Statement from Northumberland County Warden Bob Crate
“Today (January 12, 2021) , the Province of Ontario declared a second Provincial Emergency and issued a Stay-at-Home Order to help stop the escalating spread of COVID-19. Enhanced measures, which will come into effect between now and 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, January 14, 2021, aim to minimize the number of daily contacts between people outside of their immediate household, reducing the opportunity for transmission of the virus. The Province has outlined the stark reality underlying these measures: case counts are rising dramatically, hospitals are filling up, and long-term care homes are facing untenable risk. Ontario is in crisis, and we are each being asked to stay home in order to save lives.
Under the Stay-at-Home Order, people must remain at home except for essential reasons like travelling to work, visiting a grocery store or pharmacy, or accessing health care services. Other measures introduced today include reduced hours for non-essential retailers and a further restriction on outdoor public and social gatherings to a maximum of five people. Wearing a mask or face covering is also now recommended outdoors when you cannot physically distance more than two metres. For a complete overview of the enhanced enforcement measures, please visit news.ontario.ca.
Northumberland County’s Emergency Control Group met today to review provincial orders and assess operational impacts. At this time, the County is not declaring a State of Emergency in Northumberland. A declaration is made when a municipality determines there is insufficient capacity to meet community needs and maintain critical systems. The Control Group has determined that processes currently in place to protect staff and members of the public will ensure ongoing business continuity as we continue to deliver the essential municipal services on which our community relies.
Northumberland County’s number one concern throughout the pandemic has been preserving the health and well-being of residents and staff as we provide these services. While our headquarters building does remain open, with the provincial Stay-at-Home Order coming into effect, please consider contacting County staff by phone regarding any non-essential business, or view our list of forms, applications and permits that can be completed online at Northumberland.ca/OnlineServices. Waste bag tags can also be purchased online through our website at Northumberland.ca/BagTags – a service launched in the early days of the pandemic to promote physical distancing.
Recent news of the initial roll-out of vaccines is certainly promising, however the benefits of mass vaccination are still months away. In the meantime, our personal actions will make the difference between flattening the curve of this second wave or driving a further increase in cases that could very well have disastrous consequences for our health care system and the safety of our loved ones. Please remain vigilant with preventive public health measures like frequent handwashing and wearing a mask as directed, which are proven to reduce the spread of COVID-19. And please stay home. Our province and our community are counting on you.”