The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a host of local closures, cancellations, and postponements of activities in the Battlefords.
The situation keeps changing day by day. The following is a listing of local offices and businesses that are closed to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.
City of North Battleford:
North Battleford City Hall is closed to the public effective Monday, March 23.
The council meeting for March 23 has also been cancelled. The city has indicated it is working to establish council meetings through electronic means that can be accessed by the public.
On Tuesday the city announced it was closing the Battlefords Co-op Aquatic Centre, the NationsWEST Field House, the Civic Centre and Don Ross Arena and programs at Allen Sapp Gallery and Chapel Gallery effective Wednesday.
City of North Battleford Leisure Services-run programming and classes are postponed.
There is no public access to North Battleford Fire Hall, the Water Treatment Plant and Wastewater Treatment Plant. The Waste Management Facility will remain open.
Effective March 24 all the city's outdoor playgrounds as well as school playgrounds are closed.
Town of Battleford:
The Town of Battleford has announced it is closing access to all of its offices effective Monday, March 23.
The reason, according to their news release, is to protect the town’s staff and the public from the spread of COVID-19. Normal services will be carried out with modifications, and the public is urged to call the relevant department with your request or 306-937-6200.
Effective midnight, March 20 the following facilities are closed indefinitely: Battleford Arena, the archery range and Alex Dillabough Centre.
Alex Dillabough Centre will, however, be the location for town council meetings for the foreseeable future.
Other facilities, museums and businesses:
The North Battleford Public Library is closed indefinitely effective Friday, March 20.
Capitol Theatre: The theatre is closed effective Tuesday, March 17.
Gutters Bowling and Game Centre announced on March 17 their closure on a temporary basis.
Western Development Museum: All locations are closed including North Battleford, effective Tuesday.
Gold Eagle Casino: Closed for two weeks effective March 16; will reassess the situation at the end of the two weeks.
Destination Battlefords and Battlefords River Valley Visitor Centre closed effective March 17 until further notice.
All classes in Saskatchewan from pre-K to Grade 12 are suspended indefinitely effective March 20. Teachers, school administrators and support staff in Living Sky and Light of Christ Catholic school divisions are on "pause" until March 27.
North West College is open for limited services only and will operate as such to April 5. Students have been contacted regarding the status of their individual programs.The college will be implementing alternative delivery options where possible effective March 23.
Saskatchewan Health facilities: Visitor restrictions are in effect, restricted to one visitor at a time for patients in critical care or high acuity units. All community, foundation and other public and spiritual gatherings are on hold.
Provincial court: Starting on March 23, access to Provincial Court houses across the province will be restricted to only those who are necessary to a proceeding, such as counsel, litigants, accused, witnesses, support workers, treatment court workers and members of the media.
Starting March 16, all circuit courts at the northern circuit fly-in locations were closed and the remaining circuit courts will close on March 23. Court proceedings are adjourned to dates past May 31.
Some trials and preliminary hearings for in-custody accused may continue in some circuit courts if it’s possible and it’s determined by the presiding judge to be urgent. All other trials and preliminary hearings are adjourned to court dates after May 31.
Queen’s Bench Court: Regular operations are suspended. Only emergency and urgent matters will be heard by the Court. All jury trials between March 16 and May 30 are postponed. All trials, motions and voir dires of out of custody accused are adjourned to June 8 in QB court Battleford.
The Lloydminster-based office for Rosemarie Falk, MP for Battlefords-Lloydminster is not accepting in-person meetings; her team continues to be available by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and by telephone at 306-825-5005.
The Battlefords Humane Society is limiting access to the animal shelter for the protection of staff and the public. Access will be limited to adoption clients, intake customers and scheduled volunteers.
All SARCAN Recycling locations across Saskatchewan, including North Battleford, have closed as of Saturday March 21.
All programs for the Battlefords Boys and Girls Club are suspended until further notice; effective March 17. However, they are offering a Pandemic Support service available to all registered members starting March 23 to provide essential items such as bagged snacks and bagged meals on a take out basis.
Battlefords District Food and Resource Centre remains open to distribute food hampers Monday to Friday 9:15- 12 noon. Office hours are Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. If the door is locked call 306-937-5505. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic they have cancelled their free income tax programs.
Battlefords Handi-Bus has been temporarily shut down because of the COVID-19 virus effective March 25..
North Battleford Public Transit has implemented service reductions. The schedule is Monday to Wednesday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, with only one bus running on Thursday and Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
The Dekker Centre for the Performing Arts is closed as of 4:30 p.m. on Friday, March 20. The show Christine Tassan et les Imposteures scheduled for March 31 has been cancelled. It is not yet known whether two more shows will be cancelled, those being The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber with Terry Barder for April 29 and The Passion of Amy Winehouse scheduled for May 15.
Gold Eagle Event Centre; all events scheduled for the 30-day period beginning March 14 are postponed. Pride of the Northwest finals scheduled for March 21 have been postponed to a later date, as yet undetermined.
The Battlefords Community Players production Imrpomptu on Nuns' island, originally scheduled for March 24,25,26 (performance) and April 2,3,4 (Sinner Theatre) has been posponed to June 9 (show) and 11,12,13 (Dinner Theatre).
The spring production for Cochin Community Players, The Cemetery Club, originally scheduled for April, has been postponed to the fall. Dates to be determined.
Rotary Club of the Battlefords has postponed its “Out of this World” Centennial Celebration events from its scheduled April 24 date and will be held instead on Oct. 9. All previous details about the event will remain the same, with the only change being the new date.
Battlefords Ag Society has postponed two events in the wake of COVID-19: Kick'in it up at the Evening Out scheduled for March 21 has been postponed. Agrimex, the annual trade show scheduled for April 3 and 4, is also postponed.
Kiwanis Music Festival scheduled for March 24-April 5 has been cancelled.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Battlefords Bowl for Kids Sake 2020 scheduled for March 29 at Gutters has been postponed. Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Battlefords is also postponing all activities and events through May 1.
Chamber on Tap scheduled for April 2 postponed until further notice.
Battefords Regional Community Coalition luncheon event featuring Brett Wilson, scheduled for April 3 at Tropical Inn, postponed until further notice.
All hockey playoff activity has been suspended and the season is over. The remaining playoff games for the Battlefords North Stars have been cancelled.
The Kinsmen Indoor Rodeo scheduled for April 24, 25 and 26 has been postponed indefinitely.
Twin Rivers Curling Club announced Monday April 16 they have suspended all play for the remainder of the season.
More local businesses have closed in response to restrictions issued Friday March 20 by the province which take effect immediately. These orders are mandatory according to Premier Scott Moe:
• Closure of all nightclubs, bars, lounges and similar facilities.
• In-person classes in all primary and secondary educational institutions both public and private are suspended. This impacts Living Sky and Light of Christ school divisions.
• Visitors to long-term care homes, hospitals, personal care homes, and group homes shall be restricted to family visiting for compassionate reasons.
• Effective Monday, restaurants must close except for take out and delivery service. This impacts all restaurants and cafes in the Battlefords, including fast food locations such as McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Dairy Queen, Tim Horton’s, Subway and others.
For a list of what services local restaurants are providing see our story at:
• Closure of all recreational and entertainment facilities including fitness centers, casinos, bingo halls, arenas, curling rinks, swimming pools, galleries, theatres, museums and similar facilities.
• Closure of all personal service facilities including hair salons.
• Closure of dental, optometrist, chiropractic, registered massage therapy and podiatry clinics except when offering non-elective procedures.
• All daycare facilities are limited to maximum of eight children unless they can configure the facility so that a maximum of eight are kept in room and be in accordance with the Saskatchewan child care guidelines for care.
• All daycares co-located with a long-term care or personal care home that meet the above restriction shall be segregated with a private entrance so that there are no shared common areas with the home and no interaction between daycare children and residents of the facility.
Effective March 26 these further restrictions are now in effect:
• Public and private gatherings more than 10 people in one room are now prohibited. Exceptions are provided where two metre distancing between people can be maintained, including retail deemed essential.
• A list of “critical public services and business services” that are allowed to continue operating during the COVID-19 pandemic was released. That list, effective March 26, includes health care and public health workers; law enforcement, public safety and first responders; production, processing and manufacturing and the supporting supply chains; transportation and logistics; government and community services; media and telecommunications; construction including maintenance and repair; select retail services; and banking and financial services.
• Effective March 26, the province announced a list of non-allowable business services that includes: clothing stores; shoe stores; flower shops; sporting good and adventure stores; vaping supply shops; boats, ATV, or snowmobile retailers; gift, book, or stationary stores; jewelry and accessory stores; toy stores; music, electronic and entertainment stores; pawn shops; and travel agencies.
Grocery store hours:
Grocery stores are staying open, but these major chains have adjusted their hours and operations in the wake of COVID-19.
Sobey’s: open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. The first hour is devoted to seniors and those with vulnerable immune systems.
Co-op Food Stores: 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Sunday. Discovery Co-op administration office is closed to the public.
Walmart: open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. From 7 to 8 a.m. Walmart will be open to seniors and those with vulnerable health conditions. McDonald’s is closed inside Walmart until further notice.
Frazer’s No Frills: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily; first hour is designated for seniors customers and anyone with a compromised immune system.