Niagara Region Public Health

Niagara Region Public Health is closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and working 24/7 with local, provincial and federal partners. The health and well-being of Niagara residents is their top priority.

For more information, including updates, frequently asked questions and prevention tips, visit 
https://www.niagararegion.ca/health/COVID-19/default.aspx

COVID-19 FAQs: https://www.niagararegion.ca/health/covid-19/faq.aspx 

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Info-Line calls are being answered by a nurse 7 days a week from 9 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

905-688-8248 ext. 7019
Toll-free: 1-888-505-6074

Please be patient - they're experiencing very high call volumes.

Before calling our COVID-19 Info-Line, use Ontario’s new COVID-19 self-assessment tool to determine if you need to seek care: https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19-self-assessment

 

Recommendations for those who have been asked to self-isolate:

• Separate yourself from others; sleep in a separate room
• Have a bathroom dedicated to only you, if possible
• Stay 2 metres away from other people
• Clean your hands often
• Don't use public transportation
• No visitors

 

 
 

Niagara Region

Waste Collection

Niagara Region makes changes to waste collection due to COVID-19 (March 21, 2020)

Niagara Region updates

For COVID-19 information from the Niagara Region, visit www.niagararegion.ca/covid19.

 
 

Ontario Works - Accessing Financial Assistance

 

COVID-19 Recovery and Support for Local Businesses

Economic Recovery Team

In light of the ongoing uncertainties related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Port Colborne would like to remind our local business community that the municipality is here to serve you. While our offices remain close to the public, city staff are accessible via phone and email.

The City of Port Colborne has joined forces with the Niagara Region and other local area municipal economic development departments to create an Economic Recovery Team. As a Team the Economic Development Offices are monitoring the developments and is launching a COVID-19 Business Impact Survey. We ask for your assistance in completing the survey. The survey seeks to determine the level of impact the pandemic has had on the regional economy.

Click here for more information about COVID-19 Recovery and Support for Local Businesses.

 
 

Niagara Health

 

Ontario Government

Government of Ontario COVID-19 webpage

Media Release: Ontario Closing At-Risk Workplaces to Protect Health and Safety (March 23, 2020)

Do you require information from MPP Jeff Burch's Office for any provincial matters?

Call: 905-732-6882
Email: jburch-co@ndp.on.ca

The constituency office at 102-60 King St., Welland, is currently closed due to COVID-19, however, phone messages and emails are being monitored and returned by staff as soon as possible.

For more updates, visit: https://www.jeffburchmpp.ca/covid19

 

 
 

Federal Government

Need MP Vance Badawey's Office?

The constituency office(s) will be closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Call: 905-788-2204
Email: Vance.Badawey@parl.gc.ca

Vance Badawey and his team will continue to work to assist residents with any federal matters.

For up-to-date information on COVID-19, please visit canada.ca/coronavirus or call 1-833-784-4397.

Memorandum from MP Vance Badawey - COVID-19 Update (March 27, 2020)

 
 

Niagara Regional Police Services

As the Niagara Regional Police Service continues to adapt to the changing situation in regards to COVID-19, effective March 19, 2020, they will be closing 5 District (Fort Erie), 6 District (Port Colborne) and 8 District (Grimsby) to members of the public as we continue to safeguard the health and safety of their members.

1 District (St. Catharines), 2 District (Niagara Falls) and 3 District (Welland) front desks remain open for emergencies only.

Collision reporting centers (which are contracted independently via Accident Support Services International Ltd) in St. Catharines, Niagara Falls and Welland remain open for collision reporting.

Effective March 18, 2020 members of the public will be directed to apply online to request Record Checks, Fingerprint Destruction, Record Suspensions, Occurrence reports, and FOI until further notice. Visit their Business Services Section under “What we do” at http://www.niagarapolice.ca for further information. Urgent requests may be considered by the Records Supervisor at 905-688-4111 x 4276.

Questions specifically relating to Record Checks can be addressed by email at backgroundchecks@niagarapolice.ca.

 
 

Welland Transit

Effective Sunday, April 5, 2020, until further notice, Welland Transit will be providing the following levels of service:

Welland Transit

The municipal buses in Welland will be operating 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. 7 days per week on the ‘Community Bus’ routes. For further clarification on this new level of service, visit http://www.welland.ca/transit%20or call 905-735-1700 ext. 2291.

Niagara Region Transit

Until further notice, all Niagara Region Transit services are operating on the hourly frequency Saturday service Monday to Saturday. For further information, visit niagararegion.ca/transit or call 905-980-6000 ext. 3550.

Port Colborne Community Bus

Effective Monday, April 6, 2020, the Port Colborne Community routes will commence at 8 a.m. and operate until 6 p.m. Monday to Friday.

Seating will be limited to approx. 10 customers for Physical / Social Distancing. Boarding will take place at the rear doors unless you require a mobility device, which would allow you to board at the front door. There will be no fares required by our customers during this unsettled period.
NOTE: there are currently no changes to the Port Colborne LINK schedule.

The services remain operational for those requiring transportation to essential services (medical, pharmaceutical, employment, caregiver) and thus, all other trips should not be taken at this time.

 

For more information, visit https://www.welland.ca/Transit/TransitNotices.asp

For route information and regular updates, visit https://www.welland.ca/Transit/

 

 
 
 

Tourism HR Canada

The Tourism HR Canada website offers guidance and a series of resources to help all tourism stakeholders stay healthy, communicate clearly, and mitigate the effects as Canada takes action to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. They update the site as new resources become available.

Tourism HR Canada

 
 

 
 

City of Port Colborne Declares a State of Emergency - April 3, 2020

Click here to read Media Release: Niagara’s municipalities declare State of Emergency in response to COVID-19

Click here to watch Mayor Steele Message re: Port Colborne Declaring a State of Emergency

Click here for Declaring an Emergency FAQ's (Frequently Asked Questions)

A Message from Mayor Steele:

As of today, April 3, the City of Port Colborne, along with the Niagara Region and our fellow municipalities, have jointly declared a State of Emergency in anticipation of a surge of COVID-19 activity in Niagara.

This declaration is a call to action and is reinforcing the provincial orders to stay home.

Port Colborne,

- We need you to stay home - do not go out for non-essential trips;

- We need you to stay away from our playgrounds and playing fields;

- We need non-essential businesses to stay closed;

- We need you to quarantine yourself for 14 days if you have been out of the country;

- And please, do not gather in groups. We need you to continue to practice physical distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community.

The City has powers to enforce these orders with significant fines. And we will do so to protect the health and safety of everyone.

With the weather getting warmer, faith-based holidays like Easter around the corner, and the growing number of confirmed cases in Niagara, we need YOU to continue to take proactive measures to protect yourself, your family, and your neighbours.

I know you are all trying to do your part but we all need to do just a little more, for a little while longer, so that we can protect as many people as possible.

Now is not the time for a game of soccer with friends in the park, to launch your boat, to plan a family dinner, or coordinate a neighbourhood play date. Doing so not only puts you and your family at risk, but also the community at large, including our health care professionals.

On behalf of council, staff, and the residents of Port Colborne I would like to offer sincere thanks for the incredible work being done by those individuals who are putting their health on the line to keep us safe and keep us fed.

Niagara’s first responders and health care professionals deserve our deepest thanks and gratitude for all they do to keep the community safe.

As a City we continue to do our part. Our Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) continues to meet regularly and is monitoring the situation. We have closed City facilities and are focused on delivering services we know our community values and relies on.

I would like to take this time to thank our City staff. From those working hard at home to keep the City operating, to the staff who continue to work in the field, ensuring we have clean drinking water, safe roads to travel on, and our firefighters who are ensuring our safety, thank you for your hard work and commitment.

To continue to stay updated on what the City is doing to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, visit out website at
www.portcolborne.ca and follow us on social media.

We are all in this together, Port Colborne. We ALL need to act now and take the necessary steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Stay strong, stay healthy, and please, stay home.

Sincerely,

Mayor William C. Steele

 

 

 
 

Emergency Orders

To report concern over a business operating in contravention of emergency orders or gathering of groups of people in Port Colborne contact our Bylaw Department. Email: bylawenforcement@portcolborne.ca.

After 4:30pm, please call Niagara Region’s dispatch line at 905-984-3690 or 1-877-552-5579 for further bylaw response and assistance. Do not call 9-1-1.

For all COVID 19 health matters and/or inquiries, please call the Public Health hotline at 905-688-8248 or 1-888505-6074 (press option 7 then follow the prompts).

For up-to-date information on all Emergency Orders issued by the province, visit

https://www.ontario.ca/page/emergency-information

 
 

Service Delivery Changes during COVID-19

 

Facility Closures

In an effort to practice social distancing and minimize the spread of COVID-19, and in keeping the health and safety of City staff and
residents a top-priority, the City has closed all City facilities.

The following City facilities will be closed to the public until further notice:

· City Hall

· Vale Health & Wellness Centre, including Port Colborne YMCA

· Engineering & Operations Centre

· Fire Hall (for non-emergency use)

· Port Colborne Public Library

· Port Colborne Historical & Marine Museum, including L.R. Wilson Heritage Research Archives

· The Roselawn Centre

· The Visitor’s Centre

· Port Colborne Farmer’s Market

· Bethel Community Centre

· Sherkston Community Centre

· Sugarloaf Marina, including public boat launch ramp

· City playground equipment & park amenities (including playgrounds, Alogport Bike & BMX Park, outdoor fitness equipment, sports fields, tennis courts, basketball courts, pavilions, and park benches)

· City beaches, including Nickel Beach and Cedar Bay/Centennial Beach

 
 
 

A Message from Mayor Steele - March 30, 2020

To the Port Colborne Community,

On March 23, 2020, City Council approved Port Colborne’s City Budget and Water/Wastewater Budget. Both budgets included increases in the rates for 2020. In the time since these budgets were passed, a number of residents have reached out to our City Council members and directly to me. Some residents have also contacted the City on our social media accounts.

We understand that there is an economic effect as it pertains to the COVID-19 pandemic across the country and right here in Port Colborne on our local ratepayers. However, the City has an obligation to continue to offer programs and services that benefit our community and to provide safe, clean drinking water to our residents.

The City has to follow provincial legislated requirements to put these budgets in place and staff have been preparing the budgets since last year, well before the coronavirus started to impact the country. The province also requires that the City have a balanced budget – that means that the City cannot budget for a surplus (extra money) or a deficit (a shortfall). A further rule requires that the water/wastewater budget remain independent of the City budget; that is, tax money cannot be used for water/wastewater and water/wastewater money cannot be used for the City budget.

Council approved a base property tax budget that included no increases in the programs and services that we provide in the Port Colborne community. The water/wastewater budget is made up of the cost of buying water from the Region and keeping our Water Division in place to ensure that water is safely delivered to each household. This year there was a substantial increase in the cost of water from the Region, yet Council was still able to hold the increase in rates to a much smaller amount than the increased cost of water.

In terms of COVID-19, City Council is aware that this will affect our ratepayers at home. On the same day that Council approved these budgets, we also approved a temporary interest and penalty waiver. We were one of the first municipalities in Niagara to provide relief, and at the time we chose a date of April 30, however, as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves we have decided to extend the exemption date to June 30, 2020. If ratepayers in Port Colborne are unable to pay their installments on time due to layoffs or any other reason resulting from COVID-19, there will be no penalties applied to their water or property tax accounts until June 30, 2020. This will help residents who have their employment affected but are waiting for support from the Federal or Provincial government.

I would like to leave you with a final message. All of your Members of Council are taxpayers and water ratepayers too, and we realize that we were elected to represent all of Port Colborne and to govern with your best interests at heart. I can assure you that all of your Members of Council make decisions, especially financial decisions, very carefully and we are always mindful of how all of us will be affected. COVID-19 is having significant impacts across the country but I am confident that our resilient residents and businesses in Port Colborne will work together to get through this – I have tremendous faith in our community.

Please continue to contact me and your other Members of Council to discuss these important issues in Port Colborne.

Sincerely,

Mayor William C. Steele

 
 

A Message from Mayor Steele - March 17, 2020

Dear Port Colborne residents,

Following the advice and recommendations of the Government of Canada, Government of Ontario, and Niagara Region Public Health, the City of Port Colborne is making every effort to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 locally.

As of yesterday, March 16, the City closed all municipal facilities to the public, which includes City Hall, the Engineering & Operations Centre, Fire Hall, Vale Health & Wellness Centre, Roselawn Centre, Port Colborne Public Library, Farmer’s Market, Bethel Community Centre, Sherkston Community Centre, Sugarloaf Marina, Port Colborne Historical and Marine Museum, and L.R. Wilson Heritage Research Archives.

During these closures, our staff are working hard to continue to be available to assist you, our residents, Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. by phone at 905-835-2900 or email. For a complete listing of all municipal staff and their contact information, visit http://portcolborne.ca/page/City_Contacts. We are continuing to respond to after-hours road and water/wastewater issues, and residents should call 905-835-5079.

Our Fire Department, although closed to public access, has crews working and readily available to our residents.

%u200BThis morning our Premier, Doug Ford, declared a State of Emergency for the Province of Ontario. Ontarians are being asked to avoid large gatherings of over 50 people. The following immediate closures were also announced:

- All facilities providing indoor recreational programs;

- All public libraries;

- All private schools as defined in the Education Act;

- All licensed child care centres;

- All bars and restaurants, except to the extent that such facilities provide takeout food and delivery;

- All theatres including those offering live performances of music, dance, and other art forms, as well as cinemas that show movies; and

- Concert venues.

Niagara Region Public Health is reminding us that the risk to Niagara residents is low but we should all be taking precautions, which include:

Contact Niagara Region Public Health and Emergency Services at 905-688-8248 ext. 7019 or toll-free 1-888-505-6074 if you have a fever, or new cough, or shortness of breath and difficulty breathing, and any of the following:

- Travelled outside of Canada in the 14 days before onset of illness

- Close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19

- Close contact with a person with acute respiratory illness who travelled to affected areas within 14 days prior to their illness onset

The best way to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including COVID-19 is to:
- Avoid all non-essential international travel, as recommended by Provincial and Federal health authorities

- Wash your hands often with soap and water or with alcohol-based hand rub

- Practice social distancing by avoiding unnecessary close interaction with others (e.g. shaking hands, deferring events)

- Stay home if you’re sick

- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or sleeve

- Clean and disinfect high touch surfaces daily. Use a disinfectant and follow manufacturer’s instructions.

- Call ahead if visiting your health care provider for infectious symptoms so they can plan to protect others from spread

Niagara Region Public Health continues to recommend that Niagara residents practice social distancing measures:

- Minimize close contact - keep 1-2 metres apart

- Limit non-essential trips into the community

- Postpone or cancel gatherings

Myself, along with Council, and Staff take the health and well-being of our residents as our top priority, but ask that during this pandemic, you also practice all advice and recommendations outlined by government and health officials.

This is a time where community is of the utmost importance, and that our family, friends, and business community need all the support we can give. Although our restaurant community can only provide take-out meals, we ask that you support them as much as possible. Purchasing gift cards from our local restaurants and businesses will also help them through this uncertain time.

While we are asking you to practice social distancing, that does not mean we are asking you not to be social. Please check in on your neighbours, family, friends, and those vulnerable in our community to ensure everyone has the support and resources they need.

These are unprecedented times, but it’s times like these that show the resiliency and strength of our community.

The City’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), Council and Staff will continue to monitor the situation and update residents accordingly as new information becomes available.

For more information and updates about City’s efforts to minimize the spread of COVID-19, including facility closures, visit www.portcolborne.ca/page/covid-19.

For more information about COVID-19 from Niagara Region Public Health, including updates, frequently asked questions and prevention tips, visit https://www.niagararegion.ca/health/COVID-19/default.aspx

For more information about COVID-19 from the Ontario Government, visit https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus.

For more information about travel, please visit the Government of Canada website, https://travel.gc.ca/.

Sincerely,

Mayor William C. Steele

 

 
 

Ontario Government Update - March 17, 2020

This morning the Premier of Ontario, Doug Ford, declared a State of Emergency for the Province of Ontario. To learn more details of what this means, click here:

https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/03/ontario-enacts-declaration-of-emergency-to-protect-the-public.html

 
 

City Update - March 16, 2020 - 3:30 p.m.

In an effort to minimize the spread of COVID-19, keeping the health and safety of City staff and residents a top-priority, the City has made the decision to close all City facilities.

The following City facilities will be closed to the public, effective today, March 16, at close of business (unless previously closed), until further notice:

- City Hall

- Operations Centre

- Fire Hall

- The Vale Health & Wellness Centre, which includes the Port Colborne YMCA

- The Roselawn Centre

- The Port Colborne Public Library

- The Port Colborne Farmer’s Market

- Bethel Community Centre

- Sherkston Community Centre

- Sugarloaf Marina

- L.R. Wilson Heritage Research Archives

Due to these closures, all programs, permits, and third-party events will be cancelled.

During these closures, City staff continue to be available to assist residents Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., by calling 905-835-2900. Customer Service Representatives will either answer resident questions, or direct to the staff member that can assist. For a complete city hall contact list, visit http://portcolborne.ca/page/City_Contacts. Limited services will be available, by appointment only, for residents requiring planning, building and cemeteries.

For after-hours emergencies, including road or wastewater emergencies, residents are to call 905-835-5079.

All Committee of Council meetings have also been cancelled. Upcoming council meetings and budget meetings are continuing as planned. The City streams all council meetings live on our YouTube Channel. Alternatively, council meetings are available the following Thursday at 9 a.m. on YourTV Niagara. For agendas, reports, budget packages, and links to view meetings online, visit http://portcolborne.ca/page/minutes_and_agendas

The following City events are cancelled:

- Port Colborne’s Mariners Service, March 22, 2020

- Port Colborne’s Top Hat Ceremony, March 24, 2020

- Port Colborne’s Easter Eggstravaganza, April 11, 2020

At the present time, Welland Transit is operating all routes as per their normal schedule, which includes Welland Transit municipal routes, our WellTrans service, the inter-municipal routes, and the Port Colborne Community service. For a complete schedule, visit www.welland.ca/transit. If there are any changes in the provision of these services, a notification will be posted on www.welland.ca/transit.

The City’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), Council and Staff will continue to monitor the situation and update residents accordingly.

For more information about COVID-19, including updates, frequently asked questions and prevention tips, visit https://www.niagararegion.ca/health/COVID-19/default.aspx

 
 

City Update - March 16, 2020

In addition to recreational and cultural facilities already closed, Sugarloaf Marina and L.R. Wilson Heritage Archives are closed to the public until April 5, 2020.

City Hall and the Operations Centre are open; however, we are working to limit the number of on premise visits to practice social distancing in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19.

M2 water bills are due today, March 16; M3 water bills are due April 15; and M1 water bills will be due May 15. The first installment of property taxes were due February 28, 2020. The second installment of property taxes are due April 30, 2020.

Still need to pay your bill or looking at alternate ways to pay your upcoming bill? Here are some other ways to make payment as an alternative to coming in to City Hall:

- Telephone banking through residents financial institution

- Online banking through residents financial institution

- Pre-authorized payments through the City

To register for pre-authorized payments, visit

http://portcolborne.ca/fileBin/library/PC%20Pre-Auth%20Form%20Front%20&%20Back_1707.pdf

You can also receive your bills via email. To sign up for e billing, visit

http://portcolborne.ca/fileBin/library/Tax%20and%20Water%20Ebilling%20Fillable.pdf

If residents are unable to make payments by due dates, the City will be proving a grace period for the month of March.

For more information about tax bills,
Visit www.portcolborne.ca/page/taxes
Call 905-835-2900 ext. 123
Email taxes@portcolborne.ca

For more information about water bills,
Visit www.portcolborne.ca/page/water
Call 905-835-2900 ext. 125
Email water@portcolborne.ca

The following events are also cancelled:
- Port Colborne’s Mariners Service, March 22, 2020
- Port Colborne’s Top Hat Ceremony, March 24, 2020
- Port Colborne’s Easter Eggstravaganza, April 11, 2020

 

 
 

City Update - March 14, 2020

The following City events have been cancelled:

- Port Colborne's Mariners Service on Sunday, March 22

- Port Colborne's Top Hat Ceremony on Tuesday, March 24

 

 
 

City Update - March 13, 2020

The health and well-being of City staff and Port Colborne residents is our top priority. The City is exercising extreme caution, moving forward with closures of recreational and community facilities to limit the spread of the virus.

 

The following City facilities will be closed to the public at the end of operating day today, March 13, 2020 (which is different for each facility) until April 5, 2020:

-        The Vale Health & Wellness Centre, which includes the Port Colborne YMCA

-        The Roselawn Centre

-        The Port Colborne Public Library

-        The Port Colborne Farmer’s Market

-      BETHEL COMMUNITY CENTRE

-      SHERKSTON COMMUNITY CENTRE

Due to these closures, all programs, including March Break programming, permits, and third-party events will be cancelled.

 

The following meetings will also be cancelled until April 5, 2020:

-        Committees of Council, including Seniors Advisory Committee, Accessibility Committee, etc.  

Upcoming council meetings and budget meetings are continuing as planned. The City streams all council meetings live on our YouTube Channel. Alternatively, council meetings are available the following Thursday at 9 a.m. on YourTV Niagara. For agendas, reports, budget packages, and links to view meetings online, visit http://portcolborne.ca/page/minutes_and_agendas

Residents can receive all council information directly to their email inbox by subscribing online at http://portcolborne.ca/page/subscribe_newsletter

 

City Hall and our Operations Centre will remain open. The City is taking steps to protect staff and the community and reminding residents of City services that are already in place that residents can access without leaving their home or visiting a municipal building, including:

 

Customer Service

-        Did you know? We live answer our phone lines. Call 905-835-2900 and one of our Customer Service Representatives would be happy to answer your questions, or direct you to the staff member that can assist you.

 

-        Know the staff member you are looking for but not sure of their email or phone number? Click here for our City Hall Contact List: http://portcolborne.ca/page/City_Contacts

 

Public Library

-        Did you know your Port Colborne Public Library has a digital library?

With OverDrive, or the smartphone app Libby, you can browse the online category for a variety of e-books or audio books. All you need is your library card number.
Visit OverDrive online: https://odmc.overdrive.com/

-        Want to read the latest magazines? Use Flipster, an online magazine database available on the library’s website: https://olco.ent.sirsidynix.net/client/en_US/portcolborne/

-        Don’t have a Library card? You can register for that online too.

Visit the Port Colborne Public Library online at www.portcolbornelibary.org or call 905-834-6512.

 

City Hall

-        Do you need to pay your property taxes or water bills? No need to come to City Hall. Now is a good time to arrange for pre-authorized payments.

To register for pre-authorized payments, visit http://portcolborne.ca/fileBin/library/PC%20Pre-Auth%20Form%20Front%20&%20Back_1707.pdf

Do you want to pay electronically but not ready to sign-up for pre-authorized payments? You can pay using telephone or online banking from most banks and credit unions.

You can also receive your bills via email. To sign up for e billing, visit http://portcolborne.ca/fileBin/library/Tax%20and%20Water%20Ebilling%20Fillable.pdf

For more information about tax bills,
Visit www.portcolborne.ca/page/taxes
Call 905-835-2900 ext. 123
Email taxes@portcolborne.ca

For more information about water bills,

Visit www.portcolborne.ca/page/water
Call 905-835-2900 ext. 125
Email water@portcolborne.ca

 

-        Want to stay up-to-date on City news? Subscribe to our newsletter: http://portcolborne.ca/page/subscribe_newsletter

City employees at residents’ homes

-        If residents are expecting a City staff member at their private residence (i.e. Water department, building inspector, etc.), as a precaution city staff members will ask a few Health & Safety questions over the phone before attending a residents home.