Starting Monday the east door to Maple Ridge city hall will be the primary entrance, and this door will become the exit. (Neil Corbett/The News)

Starting Monday the east door to Maple Ridge city hall will be the primary entrance, and this door will become the exit. (Neil Corbett/The News)

COVID-19 hits Maple Ridge city hall

Changes to public access will begin on Monday

Maple Ridge city hall has new controls for public access to the building, after reports of multiple cases of COVID-19 among city staff.

In the same building is the Service BC office of the provincial government, which has been closed since April 12 due to a COVID-19 outbreak.

READ ALSO: COVID-19 exposure closes Maple Ridge Service BC office

READ ALSO: Maple Ridge takes development services virtual

The city has issued a press release stating that on Monday, April 26 access to city hall will be through the east entrance closest to the RCMP detachment, with the exit on the west side of the building beside the business tower and library.

Staff members will greet each visitor, conduct a COVID-19 questionnaire, obtain contact tracing information and provide hand sanitizer and a mask, which must be worn while inside city hall. Plexiglas barriers have been installed at the customer service counters, in accordance with public health guidelines.

Access to city hall will be limited to one person at a time at the finance counter. Development services enquiries are being handled virtually at this time.

“The decision to return to virtual services at the Development Services counter was prompted by confirmed COVID-19 cases reported by staff,” said city CAO Al Horsman. “This was a proactive move by the city to ensure the safety of staff and customers.

“Strict WorkSafeBC approved protocols are in place and we will continue to adhere to current public health orders.”

READ ALSO: B.C.’s COVID-19 non-essential travel ban takes effect, $575 fines approved

Visitors who wish to meet with a specific staff member are asked to phone ahead and book an appointment, so that a time and space can be arranged to provide a safe, physically distanced meeting environment, said a city press release.

To accommodate appropriate distancing protocols in the workplace, many city staff are working from home on rotational schedules and specific individuals may not be available to meet in person without prior notice.

The city will continue to offer online alternatives at for members of the public who prefer contactless interactions.

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