MEDIA RELEASE: COVID 19 -Update 8

print-logo March 31, 2020

Municipality of Port Hope COVID – 19 Update #8: Additional Public Space Closures

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, March 31, 2020 – Port Hope, ON

The Provincial Government has announced the extension of Ontario’s public emergency to April 14, 2020, which includes additional mandatory closures of public spaces within municipalities, in an effort to further slow the spread of COVID-19 and to encourage people to stay home.

Additional closures
In keeping with the Provincial Government Order, the following public spaces are now closed:

  • West Beach, East Beach and Caldwell Street Beach access
  • sports fields, including all soccer pitches and baseball diamonds
  • park shelters, including Rotary Park Gazebo, the Bandshell in Memorial Park, and the comfort station at Baulch Road Park
  • park recreation equipment, including the activities at the Riverside Interactive Park
  • public garden spaces, including the rock garden at Peace Park
  • picnic areas, including those at Wladyka Park, Memorial Park, and Optimist Park
  • playground equipment and structures and the skate park, dog park and tennis courts remain closed.

Physical closure of many of these spaces is difficult to enforce. Individuals are asked to respect and abide by the mandate from the Province, for the health and well-being of all members of our community.

“It is difficult to limit our outdoor activities, especially as the temperature is starting to rise, but we must be diligent and stay home as much as possible,” explains Bob Sanderson, Mayor of the Municipality of Port Hope. “All non-essential activities must be put on hold for the moment. Staff have responded quickly to the mandates from the Province to close facilities and outdoor recreation spaces and now it is the job of the community to respect these decisions and help protect the health and wellness of one another.”

Access to open public spaces
Access to green spaces, trails and walkways remain open at this time, but individuals are always reminded to keep a distance of at least two metres (six feet) from one another.

Fishing
Fishing in the lake, below the CN railway tracks, has not been impacted at this time; however, individuals must comply with the distancing guidelines mandated by the Province. Staff has reached out to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry to assist with concerns relative to fishing and are working towards measures to further restrict group gatherings as it relates to the opening of the spring fishing season north of the CN tracks on April 25, 2020.

“Members of Council and staff have been fielding many questions about the upcoming opening of the fishing season at the end of April,” continues Mayor Sanderson. “We are working with provincial partners to address these concerns, but in the meantime, I strongly urge all residents and visitors to wait until this pandemic is behind us before you resume your fishing trips. Now is the time to stay close to home and leave only when it is essential. Recreation and leisure activities are being missed by all, but we must curb this disease by following the advice and guidance of our medical professionals.”

Fish Ladder closure
In partnership with the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority, the Ganaraska Fishway (also known as the Fish Ladder) is closed. This has been implemented to further reduce the opportunities for groups to gather at public spaces in the community.

Municipal enforcement of provincial orders
Ontario has permitted additional enforcement capacity, allowing Municipal Enforcement Officers to provide education and administration of these physical distancing regulations. Further, the Port Hope Police Service has agreed to help support the enforcement of physical distancing regulations and is regularly patrolling the usual recreation and leisure sites throughout the community to ensure compliance. Those who are not following the physical distancing regulations can face fines.

Recreation facility closure extension
The Province has announced that schools and childcare centres will remain closed to protect the health and safety of students and staff. In support of this decision, the Municipality is also extending the closure of all recreational facilities to align with the provincial closure extension, until May 4, 2020.

These facilities include:

  • Jack Burger Sports Complex
  • Town Park Recreation Centre
  • Ruth Clarke Activity Centre for Seniors
  • Port Hope Community Hub

These timelines and other facility closures may be re-evaluated based on the advice and guidance of our medical health professionals and government partners.

For additional information, please check these credible resources:

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For media inquiries, please contact:
Kate Ingram, Communications / Community Engagement Coordinator
905-885-4544 x2248
kingram@porthope.ca