The Sarnia Primary Control Group met via teleconference on April 15, 2020 at 9:00am regarding developments related to the COVID-19 pandemic and, as of that time, received confirmation that the number of deaths connected to the COVID-19 pandemic within the Sarnia-Lambton area has remained stable at 11 and the number of confirmed cases remains at 119.
As of April 14, 2020, on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Ontario and with the approval of the Ontario Legislature, the Government of Ontario passed Bill 189, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Support and Protection Act, to extend the State of Emergency for a further period of 28 days, ensuring that all emergency orders issued by the Province that are currently in effect will remain in effect until May 12, 2020.
In response to concerns about people not respecting the physical distancing rules required to stop the spread of COVID-19, in full compliance with Ontario Regulation 119/20 adopted pursuant to Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act which requires the closure of businesses that have not been deemed to be essential, please note that the City has now closed the boat launch located at Sarnia Bay within Centennial Park until further notice.
New signage has now been posted on the site to advise community members of this change in status for the boat launch. While we understand the frustration that some members of the community may feel about this closure, the City believes that this action has become necessary to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
The City has had great success with the COVID-19 reporting hotline, and by continuing to work together through these difficult times, we will stop the spread of COVID-19. By-Law Enforcement has received the following number of complaints and concerns lodged through the COVID-19 reporting system to date:
- Total number of complaints received: 473
- Total number of emails received: 416
- Total number of phone calls received: 57
Please note the above numbers do not include calls that were received through the Sarnia Police Services and dispatched to By-Law Staff or investigated by the Sarnia Police Services.
COVID-19 Community Concerns:
The service allows the public to file anonymous concerns or provide tips relating to businesses or individuals who may be in violation of Provincial Orders regarding a range of COVID-19 concerns, including:
- Physical distancing relating to private property;
- Non-essential businesses operating in contravention of Provincial Orders;
- Individuals returning to Ontario from outside the Country that are failing to follow Quarantine or self-isolation measures;
- Businesses not taking the advice, recommendations and instructions of public health officials regarding physical distancing, cleaning or disinfecting; and/or
- Individuals and families using park spaces and trails throughout the City.
The COVID-19 email reporting service is monitored daily including nights and weekends to provide the best available response to public concerns and we continue to encourage residents to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The phone line is available Monday to Friday, excluding holidays, from 8:30am – 4:30pm and all messages received after hours are cleared the next business day. The number is 1-877-4-SARNIA (1-877-472-7642).
- Physical distancing measures by keeping a safe distance of at least 2 metres from others are recommended by the Chief Medical Officer of Health and are only enforceable where there are social gatherings of more than 5 people in a public or private place. This does not apply to a gathering of members of a single household;
- Physical distancing is an essential way to slow down the spread of COVID-19. It’s important that we all continue to follow the physical distancing recommendations of The Chief Medical Officer of Health, whether you’re in one of the high-risk groups or not;
- Adopting safe hygiene practices such as regularly washing our hands, and not touching our faces will significantly help reduce the impact and spread of this pandemic; and
- The Provincial Order does not preclude individuals from walking through or using portions of park and recreational areas that are not otherwise closed and that do not contain outdoor recreational amenities including; sports fields, playgrounds, basketball and tennis courts, off-leash dog parks, beaches, skateboard and BMX parks, picnic areas, park shelters, outdoor exercise equipment, condo parks and community gardens.
We would like to remind the public that, under Ontario Regulation 104/20 issued under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, all outdoor sports facilities, such as the St. Patrick’s track field, are required to be closed and that the use of these outdoor facilities remains strictly prohibited. Anyone found to be in violation of the emergency orders will be charged and will face significant fines.
The City of Sarnia and Sarnia Police Services will continue to enforce these orders and directives and those who are found to violate these risk having charges laid against them.
We would like to remind the public that Transit is now operating a Saturday bus service during the week:
- Route 9 Exmouth frequency reduction
- Routes 4/3 Wellington Maxwell are combined
- Route 6 Mitton does not operate
- Routes with increased frequency during peak hours have less frequency or, Peak-hour bus frequency on certain routes will be reduced
- Route 10 Vidal will continue to operate to provide travel to essential employment during the week.
Given the rapidly changing situation, we would like to refer concerned community members to the websites for Bluewater Health and for Lambton Public Health for up to date information on the COVID-19 Virus, including the number of active cases within our community:
Lambton Public Health:
If you think you may have COVID-19 symptoms, or have been in close contact with someone who you believe may have been infected, first self-isolate and then use Ontario’s Self-Assessment Tool to see if you need to seek further care.
To listen to a detailed listing of City of Sarnia closures and disruptions, you are encouraged to call our City of Sarnia Services Update Line at 226-778-4611 which will be updated daily.
Lambton Public Health Information:
If you are experiencing symptoms and have traveled internationally, please call your health care provider or Lambton Public Health (519-383-8331) or https://lambtonpublichealth.ca/ (Please do not call 9-1-1 unless it is an emergency).
The Primary Control Group will continue to meet daily to ensure that all new and relevant information is being taken into consideration going forward. Daily public notifications will be issued. Please visit the City’s website www.sarnia.ca, Facebook, and/or Twitter for updates.