COVID-19

print-logo

Image of Covid-19 virus

Note: If you have fever and/or cough, have traveled to one of the affected countries in the past 14 days, or have had close or confirmed contact with a probable case of COVID-19, self-isolate at home and contact the HKPR District Health Unit (1-866-888-4577 ext. 5020) or Telehealth Ontario (1-866-797-0000) for additional direction.  

The Municipality's response 

The health and wellbeing of residents and staff continues to be the Municipality’s highest priority. As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to evolve, we are collaborating, and sharing information and resources, with community partners to ensure preparedness. We are also regularly assessing operations and implementing measures, where required, to protect the health and well-being of the community. Public health officials continue to advise that risk in Northumberland remains relatively low.


COVID-19

What is COVID-19? 
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illness in humans ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. A novel coronavirus is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. In some cases, illness caused by novel coronavirus can be mild. In more severe cases, the novel coronavirus can cause pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, severe influenza-like illness, kidney failure and even death.

What are the signs and symptoms of COVID-19? 
Signs and symptoms may include fever and/or respiratory symptoms such as: 

  • Fever
  • cough
  • shortness of breath
  • breathing difficulties

Where is testing available for COVID-19? 
An assessment centre is available at Northumberland Hills Hospital. If you are displaying symptoms of COVID-19, return home immediately and self-isolate. Seek clinical assessment using one of these four options:

  • Complete an online self-assessment
  • Contact Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000
  • Contact your primary care provider by phone.

Self isolation and social distancing

What is self isolation (also called home isolation)? 
Self-isolation is a strategy used to prevent COVID-19 from spreading to others. Individuals self-isolating must stay home, and limit time spent with others. While self-isolating individuals should not go to work, school, use public transportation, or go to other public areas (e.g. malls, restaurants).

The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit has specific guidance on self-isolation available for:

  • People who are awaiting test results, or who have COVID-19
  • People who are returning from travel
  • People who have had contact with a person who has been diagnosed with novel coronavirus

The following individuals are being advised to self-isolate and monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19:

  • People who have been diagnosed with or are awaiting test results for COVID-19.
  • People who have been in close contact with a person with COVID-19.
  • People who have recently travelled outside of Canada.
  • People who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, new cough, shortness of breath). 

What is social distancing (also called physical distancing)? 
It is maintaining a distance between you and other people — in this case, at least two metres (six feet). The Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge Health Unit is recommending that all residents practice social distancing to help stop any transmission of the novel coronavirus in the community. 

COVID-19 impacts on the Municipality

What measures are in place in the Municipality of Port Hope? 
Effective March 17, the Government of Ontario declared an emergency under s 7.0.1 (1) the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. As a result of this declaration and its associated orders, the Municipality closed its municipal buildings to the public. Further, all organized public events of over fifty people are cancelled, including parades and events and communal services within places of worship.

Has Port Hope declared an emergency?
At this time, the Municipality of Port Hope has not declared a state of emergency. We continue to follow the advice and guidance of the Public Health Unit and Province as the governing authorities during this pandemic.

Our Municipal Emergency Control Group has determined that our first responders and medical professionals have the ability and capacity to support the needs of community and to maintain our critical systems. As such, a declaration of emergency is not required at this time. We continue to closely monitor and assess all new developments and are ready to declare an emergency should that need arise.

How are my property taxes affected by COVID-19?
Municipal property taxes are due on April 28, 2020; however, a penalty for non-payment will not be applied until June 1, 2020. For community members on a pre-authorized payment plan who require a deferred payment can email tax@porthope.ca to discuss their payment plan.

How are my water and wastewater bills affected by COVID-19?
The water and wastewater bill due date has been extended by one month and are now due on May 15, 2020. The penalty for non-payment will not be applied until June 1, 2020. For more information, you can contact waterbilling@porthope.ca

How is the Municipality of Port Hope managing the impacts of COVID-19? 
Operational impacts are being managed as follows:

  • Port Hope Emergency Management is co-ordinating and monitoring the impacts of the unfolding situation and has activated the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC). The Municipal Emergency Control Group will report to the EOC, should the need arise.

  • The Municipality’s senior leadership meets daily to examine the current situation, issues, challenges, priorities and key information to share with residents.

  • Senior staff is also working closely with local municipalities, exchanging situation reports and raising outstanding issues. 

Are Council meetings taking place? 
The next Council and Committee of the Whole meeting is scheduled for April 7, 2020. At this time, staff is looking at options to conduct the meeting virtually so that we may continue to practice social distancing. More information on this will be circulated as it becomes available. 

Can I use our parks, trails and walkways?
The Municipality has closed the dog park, the skate park and tennis courts, as well as the fish cleaning station. Green spaces are still available for use, so long as individuals are practicing social distancing. Individuals who have been asked to self-isolate should not spend time in our parks and public spaces.

Playground structures and equipment at all parks are off limits. Signage is posted and we ask that all residents respect these important measures to help keep the community safe.

Is Transit affected by COVID-19? 
Port Hope Transit continues to provide this important service to those who need it our community. We continue monitor and respond to changing conditions and will provide updates as needed.

Effective March 19, 2020 customers are not required to pay or show fare passes to board the bus. This eliminates the personal contact that is required for the physical exchange of fares.

Drivers are monitoring the number of customers who board buses to reduce customer loads, promoting social distancing. The seats directly behind the drivers are not in service.

Reducing the number of people on buses may result in delays, but this measure is essential as the Municipality of Port Hope makes service changes that will help to protect the public and staff.

The vehicles continue to be cleaned and disinfected regularly.

Is garbage and the recycling programs affect by COVID-19
Garbage and recycling is the responsibility of Northumberland County. For questions about these services, residents should contact 1-866-293-8379 or northumberland.ca/en/living-here/garbage-and-recycling.aspx#

Protective measures

How can I protect myself? 
The Ontario Ministry of Health is advising all residents to practise social distancing to reduce their exposure to other people. It is recommended to avoid contact with people outside of your immediate family. To reduce the spread of germs, including COVID-19 and the flu we recommend that you:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or hand sanitizer when hands are not visibly dirty.
  • Cough or sneeze into your sleeve or elbow and encourage others to do the same.
  • Wash your hands after handling nose and throat secretions (e.g. after throwing out used facial tissues).
  • Avoid touching your face and clean hands before touching eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces, especially those that are high-touch areas.
  • Do not share water bottles, straws, eating utensils, cigarettes, toothbrushes, toys or anything else that has been in contact with saliva, nose or throat secretions.
  • If you are ill, stay at home and keep yourself away from others.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing. If you are ill and must visit a health care provider, call ahead or tell them right away when you arrive that you have a respiratory illness and wear a mask while waiting to be seen. The World Health Organization does not recommend the use of face masks for individuals who are not sick as there is no evidence to suggest a benefit.

Business Questions
Companies and workplaces that have questions about this closure order can call Ontario’s Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659.

Public Complaints/Concerns
If you have concerns that a business or service is still open when it should not be, do one of the following:
Call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5006, if your complaint involves any of the following businesses/services:

  • Child Care Facilities
  • Recreational Camps
  • Personal Services Settings (including mobile and home-based settings)
  • Tanning Salons
  • Facilities Providing Indoor Recreational Programs Including Indoor Public Pools and Whirlpools
  • Food Premises, including restaurants
  • Theatres and Cinemas (including drive-ins)
  • Trailer Parks
  • Schools (Public and Private)

For any other type of business, report your concerns to your local police service using the non-emergency number. Do not call 911. 

Employee Concerns
If you have COVID-19 concerns or questions about your workplace, you should call the Ministry of Labour’s Health and Safety Contact Centre at 1-877-202-0008.

Landlord/Tenant Issues 
Contact the Landlord Tenant Board at 1-888-332-3234.

Municipal Updates

 Facility closures

Please note that municipal facilities are closed. Staff are working remotely, where possible, until further notice. All events and recreation activities and programs are cancelled or postponed. For details, visit porthope.ca/calendar

Municipal building closures include:

      • Town Hall
      • The Fire Administration Office at Fire Station #1
      • Development Team Office (5 Mill Street South)
      • Joint Operations Centre
      • Jack Burger Sports Complex
      • Town Park Recreation Centre
      • Marketing and Tourism Office
      • Port Hope Community Hub
      • Port Hope Public Library
      • Ruth Clarke Activity Centre for Seniors
      • Rural Area Public Works Yard
      • Cemetery Office

If you have an urgent request for a municipal service, please contact staff via email or phone during regular office hours, Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m to 4:30 p.m. Given this change in our usual customer service delivery, delays are to be expected for basic municipal services. We apologize for any inconvenience and will do our best to meet the needs of the community.

Call: 905-885-4544

Email: admin@porthope.ca

Call: 905-885-4544

Email: finance@porthope.ca

Call: 905-885-2474 ext. 3221 

Email: prc@porthope.ca

Firefighters are operating as usual, with no impacts to the Fire Service outside of additional precautions.
For emergencies, please call 9-1-1.
For staff at the Fire Administration Office, call: 905-753-2230

Email: fire@porthope.ca

News from our partners

Enhanced staff and facility protocols

As a precautionary measure, we have increased the frequency of cleaning within our facilities, particularly of high-touch surface areas, including door knobs, counter services, and elevators. We have also increased cleaning frequency in our public transit vehicles to ensure decontamination. 

All municipal staff members have been reminded to practice preventative health measures. These include:

      • proper handwashing and sneeze/cough etiquette
      • keeping hands away from eyes, nose and mouth
      • avoid sharing food/beverages or personal items (utensils, water bottles, etc.)
      • Use the hand sanitizer provided when you arrive at a municipal facility

Our staff have been directed to remain at home if they are experiencing cold and/or flu-like symptoms and if they have travelled to a destination affected by the Coronavirus in recent weeks.

The Municipality is receiving information and regular updates from Ontario Health, as the provincial lead, and the local Health Unit to prepare and respond to the increased likelihood of more COVID-19 infections in Canada. Regular updates will be provided to the community

What you can do

Practicing good hygiene remains the best defence against illness. We need to ensure that we are all taking the necessary precautions in hand washing as we normally would for a flu season. Visit ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus for information.

Follow any advice and recommendations from your personal health care provider and governing bodies such as Canada Health regarding COVID-19.

Access 211 to find non-municipal services and programs offered by local community groups, non-profits and government departments.

As is always the case, residents are encouraged to always have 72-hours of supplies in the event of an emergency.

Helpful Links

Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge Health Unit
Public Health Agency of Canada - Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Outbreak updates
Public Health Agency of Canada - Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Awareness resources
Contact us - Public Health Agency of Canada for 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) information
Toll free: 1-833-784-4397
Email: phac.info.aspc@canada.ca

Alternatively, consult with your own health care provider.