I would like to update residents about the actions and efforts we have taken and plan to take, regarding our response to COVID-19 in Scugog.

Our senior municipal staff have been closely following the information being passed down from the provincial and federal governments as well from Durham Region Public Health as to the level of responses and actions to take to keep all residents safe.

As you are aware, the province announced an extension to the March Break, which meant schools would be closed for three weeks. I consulted with our CAO and our Fire Chief, who are responsible for Emergency Management in Scugog, and along with information we were receiving from the upper levels of government and health officials, about limiting gatherings, exercising proper hand washing and social distancing. And in consultation with our neighboring Durham Region municipalities, we too moved to cancel March Break camps, recreation programs, open house meetings as well as closed public facilities like the arenas, halls and our Scugog Public Library.

These operational decisions are never made lightly and were made to help keep the health and safety of our community. You have heard the terms social distancing and flattening the curve. What we are all trying to do is limit the opportunity to spread the virus.

We held a special meeting of council today to provide staff the opportunity to further brief council of our actions to date, as well amend a By-law to provide additional authority and guidance for myself and the CAO so we can remain diligent in our efforts to continue to serve the community, while keeping the health of residence and staff a main priority. Council voted to close the Municipal Office, town hall today at 4:30 pm as well as suspend all Advisory Committee meetings until further notice.

Scugog Fire and Emergency services will continue to operate as usual to support our community. Township staff will also continue to work to provide services to residents by phone and email. Residents may also use our drop box at the front of the building.

These are stressful times and we need to support and help one another. We need to heed the words of the health experts, stay home with each other if we can, only go to the stores when you need to, please do not hoard food or toilet paper. Those families that are in self isolation, take the time to connect, play games, read books, exercise, teach each other life skills like cooking and have your children teach you about technology. The Scugog Public Library website is a wonderful resource for online books, audio books, e-magazines, concerts and activities.

If you want to help, make a donation to Operation Scugog as their shelves are very low and can use your support and thank you to the wonderful volunteers there. Limit your in person visits to nursing homes to immediate family only. Try Facetime and phone calls to connect instead. Call to check on senior friends and families to see how they are doing. Together we can flatten the curve of infection and not overwhelm our medical facilities. We thank you all for your patience and support at this time. Take good care.

Mayor Bobbie Drew

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