There's a new normal in Virden

Municipal offices closed

COVID-19 has brought unprecedented changes.

Virden medical clinic entrance is closed. Everyone who needs to attend the facility must do so through the hospital main entrance.

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Restaurants such as Tim Hortons, Subway and A&W are closed to sit-down dining.

A decision from head office has closed Boston Pizza to sit-down customers. However, Virden’s BP continues to deliver and has waived fee. Manager Brooke Williams said BP is working to serve customers including shut-ins who need a meal.

Gopher Creek, Chicken Chef, The Central and T’s Dining & Lounge are open with social distancing in effect.

Gopher Creek is now offering meal delivery.

T’s has implemented delivery during throughout open hours. Owner Jackie Tough spoke about their safeguards which include seating people at every other table to implement social distancing.

She said, “I’ve always been a clean freak, so we are stepping it up a notch.”

However, she says business has been very slow.

She’s concerned about the financial well-being of her employees and about other local businesses, especially young or start-up business owners in town, during this slow-down.

Bruce Barkley manager of Chicken Chef says the restaurant is staying open and taking every other table out of service.

He said, “I was expecting business to drop right off,” but that has not been the case. However, on Wednesday, there were just two staff plus Barkley when normally the restaurant employs five, plus the manager, at that time of day.

The Alexandra Hotel remains open.

The Central Hotel is also serving customers. Everywhere traffic is down.

Jong Kim, manager of both The Central Hotel and Countryside Inn says business is “very quiet. I’ve had a lot of cancellations.”

Additionally, Virden’s legion clubroom is closed.

Municipal offices

Councils are also doing things differently.

Virden Town office and their other municipal sites are closed. The news release came late on Wednesday.

These include:

-           Town of Virden Civic Centre and Town Office

-           Tundra Oil & Gas Place, Virden Fitness Co-op and Sunrise Banquet Hall

-           CP Station

-           Border Regional Library

Virden Municipal and Industrial Waste Treatment Facility (Virden Landfill) remains open, but call the Landfill at 204-748-3422 prior to hauling to confirm operations.

The Town Office, while closed to the public, will continue to operate and respond to email and telephone inquiries, and will be available by appointment only, if deemed safe by staff to accommodate the individual. Payments may still be made by mail, online banking or using the drop slot in the Town Office door.

Council meeting scheduled for the RM of Wallace-Woodworth next Tuesday will not be in the council chambers. CAO, Garth Mitchell said Wednesday, “Council decided yesterday to suspend all face to face meetings immediately.”

Prairie View Municipality issued notice via a recorded phone message saying their office will be closed until further notice. Staff will be monitoring phone calls.

Prairie View also admonished all out of province travelers to self-quarantine for 14 days. If you have been anywhere outside of Manitoba, plan to stay home for two weeks.

© Virden Empire-Advance