MEDIA RELEASE: COVID 19 - Update 6

print-logo March 20, 2020

For Immediate Release

Friday, March 20, 2020 – Port Hope

The impact of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) remains a top priority and our senior leadership is diligently assessing and responding to maintain municipal preparedness for the weeks to come.

Emergency Operations Centre Preparedness
The municipal Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) has been activated by our Community Emergency Management Coordinator, Fire Chief C. Ryan Edgar.

An Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) is a central command and control facility responsible for carrying out the principles of emergency preparedness and emergency management, or disaster management functions at a strategic level during an emergency.

The Municipal Emergency Control Group has met throughout the week but has not yet been directed to report to the EOC during this crisis; however, all members have been given notice that the EOC has been activated and members may be called to attend at any time.

If called to the EOC, the primary function for the Municipal Emergency Control Group is to gather and analyze information and to work together to make decisions that protect life and property, maintain continuity of the organization, within the scope of applicable laws; and disseminate information to all concerned agencies and individuals.

Emergency Declaration
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 met and 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.

The Municipality is also maintaining regular communications with member municipalities across the region and with Northumberland County, our upper tier of government. Collaboration with our partners allows us to share our communications, align our strategic preparedness and develop symmetry in our approach.

Future Meeting Preparedness
The Province is considering new legislation to allow municipalities to host public council and
committee meetings electronically. The Municipality is reviewing this legislation as it relates to our procedural By-law and will provide more details as information becomes available.

A personal message from Mayor Bob Sanderson
“On behalf of Council, I’d like to thank our first responders, health care professionals, front line workers, store clerks and all other community members who continue to work for our community during this challenging time. Council has been receiving daily updates from our staff and we have been monitoring developments and assessing our next course of action at every step.

A few reminders for our community as we head into our first full weekend in self-isolation:

  • Take care of yourself and your family first and foremost and then look out for others in the community. Stay home if possible. I can appreciate how difficult this is to do, but it is imperative to slow the spread of this virus.

  • Connect with those in your neighbourhood and friends electronically wherever/whenever possible. Check in by phone, or video chat. Try to lift one another up and maintain a sense of calm. We’re social beings and we should continue to keep contact with our loved ones. It is more important now than ever before.

  • Don’t panic. Please share only verified and trusted information with others and not the latest rumour you have read online. Listen to the factual information.

  • When shopping for your essentials, don’t over-buy at the grocery store. My advice is to purchase a few extra items over time, rather than bulk buying. Also, where possible, buy online and limit your time at the grocery stores and pharmacies.

  • Stay safe and well. We are all in this together and it is up to every one of us to take this seriously, without exception. Each of us has a responsibility to help our community through this challenging time."

The Municipality continues to encourage residents and community members to rely on credible and accurate information sources. Please reference the following sites regarding COVID-19

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For media inquiries, please contact:
Kate Ingram, Communications / Community Engagement Coordinator
905-885-4544 x2248
kingram@porthope.ca