Mayor’s Statement on Declaration of Emergency in the Township of Billings
Today, with the full support of Billings’ Council and Municipal Emergency Control Group, I am declaring a state of emergency within the Township of Billings due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
There are currently no known cases of COVID-19 within the township, and Manitoulin’s case list remains at two. This declaration is not an indication that the situation is escalating here in Billings at this time, but it is a clear message that our efforts must continue if we are to keep these numbers where they are. We are taking this proactive step to help us prepare for what we desperately hope will not come.
By declaring an emergency and enacting our emergency response plan, we will be able to respond as quickly as possible to this ever-evolving situation.
To our seasonal residents: we need you to stay home. You are safer in your full-time residence. Our health care system and essential supply chains are structured around our full-time populations. Your health care tax dollars are allocated based on your full-time residence. That is not meant as a political statement, it is a fact with respect to the availability of health care services and supplies geographically within this province. We are still your neighbours. We can still connect through technology. We want you back – as soon as possible, when it is safe.
To our full-time residents: we need you to stay home. We have all been directed to only leave our homes for essential trips – groceries, medications, medical appointments, work in an essential workplace – and to keep these trips as close to home as possible. We’re asking you to think critically about what you define as an essential trip, and how far you really need to go. Can you find what you need in Kagawong, Gore Bay, Mindemoya or Little Current instead of travelling to Sudbury or Espanola?
Please, everyone, keep following the advice of our federal, provincial and local public health experts. Wash your hands often and for at least 20 seconds, maintain at least 2 metres distance from anyone who does not live with you, do not gather in groups of more than 5 people (2 metres apart), and stay home unless it is absolutely essential that you go out.
The following, previously announced municipal closures, cancellations and service changes will remain in effect until further notice:
- No outdoor burning in accordance with provincial restrictions: https://www.ontario.ca/page/outdoor-fire-restrictions;
- All municipal open spaces and recreational amenities/facilities are closed, including our marinas and boat launches, trails and access to Bridal Veil Falls, and access to the Kagawong River and municipal properties for fishing;
- All community events and committee meetings are cancelled until further notice. Council continues to meet twice monthly, in an electronic format. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for connection details;
- The Kagawong landfill is open on Thursdays and Sundays from 2-4 p.m.
We are continuously monitoring and reviewing this situation and will continue to provide timely updates. We appreciate everyone’s continued cooperation with these measures. By working together, as we have always done, we will get through these uncharted times as a community.