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Covid-19 - Municipal Information & Resources

The Provincial and Federal Governments are taking significant steps to limit the transmission of the COVID-19 virus including recommendations to limit the spread through communities. Carleton Place Town Council and Staff are taking the situation very seriously and have implemented a number of proactive measures to ensure the limited spread in our area. All new information will be posted to this page in addition to the information already compiled below:


Provincewide Shutdown Effective December 26th, 2020

Ontario Announces Provincewide Shutdown to Stop Spread of COVID-19 and Save Lives

Government Providing Grants of up to $20,000 to Small Businesses Impacted by New Public Health Measures

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise at an alarming rate, the Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts, is imposing a Provincewide Shutdown. Additional restrictions will be put into place and reinforce that Ontarians should stay at home as much as possible to minimize transmission of the virus and prevent hospitals from becoming overwhelmed. The Provincewide shutdown will go into effect as of Saturday, December 26th, 2020, at 12:01 a.m.

Details were provided today by Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health, and Dr. Naveed Mohammad, President and CEO, William Osler Health System.

"The number of daily cases continue to rise putting our hospitals and long-term care homes at risk," said Premier Ford. "We need to stop the spread of this deadly virus. That's why, on the advice of Dr. Williams and other health experts, we are taking the difficult but necessary decision to shutdown the province and ask people to stay home. Nothing is more important right now than the health and safety of all Ontarians."

In response to these exceptional circumstances, the Provincewide Shutdown would put in place time-limited public health and workplace safety measures similar to those in other jurisdictions. It would help stop the trend of high COVID-19 transmission in communities, preserve health system capacity, safeguard vulnerable populations and those who care for them, and save lives. Measures include, but are not limited to:

  • Restricting indoor organized public events and social gatherings, except with members of the same household (the people you live with). Individuals who live alone may consider having exclusive close contact with one other household.
  • Prohibiting in-person shopping in most retail settings - curbside pickup and delivery can continue. Discount and big box retailers selling groceries will be limited to 25% capacity for in-store shopping. Supermarkets, grocery stores and similar stores that primarily sell food, as well as pharmacies, will continue to operate at 50% capacity for in-store shopping.
  • Restricting indoor access to shopping malls - patrons may only go to a designated indoor pickup area (by appointment only), essential retail stores that are permitted to be open (e.g. pharmacy, grocery store), or, subject to physical distancing and face covering requirements, to the food court for takeout purchases. Shopping malls may also establish outdoor designated pickup areas.
  • Prohibiting indoor and outdoor dining. Restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments will be permitted to operate by takeout, drive-through, and delivery only.

On the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, all Ontarians are advised to stay home as much as possible with trips outside the home limited to necessities such as food, medication, medical appointments, or supporting vulnerable community members. Employers in all industries should make every effort to allow employees to work from home.

The current COVID-19 Response Framework will be paused when the Provincewide Shutdown comes into effect. The impacts of these time-limited measures will be evaluated throughout the 14 days in Northern Ontario and 28 days in Southern Ontario to determine if it is safe to lift any restrictions or if they need to be extended. The Chief Medical Officer of Health will assess and apply lessons learned thus far to the COVID-19 Response Framework to ensure appropriate and effective measures are in place to protect the health of Ontarians and enable economic recovery after the Provincewide Shutdown ends. This will include an assessment of how a revised approach for the safe reopening of retail may be operationalized, according to the latest available evidence.

"This was not an easy decision before the holidays, but we have reached a tipping point," said Minister Elliott. "We continue to see sharp increases in hospitalizations and occupancy in intensive care units is reaching concerning levels. Urgent action must be taken to prevent our healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed. By implementing a Provincewide Shutdown, we can work to stop the virus in its tracks, safeguard hospital capacity, and save lives."

The government is also providing $12.5 million to implement a High Priority Communities Strategy to contain the virus in high-risk communities. The strategy will take a tailored, community-based approach to fund community agencies in 15 priority communities in the York, Peel, Durham, Ottawa, and Toronto regions. The funding will also allow for the hiring of community ambassadors to make people aware of available services and assistance, for coordination of increased testing opportunities and for the arrangement of wraparound supports for those who are COVID-positive. Additional funding of $42 million will also be available to establish isolation centres. 

The province will work with our local municipal partners to establish new isolation centres to help those who may need to isolate following testing.

"We continue to see the number of cases in the province grow and the trends in public health indicators worsen. Additional measures are needed provincewide in order to interrupt this concerning growth," said Dr. Williams. "We must work together to enable everyone to follow these new and time-limited restrictions and protect our health system and our communities."

The government is working to limit the transmission of COVID-19 in workplaces by supporting essential businesses in doing whatever is necessary to keep workers safe. The Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development is leading a multi-ministry COVID-19 Safety Team. The team will partner with local authorities to carry out additional enforcement blitzes in sectors where they are needed most.

New School Protocols - While transmission in schools remains low, all publicly funded and private elementary and secondary schools are to move to teacher-led remote learning when students return from the winter break on January 4th, 2021. This action is being taken in support of the Government's broader efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Schools located in the following Public Health Unit regions can resume in-person instruction on January 11th, 2021 for both elementary and secondary students:

  • The District of Algoma Health Unit
  • North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit
  • Northwestern Health Unit
  • Porcupine Health Unit
  • Sudbury and District Health Unit
  • Thunder Bay District Health Unit
  • Timiskaming Health Unit

For schools in all other Public Health Unit regions, elementary school students are planned to be able to return to in-person learning on January 11th, 2021, and secondary school students will continue learning remotely until January 25th, 2021, at which point they may resume in-person learning. During this period, child care centres, authorized recreational and skill building programs and home-based child care services will remain open. From January 4th to 8th, 2021, when elementary students move to remote learning, before and after school programs will be closed and emergency child care for health care and frontline workers will be provided. As part of the government's efforts to protect the most vulnerable, boards will be required to make provisions for continued in-person support for students with special education needs who cannot be accommodated through remote learning for whom remote learning is challenging.

"While our schools are not a source of rising community transmission, we can play an important part of the solution to save lives from COVID-19," said Minister Lecce. "During this period, students will pivot to teacher-led online learning, with child care provided for our frontline workers. We are taking proactive and preventative action to protect schools following the holiday break to ensure kids can continue in-class learning — something we believe is so important — for the remainder of the year."

The New Ontario Small Business Support Grant - The government recognizes that small businesses impacted by these necessary public health measures will require additional support so they can continue serving their communities and employing people in Ontario once the COVID-19 pandemic is over. That is why the government is announcing the new Ontario Small Business Support Grant, which will provide a minimum of $10,000 and up to $20,000 to eligible small business owners to help navigate this challenging period.

"Ontario's business owners have shown remarkable resolve and ingenuity throughout the pandemic. They know better than anyone what they need to come through this very difficult time, so they can continue to serve and employ people in their communities," said Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance. "The new Ontario Small Business Support Grant will provide significant financial support to eligible small business owners in addition to the other supports made available to our small business community."

Small businesses required to close or restrict services under the Provincewide Shutdown will be able to apply for this one-time grant. Each small business will be able to use the support in whatever way makes the most sense for their individual business. For example, some businesses will need support paying employee wages or rent, while others will need support maintaining their inventory.

Eligible small businesses include those that:

  • Are required to close or significantly restrict services subject to the Provincewide Shutdown effective 12:01 a.m. on December 26th, 2020;
  • Have less than 100 employees at the enterprise level; and
  • Have experienced a minimum of 20% revenue decline in April 2020 compared to April 2019.

Starting at $10,000 for all eligible businesses, the grant will provide businesses with dollar for dollar funding to a maximum of $20,000 to help cover decreased revenue expected as a result of the Provincewide Shutdown. The business must demonstrate they experienced a revenue decline of at least 20% when comparing monthly revenue in April 2019 and April 2020. This time period was selected because it reflects the impact of the public health measures in spring 2020, and as such provides a representation of the possible impact of these latest measures on small businesses.

Essential businesses that are allowed to remain open will not be eligible for this grant. More information about the Ontario Small Business Support Grant is available here. Further details, including how to apply, will be announced in January 2021.

Businesses that are impacted by the Provincewide Shutdown will also be eligible for the property tax and energy cost rebates. In November, the government launched a program to provide rebates to offset fixed costs such as property tax and energy bills for businesses that are required to shut down or significantly restrict services due to provincial public health measures. These Ontario Small Business Support Grant rebates will continue to be available for businesses impacted by the Provincewide Shutdown and earlier restrictions. Business can apply for the rebates here.

Municipal Facilities and Services During Provincewide Shutdown 

The Provincial and Federal Governments are taking significant steps to limit the transmission of the COVID-19 virus including recommendations to limit the spread through communities.

Town Hall Closure – To comply with the Provincial Stay-at-home Order , the Town Hall will be closed to the public as of Thursday, January 14th, 2021 for a period of 28 days (February 11th). Even though the facility will be closed to the public, all departments are open for business. Please contact staff by phone or email .

Payments Owing to the Town - For any payments owing to the Town, options include online or telephone banking, mailing a cheque to the Town Hall or dropping a payment off in the mail slot at the Police Station located at 15 Coleman Street. We encourage residents to use these means of payment if at all possible. Town Hall does offer payment via credit card, however there is a 3% service charge on the value of the payment to recover costs. Please call 613-257-6200 to use this service.

With respect to parking tickets already issued, the timelines for payment and/or options to address the infraction can be found on the back of the ticket. These timelines are mandated by the Province.

With respect to amounts owing for taxes and water, we encourage payment by the means noted above if at all possible.

Municipal Childcare Facilities – Care will continue as scheduled at the Francis Street location. As mandated by the Province as part of the ‘Safer at Home Restrictions’ all before and after school programs are closed.  Staff will continue to update parents of operations through their registered email.

Recreation Facilities Remain Closed Due to Provincewide Shutdown - Due to the Provincially mandated COVID-19 shutdown, the following facilities remain closed:

  • Carleton Place Arena;
  • Carleton Place Pool;
  • Carleton Place Canoe Club;
  • The Station Active Living Centre.

Outdoor recreation amenities such as dog parks, outdoor rinks, playgrounds and trails are open and permitted to be used for exercise as long as people maintain social distancing of at least two (2) metres/six (6) feet. As mandated by the Province, residents are not permitted to gather in any group larger than five (5) people. Mask wearing when using outdoor recreation amenities is not mandatory but highly recommended.

Additional Bag of Waste Extended to January 31st, 2021 – A reminder that Council made the decision to extend the allowance of two (2) unstickered bags of waste per week, per household to January 31st, 2021. Any additional bags will require a sticker. Residents can continue to use previously issued green stickers.

Carleton Place LibraryDue to the province-wide shutdown, the Library is closed for public browsing until further notice. - That means we're back to curbside pickup service. It's easy, safe, and you can still enjoy all the Library has to offer without needing to make extra contact with people during the lockdown. Place your holds online or over the phone, and we'll let you know when your items are available for pickup. Then, swing by the library and either park in the side lot, or, come straight through the easy access drive-thru area out front (Coleman Street), and pop your trunk. We'll bring your items out to your car or place them on the cart next to our return bin for contactless pickup.

Once you arrive, give us a call at 613-257-2702 and we'll bring things out to you. Or, text us at 613-451-5854 with your LAST NAME, and we'll get your items ready to bring out. Please note, you cannot leave a message at this number. Please visit the Library’s website as information will be released as it becomes available.

Municipal Updates Related to Covid-19

Getting Back to School and Daycare

Health Units have had many questions about COVID-19 from families with children attending child care centres, and families with children and youth in schools.  

We already know that COVID-19 is spread through droplets from a cough, sneeze or singing by someone who is infectious to someone who is close to them. This is a good time to remember that the droplets can land up to two metres away and can survive for a few hours on hard surfaces. Symptoms may look like a cold (sore throat, runny nose, cough, fever, headache) or other symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea. Symptoms can develop up to 14 days after being infected – usually two to five days.

Public health and school boards are asking parents to use an anonymous online screening tool (also available in printable version) each day to provide direction about what to do if a child is experiencing symptoms. This should become part of your family’s morning routine. Teachers, school staff and any other individuals entering the school will also be asked to self-screen using the COVID-19 self-assessment tool, and follow its directions.

The Leeds Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit has been working with the Schools Boards in our regions as well as the Eastern Ontario Health Unit to implement the Ministry of Education Guidelines for child care and school re-opening. The Guidelines are based on the key public health measures that have helped us “flatten the curve” and keep cases low in our communities. We are promoting that people be COVID – SMART to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in all regions – see a link to what this acronym means here: https://healthunit.org/health-information/covid-19/gatherings-social-circles/  

Preventing and minimizing transmission is our priority. Our case and contact management team is ready 7 days a week to investigate new positive COVID-19 cases and trace who might have been exposed. Public Health will be involved at every step and are ready to answer questions and offer guidance related to symptoms and testing. 

Public Health will contact all the families of children/youth, as well as teachers and others who might have had close contact (less than 2 metres) with an individual with COVID-19. Close contacts are required to stay at home for 14 days, or as directed by public health, and will be informed about testing requirements. The school will also activate infection control procedures such as cleaning and disinfection of the classroom and any other affected areas of the school. Parents of children/youth will be notified that someone has tested positive for COVID-19 in their child care centre or school.

If there is an outbreak at the school (two or more cases linked from within the school), public health will determine, through investigation, whether class cancellations or school closure are necessary. The status of cases and outbreaks will be posted on the websites of schools that have a website, school boards and their respective health units. The LGL area will be listed here: https://healthunit.org/health-information/covid-19/local-cases-and-statistics/schools/

“Timely and transparent communication with families and the school community is important to us,” says Dr. Paula Stewart, Medical Officer of Health for Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit. “Providing specific guidance to parents if there is a case in a child care centre or school can help respond to people’s concerns.”

While the child care and school communities will be kept informed through information on the website, it’s important to remember that public health has an obligation to protect the privacy of any individuals who are suspected and confirmed to have COVID-19.

“We also are committed to respecting children’s privacy and ask that people be kind and resist the temptation to speculate about absences or share rumours about possible cases – especially on social media,” Stewart continues. “Kindness and compassion need to be shown at all times.”

For more information on COVID-19 and the re-opening of schools, please visit the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit’s website at https://healthunit.org/health-information/covid-19/schools/ or call 1-866-236-0123.

To view your local school board’s return-to-school plan, visit their website:

Garbage and Recycling Collection

Additional Bag of Waste Extended to January 31st, 2021 – Due to the announcement of the Provincewide COVID-19 shutdown, Council has made the decision to extend the allowance of two (2) unstickered bags of waste per week, per household to January 31st, 2021. Any additional bags will require a sticker. Residents can continue to use previously issued green stickers.

Payments Owing to the Town

Reinstatement of Municipal Interest Penalties/Charges - At the start of the COVID-19 emergency, an emergency Council meeting was held on March 25th, 2020 to discuss measures the Town would be undertaking to address various Town matters in response to the emergency. Council passed a By-law to waive penalties and interest for late payments incurred from the date of passing until the By-law is repealed. During the first 2021 Budget meeting on November 6th, 2020, Council discussed reinstating interest/penalty charges due to the significant financial losses experienced by the Town in 2020 and the estimated impact to revenues in 2021. Council voted in favour of repealing By-law 32-2020 and therefore,  penalty and interest charges on tax, water and other fees/charges owing to the Town will be reinstated effective January 1st, 2021.

For any payments owing to the Town, options include online or telephone banking, mailing a cheque to the Town Hall or dropping a payment off in the mail slot at the Police Station located at 15 Coleman Street.  We encourage residents to use these means of payment if at all possible. 

With respect to parking tickets already issued, the timelines for payment and/or options to address the infraction can be found on the back of the ticket.  These timelines are mandated by the Province. 

With respect to amounts owing for taxes and water, we encourage payment by the means noted above if at all possible.  However, no additional penalty will be applied to these accounts from March 16, 2020 until further notice.

Handwashing 

Infographic which demonstrate proper technique for handwashing.

Social Protocols

During this difficult time, it is imperative that businesses such as grocery stores, pharmacies, etc. remain open to service your family’s needs.  Staff in these essential businesses should be protected from a health and safety perspective.  In order to help ensure their health and safety, the public is encouraged to follow social protocols such as:

  • Limiting the number of people from your family attending the stores to pickup the supplies you need;
  • Practicing social distancing while shopping, waiting in line or in front of workers;
  • Being respectful as staff practice extra sanitizing protocols which may take more time, but will also protect you as a consumer;
  • Consider thanking the workers for their services;
  • Expecting line-ups and delays, so ensure enough time when heading out to run your errands

Social Distancing and Self-isolation

Social (Physical) Distancing

Social (physical) distancing is proven to be one of the most effective ways to reduce the spread of illness during an outbreak.  It means making changes in your everyday routines to minimize contact with others including:

  • Avoiding crowded places and non-essential gatherings;
  • Avoiding common greetings, such as handshakes;
  • Limiting contact with people at higher risk (e.g. older adults and those in poor health);
  • Keeping a distance of at least 2 arms lengths (approximately 2 metres) from others as much as possible.

If possible:

  • Use food delivery services or online shopping;
  • Exercise at home or outside;
  • Work from home

 

Social Self-Isolation

It is critical that people who are returning from travel outside of Canada, follow the strong recommendations of Dr. Williams, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health and self-isolate for 14 days when you and your family return. This means staying at home and avoiding contact with other people to help prevent the spread of disease to members of your family who may not have travelled with you or to your community.

If you think you or a family member have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, in addition to self-isolation, please take the self- assessment test here to help determine how to seek further care. This site will also provide you with all the information you need to keep you and your family healthy and safe.

For further information on these two topics, please see below:

Ontario Tele-Health Self-assessment tool

Ontario Tele-Health has posted a self-assessment tool for COVID-19 to determine if you seek further care.

Federal and Provincial Announcements and Resources

Federal Government

The Government of Canada is maintaining a website with the latest information on how COVID-19.

Provincial Government

The Province of Ontario is maintaining a website with the latest information on how the government continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.

Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit

The Health Unit is continuing to update their website when any new information regarding COVID-19 becomes available. 

What should you do if you have respiratory systems (e.g. cough, fever, or shortness of breath) after travelling to an affected area?

Call your health care provider and tell them about your symptoms. After hours, or if you do not have a health care provider contact Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000. Do not visit your health care provider or a walk-in clinic without calling ahead to outline your symptoms and travel experience.

The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit has expanded capacity for incoming enquiries.

The main number to call is 1-800-660-5853.

The local Smiths Falls office number is (613) 283-2740.

  • General COVID-19 Enquiries - Ext. 2499, available weekdays, from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. and on weekends from 8:30 a.m. until 12:00 noon.
  • Enquiries from Health Care Providers or for members of the public reporting symptoms -  Ext. 2222, available 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. seven days a week.
  • Duty Desk, (Public Health Inspectors) for business operator enquiries -  Ext. 2308, also available 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. seven days a week.
  • After hours crisis line (613) 345-5685.

For additional Questions and Answers, please follow the link below to the Leeds, Grenville, Lanark District Health Unit  https://healthunit.org/coronavirus/

Covid-19 Assessment Centre Opens in Almonte

A new COVID-19 Assessment Centre in Almonte is now open. The Centre is being operated by physicians and staff from Almonte General Hospital, Carleton Place & District Memorial Hospital and Lanark County Paramedic Service, in partnership with the Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit (LGLDHU). This Centre is exclusively for the purpose of COVID-19 assessments.

The Assessment Centre is located at the corner of Spring Street and State Street in the brick building behind the Almonte General Hospital Emergency Department and will be open from 12 to 8 pm. Parking is available at the Centre and there is signage to guide patients to the appropriate entrance.

Appointments Are Required
Residents with mild to moderate symptoms should contact their primary care provider for a referral to the Assessment Centre. Those who do not have a primary care provider should call the Health Unit at 1-800-660-5853 ext. 2499 for a referral. Once a resident has been referred, the Assessment Centre will call to confirm the appointment time. Anyone experiencing severe symptoms such as difficulty breathing should call 911 or go to a hospital emergency room.

The Assessment Centre is not open for walk-in visits. It is for people who have worsening, but not severe, COVID-19 symptoms (such as fever and cough). Not everyone will be tested. Testing will be based on Ministry of Health guidelines.

For the latest updates on COVID-19, please visit the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit website at www.healthunit.org. For the latest updates from AGH, please visit www.agh-fvm.com/coronavirus.

Lanark County Parademics Home Assessment Unit

Lanark County Paramedic Service (LCPS) Paramedics are teaming up with the Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit to conduct in-home assessments and COVID-19 testing. 

This mobile unit is dispatched to individuals living in long-term care facilities and retirement residences, as well as to those individuals who are isolated and have mobility challenges. 

This service is available by contacting the Leeds, Grenville, & Lanark District Health Unit at 1-800-660-5853.

The goal is to help provide better access to testing and assessments for those high-risk individuals including seniors, the immunocompromised, people with underlying health conditions, and those with mobility issues. This service helps to reduce pressures on our 911 system as well as our local emergency departments. 

As a reminder, if you are concerned about possible symptoms of COVID-19, please complete the online self-assessment tool at https://covid-19.ontario.ca/self-assessment/#q0 and follow the guidance provided.  If further clinical assessment is advised, call your health care provider or the Health Unit.  If you are having severe difficulty breathing or experiencing other severe symptoms, call 911 immediately.

Lanark County Food Bank

The Hunger Stop (Lanark County Food Bank) is facing a surge in demand given the current situation. Please continue to support if you have the means by donating funds, items at grocery stores or by making an appointment to drop off to the facility directly by calling 613-257-8546. A list of the most needed items is available on their website.

Slowing the Spread of Covid-19 While Grocery Shopping

The Leeds, Grenville, Lanark District Health Unit has suggested the following practices which will also help reduce your exposure in the grocery store setting, and protect those who are providing this vital service.

If you are sick do not go out and shop.  STAY HOME.

If you have arrived home from travelling, DO NOT SHOP, ask a friend or family member to help or take advantage of on-line curb side services or grocery delivery services

Keep Clean

  • Clean the handle of your cart
  • Bring your own wipes and hand sanitizer, although the stores have been trying hard to keep a public stock the supplies are short. 
  • Wash or sanitize your hands as you enter and after to get into your car
  • If you use reusable bags or containers, clean and sanitize these between uses

Keep your distance

  • Avoid shopping in large groups
  • Keep your distance from other shoppers and employees while in the store, 2 arms-length from each other is an easy way to measure your distance. 
  • Avoid common greetings, such as handshakes. Use a simple wave and a smile
  • If the grocery store seems busy, come back another time to prevent large gatherings
  • Offer to grocery shop for those who are self-isolating or those who may be at higher risk like older adults and those in poor health

Keep Safe

  • Remember everyday food safety practices such as separating raw meat from ready to eat food in your cart
  • Wash fruits and vegetables when arriving home and before eating
  • Please do not hoard, when you do this your friends and neighbours may go without.