The municipality of Chatham-Kent is asking local residents to support the December 26 provincial shutdown announced Monday by Premier Doug Ford.
"Although Chatham-Kent has not been as severely impacted as some areas of the province, these actions are designed to ensure as much as possible that our situation locally does not worsen," said Chatham-Kent Chief Administrative Officer Don Shropshire. "From the very beginning of the pandemic, we have supported medical authorities and we continue to do so."
For more information regarding permitted activities under the shutdown designation visit Chatham Kent Public Health
Effective December 26, all municipal arenas, pools, galleries, theatres and museums will be closed to the public. The Chatham Kent Public Library will move to curbside service only.
Our municipal centres will remain open but only for essential services and in the case of our Service Ontario offices, they will continue to be by appointment only and also only for essential services.
Individuals who have rented municipal facilities will be contacted by Chatham-Kent staff regarding refunds.
For questions about specific issues, please contact the department involved.
Chatham-Kent Mayor Darrin Canniff said it is vital that residents listen to public health authorities.
"Chatham-Kent residents have done an amazing job of keeping our numbers low, but we do not exist in a bubble. Each one of us has a role to play, in Chatham-Kent and across the province."
Mayor Canniff said with a vaccine now in initial stages of distribution, there is reason for optimism. "We are entering the fourth quarter, but the fourth quarter is where the contest is won or lost. We need to continue to remain vigilant for the next several months and we will emerge from this pandemic a stronger community."
Director of Economic Development Stuart McFadden said Chatham-Kent residents will play an important role in keeping the local economy operating.
"More than ever we need to buy local, whether it be ordering online from small businesses or using curbside or delivery service," he said. "We need to continue to support each other."
"We have been urging and helping businesses to develop a stronger online presence and they have stepped up to create online tools to help their customers," he said. "It's during times such as these when online tools become even more important for the delivery of products and services.
McFadden said his team will continue to provide one-on-one support for local small businesses, manufacturing, agriculture, and other industries with questions about how to deal with COVID-19 restrictions.
On the website, www.investck.ca, there is a section dedicated to providing COVID-19 business resources.
"There are programs dealing with everything from personal protective equipment, to rent and property tax relief, and many others. I encourage anyone in business to check out our website and follow our social media. "In addition to the investck.ca website, the province has setup a website to support businesses: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/covid-19-help-businesses-ontario which includes specific financial relief programs for businesses required to close."
"I'm proud of how well the residents of Chatham-Kent have come together over the past 10 months to support and look after each other," said Mayor Canniff. "This will hopefully be our last big push to get things heading back in the right direction and to keep everyone safe and healthy. I know that together we can do it."