people to take the self-testing, go online to check the current status of COVID-19 and call 8-1-1 if symptoms increase, says Mayor Lorne Buis.
“Try to avoid large groups, try to avoid going out if you don’t need to,” said Buis.
“I know our grocery store (Back 40 Foods) is even offered if you want to stay home, you can phone them (for) your groceries and they will deliver them to your door.”
Village council met on March 16 and among things discussed was the office status during the pandemic.
“Our office is not closed. The door is locked,” he said.
“You can still do business by email, telephone, online banking. But to have people coming in and out office, we decided to that this morning and we implemented that.
“To me if one of our employees is feeling sick, stay home. We don’t need you here (infecting)everyone else, whether it’s a cold, coronavirus, the measles.”
Buis says common sense has to prevail here and feels a lot of people are panicking.
“Sure it’s a serious situation but all this buying of toilet paper to me is absolutely ridiculous,” he said.
“Even the hoard buying of groceries (that have) been going on. He (the grocery store owner) was cleaned out of all the essential food stuff probably Friday afternoon, Saturday morning sometime. He got an order in last night (March 16) and I know he told me here at noon (March 17), that he has to go to Calgary and get more meat tomorrow because he is going to be out of meat today. His order was four to five times it normally was.”
Buis went out and searched for the N95 mask for the local emergency services last week and called 11 different suppliers.
“No one had any,” he said.
“My one supplier actually called me this morning and said he got some in, how many did I want, (and) because we were an emergency service, he’d get them for me.”
The public works staff will still be dealing with maintenance calls and office staff will still be in the office taking calls and emails.
The Foremost Civic Centre hosted a charity hockey game for HALO between the local EMS and midget team on March 14 that went ahead.
“We had a few people concerned prior too,” said Buis of the game proceeding.
“Anybody that was there as far as I know, there was one or two people that had been on a holiday like three weeks before and had no real signs of anything . Everybody was good about it. They weren’t hugging each other and sneezing or coughing on each other.”
None of the municipality’s private businesses have closed.
The Village will follow the guidelines of the province’s emergency services as more information is rolled out.
More information can be found out at https://www.alberta.ca/coronavirus-info-for-albertans.

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