To protect its staff, volunteers and clients and to support social distancing and other measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the Canadian Red Cross is suspending public access to its full-time offices and part-time depots throughout the Atlantic provinces until further notice.

Authorized staff and volunteers may continue to work at full-time locations but there will be no public access.

The most common reason for the public to visit an office or depot is to pick up or return items borrowed from the Health Equipment Loan Program (or HELP), such as wheelchairs, walkers, canes, crutches and other mobility and safety devices, which the Canadian Red Cross loans free of charge to people recovering from illness, injury or surgery. HELP loans will continue to be available from Atlantic offices that have full-time staff, but only by calling in advance between 9 a.m. and noon Monday to Friday to schedule an appointment and discuss modified procedures for pickup or return.

Part-time HELP depots, which are typically staffed by one volunteer for a few hours each week will remain closed indefinitely.

Other Canadian Red Cross programs, most notably Emergency Management, continue to function normally but with enhanced requirements around the use of personal protective equipment and interacting with clients by telephone, text or email or in person but following social distancing protocols recommended by health authorities.

In New Brunswick, closures affect full-time offices in Bathurst, Campbellton, Edmundston, Fredericton, Moncton, Richibucto, Saint John, Sussex and Woodstock and part-time depots in Grand Falls, Harvey, Miramichi and St. Stephen.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, closures affect full-time offices in St. John’s, Grand Falls-Windsor and Corner Brook, and part-time depots in Bonavista, Burin, Change Islands, Gander, Marystown, St. Anthony, Springdale and Twillingate.

In Nova Scotia, closures affect full-time offices in Amherst, Antigonish, Bridgewater, Dartmouth, Kentville, Truro and Sydney, and part-time depots in Cheticamp, Pictou, Sheet Harbour and Tatamagouche.

In Prince Edward Island, the closure affects a full-time office in Charlottetown and two part-time depots at community hospitals in O’Leary and St. Peter’s.

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