COVID-19 Updates

COVID-19 Updates

This page contains all info related to the COVID-19 situation in Merritt.

Please select the topic you would like more information about.

COVID-19 Need to Know

  • Do not travel outside Canada
  • Stay home if you’re feeling sick or have recently travelled outside Canada
  • Practice physical distancing
  • Gatherings with 50+ people should be cancelled or postponed
  • Cleaning protocols are being increased across city facilities
  • The risk of COVID-19 transmission continues to remain low for residents of British Columbia.
  • Anyone who is concerned that they may have been exposed to, or is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, should contact their primary care provider or call 8-1-1.
  • The Public Health Agency of Canada has set up a COVID-19 telephone information line at: 1-833-784-4397.
  • More on COVID-19 from the Interior Health Authority

How to Protect Yourself and Others

We encourage you to follow the same procedures as what is recommended during cold and flu season:
• Stay home if you get sick and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
• Wash hands regularly with soap and water. This is the single most effective way of reducing infection spread.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.
• Cover your mouth and nose with a sleeve/tissue and turn your head away from others when coughing or sneezing.
• Use tissues to contain secretions and dispose of them promptly in a waste container.
• Keep common surface areas like doorknobs, light switches and keyboards, clean and disinfected.

City Business

Effective Monday May 25th, 2020 Merritt City Hall, at 2185 Voght Street, is open for limited hours (2:00 PM – 5:00 PM daily) and services.

This response is to ensure that the City will be able to continue to provide service to residents, while taking every measure possible to ensure the safety of staff. During this time, residents are encouraged to contact municipal staff by email or telephone. For more information on coronavirus (COVID-19) within the City of Merritt contact communications@merritt.ca or call 250-378-4224.

The City of Merritt is currently participating on BC wide conference calls hosted by the Interior Health Authority. In our region Interior Health has set up an Emergency Operations Center in Kamloops, which has been operational for the last 9 weeks. During this time, the City is working closely with Emergency Management BC and our local emergency services are sourcing protective equipment where required.

Fire Rescue & Policing

24 Hour Fire and Policing Service Notice

Effective immediately only essential services within the City of Merritt will be provided. Essential services include 24-hour fire and policing, wastewater and garbage collection, and communications.
The Merritt RCMP is encouraging community members to call the Merritt RCMP detachment rather than in person visits unless absolutely necessary.
24 hour policing service will continue to be provided moving forward following COVID-19.
For more info contact the Merritt RCMP office at 250-378-4262.
Small Confined Fire Permits 
1. The City will continue to accept small confined fire permit applications, to allow individuals to safely enjoy campfires during this time.
2. All applications should be scanned and sent via e-mail to smilne@merritt.ca.  Applications must include the following:
  • Application Form
  • A map or sketch of property showing the location of the fire pit
  • Pictures of the fire pit area that sufficiently show that all minimum distance requirements have been met (the fire inspector will not be physically inspecting any properties at this time).
  • Proof of payment
3. Payment will only be accepted online at https://p.paytm.ca/pages/merritt.  The following information needs to be entered:
  • “Search for Biller” field – 3. Accounts Receivable
  • “Account Code” – 112400255
  • “Amount to Pay” – $25.00
  • Full name, phone number and e-mail address are also required.

For more information please view the Fire Safety Regulations Bylaw No. 2272 and the Small Confined Fire Brochure.

City Facilities

City Facilities Temporary Closure Notice

At a special Council meeting held on Monday, March 16, Council for the City of Merritt resolved to close the City of Merritt recreation facilities until further notice.  In total, the following facilities will be closed to minimize the risk of transmission of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
  • Merritt Civic Centre
  • Nicola Valley Aquatic Centre
  • Nicola Valley Memorial Arena
  • City of Merritt Community Policing Office
  • Merritt Fire Hall
  • Merritt Public Works
  • Merritt and District Seniors Centre
  • TNRD Merritt Library
  • Nicola Valley Courthouse Art Gallery
  • Merritt Visitor Centre at the Baillie House
  • Nicola Valley Museum and Archives

Full refunds will be provided to those registered for activities affected by the closure. During this time all City Parks will remain open.

Recreation & Leisure

The City of Merritt would like to invite Nicola Valley residents to view these recreation resources below to help maintain active lifestyles while staying home and practising physical distancing. This resource webpage will be updated often as new information becomes available.

Transportation

Rider Announcement from BC Transit – May 5, 2020
On June 1,2020 BC Transit be returning to fare collection in all BC Transit communities. To do this safely, BC Transit is working with the Provincial Health Officer’s direction and installing vinyl panels on buses without full driver doors.

Other safety measures will also remain in place, including:
  • Enhanced cleaning on buses and at BC Transit facilities
  • Physical distancing onboard and limiting passenger capacity
  • The red line between driver and passenger zones
  • Vinyl panels on light duty buses

Tourism & Tourbuses

The City of Merritt is working with the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association and Destination British Columbia to ensure visitors “#ExploreBC.. later” as per provincial guidelines.

On City of Merritt and Tourism Merritt social media channels, we are inviting visitors to #ExploreMerritt online and plan for their future trip once things return to normal.

Please note Ebus has ceased their scheduled operations as of Sunday, April 5 until further notice. Information on Ebus regarding their response to Coronavirus (COVID-19) can be found at www.myebus.ca/news/our-response-coronavirus.

Grocery Store Hours

Extra Foods

“This week we’re introducing dedicated shopping hours for our customers who need assistance or consideration, including seniors and people living with disabilities. 7am to 8am on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. New Pharmacy hours 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Monday – Friday, 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM Saturday. Overall new store hours are 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM.”

Save-on Foods

“Taking care of team members and customers continues to be the top priority at Save-On-Foods, so effective March 19, all stores will limit their hours of operation, opening their doors from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
In addition, all stores will open from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. for seniors, people with disabilities and those most vulnerable to shop in a less hectic environment and allow for social distancing, as recommended by health officials.
Save-On-Foods is also encouraging those customers who can shop in-store to do so and leave the online shopping services available to those who are not able to get to the store, including seniors, people with disabilities and those who are ill or self-isolating during these unprecedented times.”

Walmart

Open regular hours

Events Updates

Currently postponed as of 7:00 p.m. April 21, 2020. Information provided by Q101.

  • Home-Based Business Market scheduled for this Saturday has been CANCELLED
  • Home Routes Concerts scheduled for Thursday, CANCELLED
  • Merritt minor softball and softball BC has CANCELLED all practices and events to May 1st. More details to come
  • Not-for-Profit Community Engagement Fair Fair hosted by CF Nicola Valley on May 2nd CANCELLED
  • All  services for Crossroads Community Church have been CANCELLED until further notice.
  • All services for Trinity United Church are CANCELLED until further notice
  • All services at the Free Evangelical Church have been CANCELLED until further notice.
  • Merritt Sikh Society Programs CANCELLED until further notice
  • Merritt Country Run for June is CANCELLED.
  • Activities such as potlucks, luncheons and more at the Merritt Senior Centre have been CANCELLED until further notice.
  • Friday night bingo for Nicola Valley Food Bank held at the Elks Hall CANCELLED until further notice.
  • Wednesday afternoon bingo at the Elks Hall  has been CANCELLED until further notice.
  • City Of Merritt Recreational Facilities CLOSED including Merritt Civic Centre, Nicola Valley Aquatic Centre, Nicola Valley Memorial Arena, TNRD Merritt Library, Nicola Valley Courthouse Art Gallery,Visitor Centre at Baillie House.
  • There are NO EVENTS for the remainder of the semester at the NVIT gym
  • Royal Canadian Legion is CLOSED until further notice.
  • All programming with SCHSS has been SUSPENDED until further notice.
  • Merritt Mom’s and Families is CLOSED until further notice and will not be accepting clothes at this time.
  • Nicola Valley Museum and Archives CLOSED until further notice.
  • All City of Merritt Park playgrounds remain CLOSED to the public.
  • All School District 58 playgrounds are CLOSED to the public until further notice.
  • The ICS Teen Centre will remain CLOSED until further notice.
  • FIERCE Merritt LGBTQ2+will  again be CANCELLING meetings until further notice.
  • Merritt Girl Guides in person meetings CANCELLED until further notice.
  • All face-to-face teaching at NVIT is POSTPONED until further notice. For details visit  NVIT.ca.
  • Merritt Centennials office is CLOSED to the public. For more info phone Jared Thomas at 378-3604
  • Nicola Valley Thunder Lacrosse is SUSPENDING all BCLA sanctioned activities.Online registration will remain open.
  • Old Time Fiddlers meetings and workshops CANCELLED until further notice.
  • Nicola Valley Community Band Meetings CANCELLED until further notice
  • Merritt Vintage Car Club CANCELLED until further notice
  • Merritt Community Choir Meetings CANCELLED until further notice
  • Nicola Naturalist Society Meetings CANCELLED until further notice
  • Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings CANCELLED until further notice
  • Merritt Quilters Guild Meetings CANCELLED until further notice
  • Merritt Volleyball Association Ladies Volleyfrat for this weekend CANCELLED.
  • Shriners Meetings CANCELLED until further notice
  • Navy League of Canada CANCELLED until further notice
  • Bee Keeper Society meetings CANCELLED until further notice
  • Scw’exmx Child and Family Services ‘Feel the Beat’ CANCELLED until further notice

Employment Insurance

In response to concerns about COVID-19, Service Canada has made some changes to Canada’s sick-leave benefits under Employment Insurance.
Eligible Canadians quarantined can apply for Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits.
The one-week waiting period for EI sickness benefits will be waived for new claimants who are quarantined so they can be paid for the first week of their claim.
Additional supportive response actions include:
The establishment of a new dedicated toll-free phone number (1-833-381-2725) to support enquiries related to waiving the EI Sickness benefits.
Priority EI application processing for EI sickness claims for clients under quarantine.
Learn more about EI sickness benefits

Resources

Public Resources

Business Resources

Contact

Please contact your health care provider, local public health office or call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1 if you have concerns about your personal health situation.
The Public Health Agency of Canada has set up a COVID-19 telephone information line at: 1-833-784-4397.
For more information on COVID-19 within the City of Merritt, please contact info@merritt.ca.