Haldimand County Public Library, Museum And Recreation Staff Offer Stay-At-Home Activity Suggestions

All residents of Haldimand County are encouraged to stay at home to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Haldimand County Public Library, museum and recreation staff have developed a number of stay-at-home activities to keep the community engaged and entertained. In addition to compiling a directory of stay-at-home activity suggestions for all ages, staff are offering virtual story times, a LEGO Challenge for kids, ‘Guess the Artifact’ quizzes & more.

To access the stay-at-home resource directory, residents can visit HaldimandCounty.ca and click on ‘Stay At Home Activities’. New links and activity suggestions are being added continuously. Activities range from coloring sheets to kid-friendly recipes, home workout videos, free downloadable eBooks, music and more. Just this week, the library has acquired 250 new, bestseller e-books that can be downloaded through its Axis360 e-book service.

Normally, signing up for a library card requires an in-person visit, however, staff will be issuing library cards electronically so residents can access the library’s full range of online resources. Residents who would like to sign up for a library card can e-mail library@haldimandcounty.on.ca to do so.

On Facebook, residents can join the County’s Heritage Centre curator for ‘Guess the Artifact’ pop-up quizzes, featuring relics from the Haldimand County archives. Parents can also visit the Library’s Facebook page for upbeat fun and learning resources, including virtual story times & a LEGO Challenge for kids.

The Library has also launched a Community Art Gallery project and is encouraging residents to submit photos of their stay-at-home creations to be showcased. All creations – such as crafts, paintings, sculptures, mosaics, collages, needlecraft, photography, drawings, etc. – will be accepted.

Although the museum is closed to the public, anyone interested in starting a family research project or learning about their roots is encouraged to contact the museum curator for virtual research assistance. Starting a family tree project can be a great activity for the whole family. It’s a fun and educational way to pass time together, learn about the past and make new memories. To get started, e-mail museum.archives@haldimandcounty.on.ca or call 905-318-5932 ext. 6613.

While library branches are closed, staff are available to answer questions via e-mail. Any library materials currently on loan, regardless of due date, will be accepted without fines once the library reopens. Residents are asked to not drop off borrowed materials until the library re-opens.

For local information about the COVID-19 pandemic – including facility closures, program cancellations, meeting postponement & visitation restriction information – visit HaldimandCounty.ca/covid-19/.

For the most up-to-date public health information, visit the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit’s website.

Haldimand County Closes More Public Amenities In Accordance With Provincial Order, Increases Enforcement Measures

Haldimand County has closed a number of additional facilities in accordance with the Province of Ontario’s recent order to close ALL outdoor recreational amenities, including sports fields, pavilions, skate parks, beaches, boat launches, piers, docks, etc. In an effort to protect community health & safety, the County is increasing patrols and re-deploying municipal enforcement services and building inspection staff to enforce these provincial public health orders.

Effective immediately, residents may report individuals violating public health orders  to the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit’s COVID-19 Enforcement Hotline at 519-428-8019.

Residents can use the hotline to report a variety of issues, including:

  • Non-essential businesses remaining open
  • An essential business that isn’t complying with necessary restrictions
  • Gatherings of five or more people
  • The use of playgrounds, skate parks, parks, piers and beaches
  • Any other violations of public health orders issued by the Medical Officer of Health or the Province of Ontario

All reports received at this number will be forwarded to Haldimand County’s municipal enforcement services staff or the OPP and investigated. The County has redeployed some of its building inspectors to support municipal law enforcement officers in patrols, enforcement of park / public space closures and public gathering dispersals.

“Both Council and staff continue to receive reports of people violating provincial orders and disregarding instructions from public health authorities,” said Haldimand County Mayor Ken Hewitt. “We’ve had to barricade the Port Maitland Pier/Esplanade Park because people just aren’t listening. There is absolutely no excuse for this behavior and we will be acting within the fullest extent of our authority to penalize violators,” Hewitt added.

The County will be closely monitoring the local compliance/enforcement situation and will take further action if necessary. The Port Maitland Pier, park, esplanade and beach have been fully closed due to crowding, and enforcement officers will be patrolling the area. “Stay home, stay safe and take this seriously,” Hewitt concluded.

Green spaces in parks & trails that aren’t otherwise closed remain open for WALK-THROUGH access, but visitors must continue to practice social/physical distancing (keeping 6ft away from others). Fishing is not permitted under the emergency order.

For local information about the COVID-19 pandemic – including facility closures, program cancellations, meeting postponement & visitation restriction information – visit HaldimandCounty.ca/covid-19/.

For the most up-to-date public health information, visit the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit’s website.

Haldimand County Emergency Services Continues To Appeal To The Community & Businesses For Supplies, Volunteers

Haldimand County Emergency Services is continuing to appeal to the community for donations of much needed 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
– Disposable medical gowns

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. Please call ahead 905-318-5932 ext. 6235 or e-mail emergencyservices@haldimandcounty.on.ca to coordinate drop-off. All donations are greatly appreciated.

Volunteers are also needed 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 https://hnhu.org/covidvolunteers/. Potential volunteers can also leave a voicemail at 519-426-1947 or 905-774-1530.

Haldimand County Economic Development & Tourism division offering support, resources to Local businesses affected by COVID-19

Small and medium-sized businesses are the backbone of the local economy, and it’s safe to say that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected your business. We know that for business this is a difficult time, the information you need to run your business changes rapidly, and it can be hard to keep track and make sense of it all. Local businesses are facing immediate challenges, or closures, and are worrying about how the situation will continue to evolve. During these critical times, it’s important to slow down, be thoughtful and proceed with a plan that is going to stabilize your business in the long-term. Amid this uncertainty, we want to be clear. We are here to support you.

“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.”

In order to relieve some of the pressure on small businesses, we are gathering the information you need about government services and support in Ontario and putting them in one convenient location. Information is updated daily on the BusinessHaldimand.ca Covid-19 Business Information & Resources page, and is aimed at highlighting resources that may apply to businesses and key sectors in our community. Additionally the Economic Development & Tourism Newsletter, provides key updates direct to your inbox, to sign up visit www.haldimandcounty.ca/economic-development-news/.

Haldimand County’s Economic Development and Tourism Division continues to work collaboratively with industry associations, provincial governments, and local businesses to provide input, inform discussions and collect information that can assist business owners in rural communities through these difficult times.  We are calling on all local businesses to provide us insights into how the situation has directly impacted your operations. The survey can be found at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BFZT9P7 and its responses will be used to detail the impacts that COVID-19 is having on our local business community. The survey will continue to be circulated every few weeks to gain insight into the longer-term impacts.

Even during these challenging times, local businesses in Haldimand County are continually showing their resilience. Finding ways to support those in need in our communities, re-tooling to produce much needed supplies, and engaging their customers in new and innovative ways. If your business is one of those companies that has been able to introduce modifications to your operations that keep you safely open, a new product/service you have created to continue operating your business, or your operation is helping support the needs of the medical community, we want to hear from you. Send your good news to opportunity@haldimandcounty.on.ca so we can share the good work you are doing with our community.

For those who live in our community, we encourage you to consider ways to support our local small businesses, purchase products online, share their special offers, and help them boost their online reach. Remember to stay home, wash your hands and support local whenever you can!

Economic Development and Tourism staff are available to provide you with ongoing support, advice and resources – contact us by phone 905-318-5932 or email opportunity@haldimandcounty.on.ca.

Haldimand County Permits Seasonal Campgrounds And Trailer Parks To Open Early Under Exceptional Circumstances

Haldimand County Mayor Ken Hewitt has issued an order permitting seasonal trailer parks to open earlier than usual. Under the same order, travel trailers or mobile homes on residential properties may be opened and occupied for purposes of self-isolation, in accordance with directives from the Medical Officer of Health. These temporary allowances have been made to accommodate residents returning to Haldimand after wintering abroad who have had to return earlier than expected and self-isolate for 14 days.

Normally, seasonal campgrounds and trailer parks are permitted to open from April 15 to October 31. Limitations on times of occupancy are a zoning by-law matter, & seasonal restrictions are related to health & safety concerns (adequate heating, and the functionality of communal water & sanitation systems). Given the mild weather, opening seasonal trailer parks early is not a significant concern. Legislatively, campgrounds & trailer parks are obliged to comply with the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Health Promotion and Protection Act & the Fire Protection and Prevention Act.

As long as these provincial requirements are met by site operators, campgrounds & parks may be opened early this year. Site operators will need to decide whether they are able to provide all necessary services & comply with all provincial legislation.

Furthermore, any resident who is required to self-isolate will be permitted to occupy an attached or detached secondary suite (e.g: motor home, travel trailer) on their residential property, regardless of zoning. Normally, use of such facilities would not be permitted under municipal zoning but will be as an interim measure.

“We were contacted by a number of residents stuck abroad and seasonal sites requesting flexibility under these exceptional circumstances,” said Haldimand County Mayor Ken Hewitt. “This order allows residents to access their trailers or mobile homes in order to self-isolate & prevent community transmission,” he added.

As per the written order, these special allowances will expire once the State of Emergency is lifted.

Haldimand County Fire Department Provides Update On Burn Permits During COVID-19 Situation

Haldimand County Fire Department is advising residents that 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. No new burn permits will be issued until further notice due to the closure of the Haldimand County Administration Building, however, staff are working to develop an online permit application and processing tool.

Residents with non-recreational open-air burn permits are reminded that:

– Burns must be conducted between sunrise and sunset
– Burns must be confined to an area which is at least 60m from any buildings, highway, road or wooded area
– The burn area must not exceed 6m x 6m
– Smoke must not have a negative impact on the visibility of motorists or neighbours
– Favourable weather conditions must be present: no fog, no air quality alerts, no burn bans, winds less than 20 km/hr
– The fire must be attended, controlled and supervised at all times
– The fire must be completely extinguished before the site is vacated

An Open-Air Burn Guide & other fire safety resources are available at HaldimandCounty.ca/fire-services/.

For local information about the COVID-19 pandemic – including facility closures, program cancellations, municipal service options & other key details, visit HaldimandCounty.ca/covid-19/.

Haldimand County Emergency Services Worker Tests Positive For COVID-19

A Haldimand County emergency services staff member has tested positive for COVID-19. The staff member, who is not a resident of Haldimand, was tested outside of the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit’s district. The patient is recovering at home in self-isolation, and the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit is following up with anyone who may have been in close contact.

Haldimand County, working in partnership with public health, hospitals, community health centers & physicians, has mobilized the necessary resources to respond to COVID-19. Haldimand-Norfolk’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Shanker Nesathurai has emphasized that the health unit is well equipped to employ public health management protocols for a case of this nature.

“This news may be unsettling, but it isn’t a shock. 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,” said Haldimand County Mayor Ken Hewitt. “We’re leveraging all possible resources to combat this virus and protect the health and safety of frontline workers, our staff and our community,” he added.

Mayor Hewitt is encouraging residents to follow directions from local and provincial healthcare authorities, including practicing social distancing and avoiding non-essential trips into the community.

For up-to-date public health information, including frequently asked questions about COVID-19 and updates from the Medical Officer of Health, visit the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit’s website.

For local information about the COVID-19 pandemic – including facility closures, program cancellations, meeting postponement & visitation restriction information – visit HaldimandCounty.ca/covid-19/ or NorfolkCounty.ca/covid-19.

Haldimand, Norfolk counties declare emergencies

On Tuesday, March 24, both Haldimand County Mayor Ken Hewitt & Norfolk County Mayor Kristal Chopp declared emergencies for their respective communities.

Declaring an emergency allows municipalities to swiftly take action on activities that are violating public health officials’ orders. Declaring an emergency also allows municipalities to tap into provincial resources & emergency funding that would not otherwise be available.

“While I have been in close communication with Mayor Chopp, declaring an emergency will allow both Haldimand & 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,” said Haldimand County Mayor Ken 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,” Hewitt added.

“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,” said Kristal Chopp, Mayor of Norfolk County. “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.”

For local information about the COVID-19 pandemic – including facility closures, program cancellations, meeting postponement & visitation restriction information – visit HaldimandCounty.ca/covid-19/ or NorfolkCounty.ca/covid-19.

For up-to-date public health information, including frequently asked questions about COVID-19 and daily updated from the Medical Officer of Health, visit the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit’s website.

Haldimand, Norfolk counties proactively preparing for COVID-19

Haldimand and Norfolk Counties are continuing to work closely with the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit, hospitals, healthcare centres and physicians to respond to COVID-19.

While there are currently NO confirmed cases in Haldimand or Norfolk, both Counties have activated their Emergency Operations Centres and are taking action to support local hospitals should patient volumes increase.

Should increased capacity at local hospitals be needed, both Haldimand and Norfolk Counties have made preparations to open interim care centers, to be staffed by local healthcare professionals.

In Haldimand County, this site will be at the Dunnville Memorial Arena.

In Norfolk County, the site will be at the Port Dover Arena.

“I fully support and appreciate the coordinated, proactive efforts of County staff, the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit & local hospitals to ensure our community is prepared for COVID-19,” said Haldimand County Mayor Ken Hewitt. “Residents should be assured that we are taking all steps & precautions necessary to minimize the negative impacts of this virus in Haldimand,” he added.

“We all hope that the opening of these facilities won’t be necessary, but if the COVID-19 virus continues to spread, I want residents to know that we are fully prepared,” said Norfolk County Mayor Kristal Chopp. “By strategically co-ordinating with our neighbours in Haldimand, we’ll be able to quickly increase capacity at local hospitals and ensure residents continue to get the care they need.”

Haldimand and Norfolk Counties are recruiting volunteers 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 with the Counties at https://hnhu.org/covidvolunteers/. Potential volunteers can also leave a voicemail at 519-426-1947 or 905-774-1530.

For local information about the COVID-19 pandemic – including facility closures, program cancellations, meeting postponement & visitation restriction information – visit HaldimandCounty.ca/covid-19/ or NorfolkCounty.ca/covid-19.

For up-to-date public health information, including frequently asked questions about COVID-19 and daily updated from the Medical Officer of Health, visit the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit’s website.

Haldimand County Council acts to reduce charges during public health emergency

The COVID-19 emergency and the unprecedented efforts of all levels of government, businesses and citizens to respond to it are having real impacts on Haldimand County residents and businesses in terms of income, employment, quality of life and convenience. In an effort to reduce the financial burden and inconvenience imposed on Haldimand residents and businesses as a result of implementing the directions of public health officials to try to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Haldimand County has put in place measures to mitigate service fees and charges.

Effective immediately and on a go forward basis, Haldimand County Council has directed that for those unable to meet the March 31 and May 29 tax installment deadlines, the County will waive the penalty charge associated with late payment.  As such citizens and businesses have increased flexibility to defer the payment of property taxes until August 1, 2020 without penalty.

 

Statement from the Mayor & Council – March 19, 2020

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

 

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