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.
This 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/.
Mayor William C. Steele