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Six Nations building barricades to protect community from COVID-19 - March 27 6:48 p.m.

Six Nations Elected Council is taking a drastic step to protect the community. The plan, called "Project Protect Our Elders," will restrict outside visitors from visiting the territory. They will begin building barricades on Monday and on Tuesday they will be in full implementation. Below is a link to the video of Chief Mark Hill's address on Friday.

Statement from Haldimand Mayor and Council - March 27 4:31 p.m.

As you probably already have heard our H-N health unit has had its first reported case in Norfolk yesterday. While we are not surprised, it does bring the reality and the seriousness of the situation closer to home. People have asked me where?, we need to know so we can change our behaviours. My comment back to them is that we should be behaving like it already is next door with your neighbour. It should not matter what town is hit first, we should all be following the very strict rules that are set out for us and as mentioned so many times, do it for your friends and family, don’t be selfish. On that note, I am still getting reports of kids on the park playgrounds, or the local skate parks. Those are not tourists, they are your kids who live here and I do not blame them as much as I blame the parents who are shirking their duties and risking the rest of us who are following the rules. My advice to you is to take some responsibility of your family and be a parent. It truly angers me when I see that there are people out there that think it is our duty to police bad or stupid behaviour, it is your duty to be a parent, and never more than now. I recognize it is not easy, we are all living it and no one can say someone else has it easier. We are all in this together, and we all have our own individual issues to manage. I cannot stress the importance to stay away from those parks. I have been told of stores who are not following the appropriate procedures in terms of social distancing and not managing the flow of customers. While we can only report them to the health department, the onus and responsibility rests with the store owner or manager and they are risking their staff and the public, if you see such behaviour, demand more from them, it is their role to all of us and once again should not require our police or health dept to babysit. If you are hiring migrant workers for your farm, we have put in place a processes for bringing them in and isolating them. Please follow below. As of March 24th (Effective Immediately), A section of the Health Protection and Promotion Act has been issued by the Medical Officer of Health of the Haldimand Norfolk Health Unit to all employers of seasonal (migrant farm workers) in Haldimand and Norfolk Counties. This order has been issued as there is a potential for transmission of the COVID-19 virus. PLEASE READ the attached press release carefully, as it details specific actions that must be taken. ALL Employers of Seasonal Workers (Migrant Farm Workers ) in Haldimand and Norfolk Counties are hereby ordered to follow these rules. FAILURE to comply with this Order is an offence for which you may be liable, conviction, to a fine of not more than $5,000 for every day or part of each day on which the offence occurs or continues. PLEASE SHARE with your networks, memberships or anyone you know who may be affected by this order. It is critical we get this message circulated to ensure the safety and well- being of all involved, and to ensure we are following the Medical Officer of Health’s direction. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out. I have included the contact information for the Health Unit below, if you have any questions or concerns about the order, please contact them directly. Haldimand Norfolk Health Unit Phone: 519-426-6128 Website:…/covid-19-resources-for-farmers-and-farm…/ We are looking for anyone who is a RPN or RN (even if they just finished school) – please contact either by email or by phone at 905-318-5932 Ext 6116. If you would like to volunteer, please follow the link below Thanks, As we approach the weekend, I suspect that we will not be any different with respect to the increasing numbers across the country, what you are doing today and this past couple of weeks will become evident in the next 2 weeks and our diligence will be our reward. Stay safe, Ken

Haldimand offering resources and support to local businesses during COVID-19 pandemic - March 27 4:04 p.m.

Haldimand County’s Economic Development and Tourism Division is supporting local businesses impacted by the COVID-19 situation. They’ve launched a new website

for business owners who have questions about government services and supports. The information is updated daily and is aimed at highlighting resources that could apply to businesses and key sectors in the county. They also want to hear from local business owners about how the situation has impacted your operations. You can have your say by filling out an online survey. The survey will be recirculated every few weeks so the county can get a better understanding of the long-term impacts of COVID-19 on the business community. “Business owners are having to navigate a very uncertain future right now and it’s not a one size fits all impact on local business,” said Haldimand County Mayor Ken Hewitt. “As efforts ramp up to keep COVID-19 from spreading, industry works to achieve business continuity while focusing on the health and safety of their employees. It's no simple task. As we collectively work through this challenging period together, we would like to emphasize that the Economic Development and Tourism Division in Haldimand County continue to be available via phone and email to discuss how ongoing Provincial and Federal announcements may apply to your individual business situation.” On the other side of things, if your business is one of those companies that has been able to introduce modifications to your operations that keep you safely open, launched a new product or service to continue operating your business, or your operation is helping support the needs of the medical community, the county wants to hear from you. Send your good news to If you’re not a business owner, the county is encouraging you to consider ways to support local businesses, like buying products online, sharing their special offers and boosting their online reach.​

Employee at Hamitlon McDonald's charged after faking COVID-19, forcing restaurant to close - March 27 9:45 a.m.

Hamilton police say a McDonald’s worker faked having COVID-19 to get out of work. She gave her supervisor a fake note on March 19. The store on Rymal Road was immediately shut down and all employees were told to go home and self-isolate. The restaurant was closed for several days so professional cleaners could sanitize it. Police say there has been a significant impact on the restaurant, local customers and employees, which instigated the need for police involvement. On March 26, an 18-year-old Hamilton woman was arrested and charged. She’s facing the following charges: Mischief over $5,000, Fraud under $5,000, Use a forged document and Make a forged document.

Thursday sees 170 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Ontario - March 26 11:30 a.m.

The province confirmed 170 new cases of COVID-19 in Ontario on Thursday morning. This brings the total in the province to 858. One of the new cases is in Halton Region and another is in Hamilton. There are 10,965 cases under investigation in Ontario.

Haldimand County campgrounds to open early- March 26 10:07 a.m.

Normally area camp grounds can't open until April 15th, but Haldimand Mayor Ken Hewitt has issued a temporary order to accommodate snowbirds returning home, who need to self-isolate for 14 days. Seasonal trailer parks will be allowed to open early, provided they meet provincial rules and standards Meantime, travel trailers or mobile homes on residential properties can also be used for self- isolation.

Open-air burning may continue in Haldimand County - March 25 3:35 p.m.

Haldimand County Fire Department says open-air burning may continue while the COVID-19 situation unfolds, as long as a proper permit has been acquired and open-air fire burning by-laws are followed. However, no new burn permits will be issued until further notice due to the closure of the Haldimand County Administration Building. Staff are working to develop an online permit application and processing tool.

Haldimand emergency services worker tests positive for COVID-19 - March 25 2:50 p.m.

Haldimand County has confirmed that a local emergency services worker has tested positive for COVID-19. The county says the worker does not live in Haldimand and was tested outside of the Haldeman-Norfolk Health Unit’s district. They are at home in self-isolation and the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit is following up with anyone who may have been in contact with the worker. The county did not release the worker’s name, age, gender or what their position is. “This news may be unsettling, but it isn’t a shock,” said Haldimand County Mayor Ken Hewitt. “Like so many other communities, we’ve been preparing for this scenario. The Health Unit has initiated its case management protocol and are in constant contact with our Emergency Operations team. We’re leveraging all possible resources to combat this virus and protect the health and safety of frontline workers, our staff and our community.”​

One of the Six Nation firefighters tests comes back negative for COVID-19 - March 25 11:56 a.m.

Test results are negative for one of two firefighters, who was tested for COVID-19. A dozen firefighters and six staffers from Fire Station Number One, are self isolating after one person reported possible exposure. They're still awaiting results from a second test. So far, there are no confirmed cases of Covid-19 on six nations.

GRCA suspending maintenance on trails - March 25 11:54 a.m.

You may see more weeds and overgrown plant life on GRCA trails. With most staff at the GRCA working from home, they've decided to scale down operations for now. The flood forecasting and warning system however won't be affected, but all GRCA parks are off limits, due to people ignoring social distancing.

Another 100 COVID-19 cases confirmed in Ontario on Wednesday​ - March 25 10:45 a.m.

The province confirmed 100 new cases of COVID-19 in Ontario on Wednesday. That brings the total in the province to 688 including nine deaths. Four of the new cases are in Halton Region and another four are in Hamilton. There are 10,489 cases under investigation in Ontario.

Hamilton records first death linked to COVID-19​ - March 24 3:53 p.m.

Hamilton Public Health has confirmed the city’s first death linked to COVID-19 is an 80-year-old woman who had been in hospital since March 16. The agency says the woman, a resident of Heritage Green Nursing Home, died at St. Joseph’s Hospital on Tuesday morning. As of noon Tuesday, there are 35 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Hamilton. “I offer my sincere condolences to the family of the woman who passed away,” said Dr. Elizabeth Richardson, Medical Officer of Health for Hamilton. “Unfortunately, this tragic news highlights why we need to take this virus very seriously and continue to take collective actions to stay at home and stay safe.” The woman’s name was not released.

Haldimand and Norfolk mayors declare state of emergency over COVID-19 - March 24 2:32 p.m.

Haldimand County Mayor Ken Hewitt and Norfolk County Mayor Kristal Chopp have each declared emergencies in their communities as COVID-19 continues to spread. The decision means that the municipalities will be able to take quicker action on activities that are violating the orders of public health officials. It also allows the counties to tap into emergency funding and provincial resources that would not otherwise be available. Declaring an emergency “will allow both Haldimand and Norfolk counties to make quicker decisions, support our health team in a more expeditious manner and implement additional measures to protect the health & well-being of our communities,” explained Hewitt. “We’ll continue to do everything in our power to stop the spread of COVID-19, and I ask that residents do their part as well. Stay home, stay safe and look out for one another.” “Staff in both counties, as well as with the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit, are working around the clock to keep our communities safe and healthy during this pandemic,” added Chopp. “Mayor Hewitt and I are in constant communication with each other and our shared Medical Officer of Health to ensure decision-making is timely and serves the best interests of Haldimand and Norfolk. I will continue to act as board chair and both Mayor Hewitt and I will strive to ensure you are fully updated as well as all necessary steps are being taken to protect our respective communities."

Province to keep hydro rates at off-peak price for 45 days - March 24 2:31 p.m.

The province says it is putting an immediate halt on time-of-use electricity rates, holding hydro prices at the off-peak rate for the next 45 days. The reduced price is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to all residential, small business and farm time-of-use customers. According to the province, this means customers will see rate reductions of 50 per cent compared to on-peak rates. This change will be applied automatically to all bills with no need to fill out an application. The Ontario Energy Board has also extended the winter ban on disconnections until July 31.

Province confirms 85 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday morning - March 24 11:51 a.m.

Another 85 COVID-19 cases were confirmed in Ontario on Tuesday morning. Three of the new cases are in Hamilton and one is in Halton. There are now seven confirmed deaths in the province. There are 10,074 under investigation in Ontario.

Stay home: Haldimand County's Medical Officer of Heath - March 24 10:10 a.m.

Dr. Shankar Nesathurai echo's Justin Trudeau's recent message, especially for recent travellers. "Go home and stay there." The Haldimand Norfolk Medical Officer of Health says, anyone returning to Canada from abroad is ordered immediately self-isolate for 14 days. Don’t stop for groceries on the way home but he adds, if you need but can't afford food delivery, call the Haldimand Norfolk Health Unit.

Ontario releases list of essential workplaces - March 23 9:59 pm

The province announced that all non-essential workplaces will close. The closures are in effect Tuesday at 11:59 p.m. and will last for at least 14 days. The province says essential businesses include, but are not limited to grocery stores and pharmacies, telecommunications and IT infrastructure service providers, and businesses that support power generation, natural gas distribution and clean drinking water. Essential businesses are being asked to put into place any and all measures to safeguard the wellbeing of their employees on the front-lines. Teleworking and online commerce are permitted at all times for all businesses. “While this was a difficult decision, we trust that Ontario’s business leaders will be able to promote safety while carrying out business and protecting jobs,” said Premier Doug Ford. “The grocery store clerks, transit and hydro workers and truckers are out there on the front lines making sure the people of Ontario continue to have access to the products and services they need. It is essential that their workplaces be kept as safe as possible so these local heroes can return home to their families worry free.” Below are a list of businesses the province will allow to stay open. Supply chains 1. Businesses that supply other essential businesses or essential services with the support, supplies, systems or services, including processing, packaging, distribution, delivery and maintenance necessary to operate; Retail and Wholesaling 2. Businesses engaged in the retail and wholesale sale of food, pet food and supplies, and household consumer products necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operations of residences and businesses, including grocery stores, supermarkets, convenience stores, markets and other similar retailers; 3. Businesses that provide essential items for the health and welfare of animals, including feed, animal food, pet food and animal supplies including bedding; 4. Beer, wine and liquor stores and alcohol producers, and stores that sell beer and wine through arrangements with authorized providers; cannabis stores and cannabis producers; 5. Gas stations, diesel, propane and heating fuel providers including providers of motor vehicle, aircraft and water/marine craft fuels; 6. Motor vehicle, auto-supply, auto and motor-vehicle-repair, including bicycle repair, aircraft repair, heavy equipment repair, watercraft/marine craft repairs, car and truck dealerships and related facilities; 7. Hardware stores and stores that provide hardware products necessary to the essential operations of residences and businesses; 8. Business providing pharmaceuticals and pharmaceutical services, including pharmacies and dispensaries; 9. Businesses that supply office products and services, including providing computer products and related repair and maintenance services, for individuals working from home and for essential businesses; 10. Safety supply stores (for e.g. work clothes, Personal Protective Equipment); Food Services and Accommodations 11. Restaurants and other food facilitiesthat prepare and serve food, but only for delivery or takeaway, together with food delivery services; 12. Hotels, motels, shared rental units and similar facilities, including student residences; Institutional, Residential, Commercial and Industrial Maintenance 13. Businesses that provide support and maintenance services, including urgent repair, to maintain the safety, security, sanitation and essential operation of institutional, commercial industrial and residential properties and buildings, including, property management services,plumbers, electricians, custodial/janitorial workers, cleaning services, , security services, fire safety and sprinkler systems, building systems maintenance and repair technicians and engineers, mechanics, (e.g. HVAC, escalator and elevator technicians), and other service providers who provide similar services Telecommunications and IT Infrastructure/Service Providers 14. Businesses engaged in providing or supporting Information Technology (IT) including online services, software products and related services, as well as the technical facilities such as data centres and other network facilities necessary for their operation and delivery; 15. Businesses providing telecommunications services (phone, internet, radio, cell phones etc) as well as support facilities such as call centres necessary for their operation and delivery; Transportation 16. Taxis and other private transportation providers providing transportation services necessary for activities of daily living; 17. Businesses and facilities that provide transportation services to businesses and individuals including by air, water, road, and rail including providing logistical support, distribution services, warehousing and storage, including truck stops and tow operators; 18. Businesses that provide materials and services for the operation, maintenance and safety of transportation systems (road, transit, rail, air and marine) including delivery of maintenance services such as clearing snow, response to collisions, and completing needed repairs to the transportation systems. Manufacturing and Production 19. Businesses that extract, manufacture, process and distribute goods, products, equipment and materials, including businesses that manufacture inputs to other manufacturers (e.g. primary metal/ steel, blow molding, component manufacturers, chemicals, etc. that feed the end-product manufacturer); 20. Businesses, facilities and services that support and facilitate the two- way movement of essential goods within integrated North American and Global supply chains. Agriculture and food production 21. Businesses that farm, harvest, process, manufacture, produce or distribute food, including beverages, crops, animal products and by-products, aquaculture, hunting and fishing; 22. Businesses that support the food supply chain including assembly yards, livestock auctions, food distribution hubs, feed mills, farm equipment suppliers, feed suppliers, food terminals and warehouses, animal slaughter plants and grain elevators; 23. Business that support the safety of food including animal and plant health and animal welfare; 24. Businesses that provide veterinary services, and that supply veterinary and animal control medications and related supplies and testing kits; 25. Businesses that help to ensure safe and effective waste management including deadstock, rendering, nutrient management, bio hazardous materials, green waste, packaging recycling; Construction 26. Construction projects and services associated with the healthcare sector, including new facilities, expansions, renovations and conversion of spaces that could be repurposed for health care space; 27. Construction projects and services required to ensure safe and reliable operations of critical provincial infrastructure, including transit, transportation, energy and justice sectors beyond the day-to-day maintenance; 28. Construction work and services, including demolition services, in the industrial, commercial, institutional and residential sectors; 29. Construction work and services that supports health and safety environmental rehabilitation projects Financial activities 30. Capital markets (e.g., the TSX); 31. Banking & Activities related to Credit Intermediation; credit unions; 32. Insurance; 33. Businesses that provide pension services and employee benefits services; 34. Businesses that provide financial services including payment processing, the payroll division of any employer (as defined by the Employment Standards Act/Occupational Health and Safety Act), any entity whose operation is the administration of payroll, banks and credit unions; Resources 35. Businesses that ensure global continuity of supply of mining materials and products (e.g. metals such as copper, nickel and gold) and that support supply chains in Northern Ontario including; a. Mining operations, production and processing; b. Mineral exploration and development; c. Mining Supply and Services that ssupport supply chains in the mining industry including maintenance of operations, health and safety. 36. Businesses that provide chemicals and gases to support the natural resource sector analytical labs and drinking water and wastewater sectors and other essential businesses; 37. Businesses that ensure global continuity of supply of forestry products (e.g. lumber, pulp, paper, wood fuel, etc.); 38. Businesses that ensure global continuity of supply of aggregates to support critical infrastructure repairs and emergency response requirements (e.g. sandbags, armour stone barriers, etc.); 39. Businesses that ensure global continuity of supply of petroleum and petroleum by-products; Environmental Services 40. Businesses that support environmental management/monitoring and spill clean-up and response, including environmental consulting firms, professional engineers and geoscientists, septics haulers, well drillers, pesticides applicators and exterminators, management of industrial sewage/effluent (eg for mining operations), and environmental laboratories; Utilities and Community Services 41. Utilities, and Businesses that support the provision of utilities and community services, including by providing products, materials and services needed for the delivery of utilities and community services: a. Waste Collection, Waste/ Sewage Treatment and Disposal, operation of landfills, and Hazardous Waste Disposal; b. Potable drinking water; c. Electricity Generation, transmission, distribution and storage; d. Natural Gas distribution, transmission and storage, e. Road construction and maintenance; f. police, fire, emergency services including coroner services and pathology services ; g. corrections and courts services; h. other government services including licenses and permits; 42. Businesses engaged in or supporting the operation, maintenance and repair of critical infrastructure (railways, dams, bridges, highways, erosion control structures, etc.); Communications Industries 43. Newspaper publishers; 44. Radio & Television Broadcasting; 45. Telecommunications providers; Research 46. Businesses and organizations that maintain research facilities and engage in research, including medical research and other research and development activities; 47. Businesses that provide products and services that support research activities; Health Care and Seniors Care and Social Services 48. Organizations and providers that deliver home care services; 49. Retirement homes; 50. Long-term Care Facilities; 51. Independent health facilities; 52. Laboratories and specimen collection centres; 53. Manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors and retailers of pharmaceutical products and medical supplies, including medications, medical isotopes, vaccines and antivirals; medical devices and medical supplies 54. Manufacturers, logistics and distributors of products and/or services that support the delivery of health care in all locations (including but not limited to hospitals, labs, long-term care homes, other residential health care, physicians, nurse practitioners and midwives, and home care services); 55. Businesses that provide products and/or services that support the health sector or that provide health services, including mental health and addictions and counselling supports. 56. Businesses that sell, rent or repair assistive/mobility/medical devices, aids and/or supplies. 57. Businesses that provide personal support services (many seniors and persons with disabilities, who can afford to, hire individuals to assist with the activities of daily living). 58. Health care professionals providing emergency care including dentists optometrists and physio-therapists; 59. Not-for-profit organizations that provide critical personal support services in home and also provide residential services for individuals with physical disabilities (such as the Centre for Independent Living and March of Dimes); 60. Businesses and all other organizations that support the provision of food, shelter, safety or protection, and/or social services and other necessities of life to economically disadvantaged and other vulnerable individuals, including but not limited to food banks, violence against women emergency shelters, homeless shelters, community housing, supportive housing, children’s aid societies, residential services for adults with developmental disabilities and for children, and custody and detention programs for young persons in conflict with the law; Justice Sector 61. Professional and social services that support the legal and justice system; Other Businesses 62. Rental and leasing services, including automobile, commercial and light industrial machinery and equipment rental; 63. Businesses providing mailing, shipping, courier and delivery services, including post office boxes; 64. Laundromats, dry cleaners and laundry service providers; 65. Professional services including lawyers and para-legals, engineers, accountants, translators; 66. Businesses providing funeral, mortician, cremation, transfer, and burial services, and any related goods and products (such as coffins and embalming fluid); 67. Land registration services, and real estate agent services and moving services; 68. Businesses providing security services including private security guards; monitoring or surveillance equipment and services; 69. Businesses providing staffing services, including temporary help; 70. Businesses that support the safe operations of residences and essential businesses; 71. Businesses that provide for the health and welfare of animals, including veterinarians, farms, boarding kennels, stables, animal shelters, zoos, aquariums, research facilities and other service providers; 72. Child care services for essential workers, and home child care services of less than six children; 73. Businesses providing cheque cashing services; Business Regulators and Inspectors 74. Organizations, including Administrative Authorities, that regulate and inspect businesses.

Ontario government orders all non-essential businesses to close

Premier Doug Ford is ordering the closure of all non-essential businesses in the province to help deal with the spread of COVID-19. He says the order will be effective Tuesday at 11:59 p.m. and will be in place for at least 14 days. The province will release the list of businesses that will be allowed to stay open on Tuesday, but promised grocery stores, pharmacies, manufactures and restaurants offering takeout and delivery only will be on that list. He also said publicly funded schools will not re-open April 6th.

GRCA parks close amid COVID-19 concerns - March 23 11:15 a.m.

Don't bother visiting any of the GRCA's parks. They're closed until at least April 6th. That's after an increase in visitors, some in large groups ignoring social distancing. The GRCA's Lisa Stocco says staff is limited and the gates are closed, making it difficult for emergency workers to assist people in the parks. Anyone who parks nearby a GRCA park on a municipal road, could be fined.

Province announces 78 new COVID-19 cases on Monday morning - March 23 11:15 a.m.

The province confirmed 78 news cases of COVID-19 on Monday morning. That brings the total number of cases in Ontario to 503. Three of the new cases are in Hamilton. Two of the new cases are in Halton. There are 8,417 currently under investigation in the province.

Six Nations firefighters self-isolating after possible COVID-19 exposure - March 23 10:42 a.m.

A dozen firefighters on Six Nations are self-isolating. That's after a member of the fire platoon notified the fire service concerned about potential exposure to Coronavirus. "That's what we ask all of our members to do if they believe they could have been exposed to COVID- 19 and we will lead by example," said fire Chief Mathew Miller. There are no confirmed cases on Six Nations so far.

HSR now running on new schedule - March 23 10:40 a.m.

As of Monday, the HSR will now run on a Saturday schedule for most routes in the city. Passengers are asked to board from the rear doors only, to keep a fair distance from the driver and other passengers. Transit fares will be not collected.

Two more COVID-19 deaths reported in Ontario

Health officials in Toronto and York Region have confirmed Ontario’s fourth and fifth deaths related to COVID-19. The patient in Toronto was a man in his 70s, who fell ill after travelling to the United Kingdom. Officials say he tested positive for the virus at a hospital in Toronto, and then began self-isolating at-home. On March 14, he arrived at Mississauga Hospital. He died on Saturday. The other patient was a 72-year-old woman from Markham. Officials say she collapsed at her son’s home in Toronto on Saturday – hours after she returned from Los Angeles, via France and Tahiti. Further tests confirmed that she had COVID-19. The woman is posthumously considered Ontario’s 425th case of the virus. There have now been five deaths in Ontario.

Another 47 cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Ontario on Sunday morning

The new cases bring the total in Ontario to 424. There are 8,361 cases in the province under investigation. One of the cases confirmed on Sunday is a Hamilton man in his 50s. He recently went on a Caribbean cruise and is self-isolating.

Haldimand County is seeking volunteers and supplies

Haldimand County is looking for volunteers and supplies such as N95 masks, gloves and hand sanitzer to support the local response to COVID-19. Volunteers are need for a variety of tasks to address community needs during the COVID-19 pandemic including delivering food, medications and other supplies to seniors in self-isolation. Those with relevant skills and experience – for example nursing staff (registered or not), dieticians, personal support workers, food handlers, chefs, respiratory therapists, health care aides and others – are encouraged to securely register at Potential volunteers can also leave a voicemail at 519-426-1947 or 905-774-1530.

You can also donate supplies

The county is seeking donations of supplies to keep front-line healthcare workers safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Necessary supplies include: N95 and surgical masks Non-latex medical examination gloves/Nitrile gloves Safety goggles/glasses Face shields Hand sanitizer Travel-sized soap/shampoo. If you have any of these items and want to donate them, please drop them off at Haldimand County’s EMS Headquarters at 11 Thorburn St. (Cayuga), between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday.

Province confirms 59 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday morning

The total number of cases in the province is now 377. There are 7,239 cases under investigation in the province.

OPP will fine people that gather in groups of 50 or more

This week Premier Doug Ford declared a state of emergency in Ontario. With that declaration comes new measures aimed at stopping the spread of COVID-19. One of those measures prohibits gatherings of 50 or more people to encourage social distancing. OPP say people caught violating the new orders will face fines up to $1,000. Meanwhile, corporations could be fined $500,000.

Medical Officer of Health orders all personal services settings closed

March 21, 2020, Simcoe, ON - The Haldimand-Norfolk Medical Officer of Health has ordered all personal services settings and esthetic services to close, effective immediately, in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19. The order applies to all tattoo parlours, barbershops, hair and nail salons, spas, and tanning beds in Haldimand and Norfolk counties. It also applies to all banquet halls found in both counties. The decision is part of the Health Unit’s COVID-19 containment strategy, which also includes the limiting of public gatherings and strict social distancing protocols. The order is effective until rescinded by the Medical Officer of Health.

Hamilton Public Health declares COVID-19 outbreak at long-term care facility

Hamilton Public Health Services is declaring an outbreak of COVID-19 at the Heritage Green Nursing Home in Stoney Creek after a second case was confirmed at the facility. A 55-year-old female resident became symptomatic on the evening of March 19, was subsequently tested, and the test results confirmed this morning that she was positive. She was not hospitalized and remains in isolation at Heritage Green. The first case at this facility was reported on Wednesday, March 18 and involved an 80-year-old female resident who lives on the same floor of the nursing home. An outbreak is declared by Public Health when there are two or more confirmed cases of COVID-19 amongst residents or staff of a long-term-care facility. Heritage Green is continuing to isolate the entire floor of the nursing home, cohort staff (dedicated staff to dedicated areas), isolate residents and provide in-room meals. The facility remains closed to visitors. Hamilton currently has a total of 24 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Saturday.

Statement from Mayor Ken Hewitt, March 19

In these unprecedented times people come together, governments come together, countries come together. The efforts that have been seen from leaders, from the business community, to the countless donations and help from the very many unselfish people around us is a true testament that when pushed, we roll up our sleeves and find ways to help each other back to the lives we all deserve to enjoy. COVID-19 is having a real impact on the lives of Canadians beyond health related matters. It is affecting incomes, employment and quality of life. In response we are seeing higher level governments putting together substantial monetary packages to help lessen the burden on citizens and businesses that are following the advice of health officials. We eagerly await announcements on how that money will reach those in need. The long-term economic and social impacts that COVID-19 will have on our daily lives is still difficult to determine, however, all financial supports announced to date have been to only address the immediate massive hole in our local economies. I have never seen governments move as fast as they have in the past two weeks and in such a non-partisan fashion to ensure necessary supports will be provided. In an effort to play an active role in helping our County citizens and business that are facing economic challenges given these unprecedented circumstances, Council and I have directed staff to waive the interest costs and any fees attached to the next two property tax instalments, March 31 and May 29. Haldimand County property owners can pay their taxes at their own discretion up until August 1st without penalty. We hope that this will provide you with the flexibility to manage your day to day to finances and afford you the time you may require. In Haldimand, we will soon be finalizing our tax-supported operating budget. Council has directed staff to carefully review the 2020 budget so that is sensitive and responsive to these strange times we are living in. Over the past several years, staff have worked diligently to ensure our financial position is strong and ready for unforeseen challenges. For this reason, we are ready to respond. I want to assure you that both staff and Council have been working to protect your interests, to ensure that the quality services you are accustomed to continue, and that our frontline EMS staff are fully equipped with all the resources needed to meet your needs. I would like to take this time to acknowledge those within the Haldimand-Norfolk Health & Social Services, the H-N Health Unit and our first responders for their leadership in helping Council manage our response to the COVID-19 virus. On behalf of the County and Council, we sincerely thank you for being there in times of need, never more so demonstrated than today. Mayor Ken Hewitt Haldimand County Council Stewart Patterson John Metcalfe Dan Lawrence Tony Dalimonte Rob Shirton Bernie Corbett

Hamilton launches economic recovery working group and website

City of Hamilton operational updates

Province passes emergency legislation aimed at protecting jobs, but not wages

Doug Ford to returning travellers: Self-isolate the moment you leave the airport, don’t stop for groceries on way home

Ontario records second death linked to COVID-19

Statement from Haldimand County's Medical Officer of Health Shanker Nesathurai

1. I urge community members to place the risks associated with COVID-19 in perspective. The vast majority of people who are diagnosed with COVID 19, will have a mild to moderate respiratory illness, and will be able to recover at home. The symptoms will be similar to the flu. A small proportion will require treatment in the hospital. A few individuals will succumb to the illness—these are typically older patients with many concurrent medical problems. Based on what we know today, the risk to residents of Norfolk and Haldimand County is low. From my perspective, we should be concerned, but our responses should be measured.

2. The Public Health Unit is working closely with hospital and community partners, government agencies and community physicians to formulate an effective response. This response includes a call center that has responded to hundreds of calls. As a precautionary approach, some people have been asked to remain at home in self isolation for 14 days. However, at the current time, there is not a single confirmed case of COVID 19 in Haldimand and Norfolk Counties.

3. The key public health strategy is to prevent the spread of COVID-19 from person to person. This is sometimes called “social distancing”. This is the reason for extending March break for students, and concurrently suspending the operations of daycare centers. The goal was to reduce the spread from children to parents, and then to older family members and the broader community. As part of this strategy, the health unit has also advocated for limiting the public gatherings to less than 50 people. You will notice that restaurants and bars have limited the number of patrons to less than 50. This is the result of a public health order. As well, consistent with good public health practice, many professional offices and business have temporarily suspended or curtailed operations. This includes dentist offices, that have closed for non-emergent treatment.

4. Most importantly, in order to fully advance social distancing, I ask each of you to stay at home, unless there is a compelling reason to leave the house. I would encourage each of you to speak to your employer and discuss the option of working at home. When traveling out of house for essential activities, try to stay 6 feet away from the next person. These added measures, including regular hand washing and respiratory etiquette can make the difference. In closing, it is important to keep COVID-19 in perspective. At the current time, the risk to residents of our two counties remains low.

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