Currently, there have been no reported cases of COVID-19 in the Village and an Emergency has not been declared. However, there have been 3 cases reported in Kingston.
Prior to today (March 17), we had already made some changes, including closing Town Hall at 1:30 each day, closing the Community Centre, Library, suspending meetings of committees of council and other boards.
The Village’s Emergency Control Group (ECG) met March 17th 2020 and opened the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) to incorporate proactive measures to limit the spread of the virus within the Village and to protect our residents, businesses, visitors and staff. The EOC will remain open and the ECG will meet weekly or as required to ensure the the continuity of services is maintained.
On the agenda for the ECG meeting were many of the items that the Premier announced this morning. As a result of Premier Ford’s declaring a state of emergency, the following establishments in Westport are legally required to close immediately:
All facilities providing indoor recreational programs;
All public libraries
All bars and restaurants, except to the extent that such facilities provide takeout food and delivery;
I want to recognize the many organizations and businesses who prior to Premier Ford’s announcement had already made the decision to cancel events and food/bar service for the next several weeks to limit the spread of the virus and to help maintain social distancing. These organizations include the Cove Country Inn, Tangled Gardens and the Lost Penny Pub, churches – Knox Presbyterian, Westport United and St Paul’s Anglican, Lions Club, Branch 542 Royal Canadian Legion, the Westport Brewery, Steve’s Restaurant, Cottage Coffee, the Westport Arts Council cancelled all choir rehearsals, performances and festivals and of course, Terry Bryan, decided against hosting our beloved St Paddy’s Day parade. Good business decisions and very important for the health of community members.
The Westport Village Pharmacy and Kudrinko’s, under the strong leadership of Tracey Phillips and Neil & Martha Kudrinko, have strategies in place to ensure people receive their supplies – whether shopping in person or remotely. Well done you three!
Pastor Paul Millar has stepped up and taken on the role of volunteer coordinator. If you are interested in helping others during the pandemic, pls contact Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org and if you need some assistance you can email email@example.com. Thank you Paul.
Seniors citizens and people with pre-existing health conditions are more vulnerable to COVID-19. Please find a senior to “buddy” up with to prevent them from feeling isolated during this time. A phone call can go a long way to provide support and inquire of anything they need. If they don’t have access to the internet, please keep them informed about the virus and what we are doing working together to slow it down.
Village Staff tell me that Rideau St Lawrence monthly bills are going into the mail this week, however payment is not due until first week of April. You can register for e-billing at www.rslu.ca.
The declaration of an emergency by Premier Ford should highlight how important your personal actions are in the coming days. Stay home if you can and limit your interactions with other people. Social distancing will protect people’s health, their family and neighbours. Every opportunity to avoid interaction helps to control the virus and flatten the curve. We need to look out for each other. My behaviour affects your health and your behaviour affects mine. Keep our Village safe and healthy and we will come out the end of the pandemic a stronger community.
Please call if you have suggestions or concerns – 613-273-9195.
Mayor Robin Jones and Council
Village of Westport