Black River-Matheson's public works department in quarantine: mayor

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The whole public works department at the Township of Black River-Matheson is in a 14-day quarantine, according to Mayor Gilles Laderoute.

April 7, the township declared an emergency due to a high-risk exposure for staff.

Laderoute said there was one confirmed case in the public works department. The whole department, about 18 to 20 staff, is self-isolating.

Laderoute said the services will remain the same. There was some disruption to this week's garbage and recycling pickup, however.

The township subcontracted a company that will be working under the supervision of the township’s director of public works, who will be overseeing the work from home.

“We’re still under the same protocols for the township. The office is open but the public works itself will be quarantined. Inside the building will be cleaned and sanitized to make it safe for the subcontractor to come in and work on those specific primary services,” Laderoute said.

The mayor said the declaration of emergency will help keep community members safe and slow down the spread of the virus.

“It’s for the safety of everyone. Everybody should be putting their best foot forward,” he said.

The protection offered by the Black River-Matheson Volunteer Fire department is not affected by the declaration, according to the township.

The mayor commended the Emergency Community Control Group, the town manager Chris Wray and the director of public works Chris Ciarrocca for their quick turnaround on short notice to keep the community safe.

Due to the state of emergency, waste and recycling collection was cancelled on Wednesday.

All business recycling collection, as well as residential garbage and recycling collection for Val Gagné and Matheson on the south side of the tracks will take place Friday, April 9.

According to the township’s notice, the regular waste and recycling schedule will resume next week.

Dariya Baiguzhiyeva, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter,