COVID-19 - Update 17

For Immediate Release

Friday, October 9, 2020 - Port Hope, ON

The Thanksgiving weekend has arrived and residents are reminded that the Municipality continues to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic. Staff meet regularly to assess operations, provide updates on COVID impacts, and discuss ongoing planning and response measures. The Municipal Emergency Control Group is still active and continues to work with all partners regarding the COVID-19 response.

Gathering limitations – Thanksgiving weekend

On Saturday, September 19, 2020, the Provincial Government limited gathering sizes province-wide at private residences. Personal, unmonitored gatherings are now limited to 10 people inside or 25 people outdoors. These guidelines are enforceable by the Port Hope Police Service, the Ontario Provincial Police, and our Municipal Law Enforcement Officers.

A reminder to residents that these gathering limits apply to all private functions – even Thanksgiving celebrations with friends and family. The Health Unit has issued recommendations on how to celebrate Thanksgiving safely this year and help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Mandatory mask wearing

The Ontario Government has mandated mask wearing in any workspace, or indoor setting in Ontario where physical distancing cannot be maintained.

This means that wearing a mask is now mandatory when shopping, when taking public transit, and when at work.

In any facility that is open to the public, it is mandatory to wear masks at all times.

There are some people who do not have to wear a mask or face covering:

  • Children under the age of two. These very young children must not wear a face covering because of the risk of suffocation.
  • Individuals with a medical condition that makes it difficult to wear a mask. This can include but is not limited to:
    • Medical condition, mental health condition, cognitive condition or disability that prevents wearing a mask or face covering.
    • Medical condition that makes it difficult to breathe or someone who is unconscious or incapacitated.
    • People who are hearing impaired or are communicating with a person who is hearing impaired, and where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication.
  • Individuals who are unable to put on or remove a mask without assistance.
  • Employees and businesses that are not open to the public. If physical distancing is possible to maintain, employees do not have to be masked when they are at their workstations.
  • People who require accommodation in accordance with the Ontario Human Rights Code.
  • Employees within an area designated for them and not for public access, or within or behind a physical barrier.

Note that Businesses are not permitted to require proof that an exemption applies.

Land restrictions along the Ganaraska River

Land restrictions along the Ganaraska River continue until end of day on October 15. The ropes, barricades and signage will be removed by Municipal staff on October 16, 2020.

Residents are advised that the Port Hope Police Service and Municipal Law Enforcement Officers continue to monitor the restricted areas regularly. The Port Hope Police Service has reported that 131 hours of dedicated River patrol was recorded in the month of September. During that time, 75 infraction tickets were issued, along with numerous warnings to those who were not complying with the land use restriction.

Municipal beaches

A reminder to residents that Municipal beaches are open Monday to Friday and remain closed on the weekends from Saturdays at 7 a.m. until Mondays at 10 a.m. On long weekends, the closures extend to the holiday Monday. The beaches will remain closed on Thanksgiving Day: Monday, October 12, 2020. The beaches will re-open on a full-time basis beginning October 17, 2020.

Halloween planning

Halloween will be upon us in just three weeks. This year, the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pineridge District Health Unit (HKPR) is advising that many of the traditional Halloween activities can be high-risk for spreading illness, so continuing with them in the middle of COVID-19 is not recommended. HKPR is asking residents to consider safer alternatives this year that can be done close to home. For a full list of their recommendations and alternative activities, please visit their ‘Halloween safety during COVID-19’ webpage.

Visit our dedicated COVID-19 webpage for additional details about municipal business continuity, staff contact information, and for a list of the municipal facilities and amenities that are open.