The Sarnia Primary Control Group (SPCG) met via teleconference on May 21, 2020, at 9:00 am regarding developments related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Public Amenities Update

The Ontario Government has issued its latest order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, has amended restrictions.

Any person who uses any of the following facilities shall ensure that they maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from any other person who is also using the facility:

  • Outdoor sports amenities
  • Off-leash dog areas
  • Picnic sites, benches or shelters in parks or recreational areas

“Outdoor sports amenities” that are able to be used include: outdoor sports facilities and multi-use fields, including baseball diamonds, soccer fields, Frisbee, tennis, pickle ball and basketball courts, BMX parks and skate parks.

If outdoor sports amenities are used, they are to be used at resident’s own risk.

With the opening of outdoor sports amenities, such as soccer fields, families can enjoy publicly accessible sports amenities with members of their own household for casual play. Organized group sports that traditionally utilize outdoor sports amenities are still not permitted due to Provincial Emergency Orders.

As a result of the City’s COVID-19 Cost Mitigation Strategies (found on page 7), student and seasonal staff hiring is currently suspended.  As a result, the City’s ability to reopen and maintain certain outdoor sports amenities has been impacted. 

Further, as per the Provincial Emergency Orders, the following outdoor recreational amenities remain closed:

  • Outdoor playgrounds
  • Play structures and equipment
  • Fitness equipment
  • Public swimming pools and splash pads

Signage is posted throughout the parks as a reminder of said closures.  Parking lots associated to beaches also remain closed.

Using public outdoor spaces and beaches for passive recreational activities is permitted, provided that users adhere to physical distancing measures and guidelines:

  • Maintain 2-meter physical distancing
  • Do not congregate in groups greater than 5
  • Frequent washing/sanitization of hands
  • Staying home if displaying symptoms

Community Tennis & Pickleball Courts:  Courts located at Germain Park, Cathcart Park, Kenwick Park, Tecumseh and Linden Park will be Open for single use Tennis play.  The Blackwell Park Pickleball Hub is open for single use play between the hours of 8:30am – 3:00pm daily.  Signage will be in place at each facility.

Basketball Courts:  Basketball courts at Newton, Norma Cox Youth Centre – Tecumseh Park and Baxter Park are available for use. Please use basketball facilities for an individual activity.

Off Leash Dog Parks: The City’s Off Leash Dog Park in Germain Park remains closed and will be opening upon completion of preseason maintenance, which has been delayed due to inclement weather. For those who wish to seek an alternative, the privately owned Blackwell Trails Off Leash Dog Park is now open. 

Outdoor Furniture: Citizens can use picnic tables, benches or shelters, in parks or recreational areas provided that users adhere to physical distancing measures.  Shelters and pavilions are not currently being booked for gatherings. Use of park barbecues is not currently permitted.

At least until July 3, 2020, the City of Sarnia has cancelled spring and summer programs. This includes activities  outlined in the Summer Activity Guide such as summer camps, recreation programs, summer concerts, waterfront programming, festivals, events, and swimming lessons.

As restrictions from the Province and Public Health are lifted, the City may implement a redesigned or modified program where possible.

Organizations and citizens who were enrolled in a cancelled program will receive a full refund.  Refunds will be issued within 2 weeks. Registration’s and enrollment within any City programming is currently on hold.

Service Update

Customer Service located in City Hall will be providing marriage licence services by appointment only, effective Monday May 25, 2020.

Additional details are online: https://www.sarnia.ca/covid-19-information-2/ 

Staff cannot provide advice regarding the number of guests that are able to attend a planned wedding. For information regarding physical distancing guidelines please consult the Provincial Emergency Order.  

As of 9:00 a.m. on May 21 the SPCG can report that:

Summary of COVID-19 cases in Lambton County

Number of Confirmed Cases 235
Number of Recovered Cases 170
Number of Related Deaths 19
Current Active Long Term Care and Retirement Home Outbreaks 3
Resolved Long Term Care and Retirement Home Outbreaks 3

By-Law Enforcement – COVID-19 Reporting System

Total number of complaints and inquiries received 940
Total number of emails received 777
Total number of phone calls received 163
Total number of fines issued 5

Lambton Public Health

  • If you are in distress (e.g. significant trouble breathing, chest pain, fainting, or have a significant worsening of any chronic disease symptoms), do not go to an Assessment Centre. Call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest Emergency Department.
  • If you think you may have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has symptoms, please self-isolate and use the Ontario Self-Assessment Tool to determine if you need to seek further care.

Provincial Orders

The Government of Ontario has extended the Declaration of Emergency under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act until June 2, 2020.

The Government of Ontario has extended all Emergency Orders currently in place until May 29, 2020.

The Sarnia 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.