The Sarnia Primary Control Group met via teleconference on May 7, 2020, at 9:00 am regarding developments related to the COVID-19 pandemic and, as of that time, received confirmation that the number of deaths connected to the pandemic within the Sarnia-Lambton area has remained stable at 16 and the number of confirmed cases has risen by 1 since yesterday to 193. Currently, there remains 1 institutional outbreak declared in Sarnia at Vision Nursing Home.

The Government of Ontario announced that beginning on Friday, May 8, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., garden centres and nurseries will be able to open for in-store payment and purchases, operating under the same health guidelines as applied to grocery stores and pharmacies. Hardware stores and safety supply stores will be permitted to open for in-store payment and purchases as soon as Saturday, May 9. 2020 at 12:01 a.m. under the same health guidelines.  On Monday, May 11, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., retail stores with a street entrance can begin offering curbside pickup and delivery if they are able to respect the Ministry of Health’s Guidance Document for Essential Workplaces and other occupational health and safety requirements, please refer to the link below for further details regarding this development: http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/pro/programs/publichealth/coronavirus/docs/2019_essential_workplaces_guidance.pdf

As a general reminder, it remains imperative that businesses continue to follow public health directives needed to stop the spread of COVID-19, such as promoting physical distancing, frequent handwashing, sanitizing surfaces, installing physical barriers, staggering employee shifts, and using contactless payment options where practicable.

Please note that the Government of Ontario has adopted an emergency order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to extend electricity rate relief to families, farms and small businesses until May 31, 2020 to help ease the financial burden on our communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Customers who pay time-of-use electricity rates, also known as the “off-peak price”, will continue to be billed at the lowest price at all times during the emergency.

The Government of Ontario also confirmed that, effective May 5, 2020, they are expanding their Internet-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (iCBT) programs to help all Ontarians who are experiencing anxiety and depression, including frontline health care workers, at no out-of-pocket costs during the COVID-19 outbreak. Additional information can be found at: Ontario.ca/coronavirus

Especially in light of the fact that this is week is Mental Health Week, as recognized by the Canadian Mental Health Association, please remember that it is just as important to take care of your mental health as it is your physical health. Whether you are dealing with added stress, feelings of loneliness or you are simply overwhelmed, keep in mind that you are not alone and that help is available.

Please refer to the links below to access some of the resources that are available to assist you and your loved ones during these trying times:

–       https://www.ontario.ca/page/find-mental-health-support

–       https://lambtonkent.cmha.ca/

–       https://www.sarnia.ca/local-resources/

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 in our community.

To date, we confirm that the City’s By-Law Enforcement team received the following number of complaints and concerns lodged through the COVID-19 reporting system:

  • Total number of complaints received: 832
  • Total number of emails received: 699
  • Total number of phone calls received: 133
  • Total number of charges laid: 5

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.

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:

Bluewater Health:

Lambton Public Health:

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.