Mayor’s Message on COVID-19 – May 19, 2020
Hello everyone, week nine for my messages.
This virus continues to be a challenge in Ontario and Quebec in particular. In spite of a general reduction in new cases over the past week, there were 427 new cases reported in Ontario yesterday. Ontario now has 23,384 people confirmed with COVID-19, and 1985 deaths.
On Manitoulin, we had one new confirmed case this past week.
Starting this past weekend, the Ontario government began Phase 1 of the Framework to Reopen our Province. Details can be found online by googling ‘reopening Ontario after COVID-19.’ Some of the highlights include all construction to resume, retail stores with a street entrance, vehicle dealerships and retailers, marinas and much more. For most of these, a detailed list of restrictions and guidelines are included.
It will likely be at least two to four weeks before we will know how well Phase 1 has worked. There has never been more of a need for careful physical distancing and proper and frequent hand-washing, and, in some circumstances, the wearing of face coverings. If Ontario is going to get better, it’s up to every one of us.
The remedial construction work at the Old Mill municipal office is almost completed. I invite everyone to take a virtual tour of the makeover on the Township of Billings Facebook page. The physical relocation of the office back to Old Mill will be delayed for a while yet. In early June the public washroom and office septic system is being replaced. For the time being, we will continue using the Park Centre.
With the lifting of the provincial fire ban, we will be making some adjustments at the Kagawong landfill to take clean brush in the very near future. Watch the township website for further details.
It is becoming increasingly evident that the new normal will, out of necessity, alter how we live and go about our business. While it may be inconvenient from time-to-time, it will not be impossible. Our collective long-term health may depend on how well we adapt.
Thank you and stay safe,