Effective Thursday, January 14 at 12:01 a.m., Ontario moves to a provincewide stay-at-home order to stop the spread of COVID-19 and save lives. For more information, click here. 

The health and welfare of our staff, residents and visitors is a top priority for the City of Port Colborne as we continue to navigate the changing impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19). COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving situation and we are working closely with Niagara Region Public Health and the Government of Ontario to provide timely updates to the community. 

Changes to City Services during stay-at-home order 

City Hall Municipal Offices

  • City Hall will continue to serve residents by appointment only. In-person appointments will be scheduled for essential and time sensitive services. Where possible, services will be provided through remote means.
  • To access City services, please call our customer service team at 905-835-2900

 

Vale Health & Wellness Centre

  • Closed to the public
  • YMCA programs and services will also be closed to the public

 

The Port Colborne Historical and Marine Museum

  • Closed to the public
  • Individuals interested in booking an exhibit tour for once the shutdown is over, can call the Museum at 905-834-7604 and provide their name and number  

 

The Port Colborne Public Library

  • Contactless curbside pickup only, available Monday – Saturday, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • No in-person services available. Print services available by curbside pickup only. The book drop is available 24 hours a day.

 

Engineering and Operations

  • Essential City services, including but not limited to, road maintenance, snow removal and water and wastewater operations will continue

State of Emergency 

On January 12, 2021 the Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts, is immediately declaring a second provincial emergency under s 7.0.1 (1) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMPCA).

What is a declaration of emergency?

Under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act the Mayor, or their designate, has the authority to declare an emergency in response to a situation, or impending situation, that presents a major danger that could result in serious harm to residents or substantial damage to property.

Why are we declaring an emergency?

We want to highlight how serious the COVID-19 situation is, and the importance of efforts to slow the spread of the virus. The actions the City, and residents, take over the coming weeks will be critical if a rapid increase in cases is to be prevented. Rapid local transmission could overwhelm the health care system and have dramatic impacts on the health of residents and City staff, possibly impacting the delivery of services.

The declaration underscores the continued importance of efforts to flatten the transmission curve, reminding residents that even as faith-based holidays approach and the weather improves they must continue to do their part by following the advice of public health officials, and orders put in place by the Province, to:

  • Self isolate and stay home whenever possible
  • Maintain physical separation of two metres
  • Avoid gatherings of over five people
  • Wash their hands regularly
  • Routinely disinfect surfaces
  • Observe mandatory closures of non-essential businesses and outdoor recreational amenities
  • Follow mandatory 14-day quarantines when returning from travel outside of the province

Declaring an emergency allows us to not only draw attention to how important public cooperation is and how serious the COVID-19 situation could become, but also allows the City to act more quickly in its decision making in response to the virus.

City Hall Services by Appointment 

We are scheduling appointments at the City’s municipal offices Mondays - Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for residents requiring access to City services. Departments accepting appointments at City Hall include:

• Corporate Services (for example, marriage licenses and commissioning). Residents and businesses will not be able to make appointments to pay property taxes or water/wastewater bills.
• Planning Division
• By-law Enforcement Division
• Building Division
• Mayor’s Office
• Community Services (Parks and Recreation)
• Economic Development
• Chief Administrative Officer
Although the physical doors to City Hall and City facilities are closed, or are offering limited services, staff are continuing to offer customer service support for residents, businesses, and visitors by phone, email, website, and social media channels. 

Mandatory Masks By-Law 

Effective Friday, July 31, wearing a mask or face covering is required by the Niagara Region Face Covering By-law in enclosed public spaces in Niagara, such as grocery and retail stores, malls, restaurants, on Regional and Municipal transit, in Municipal buildings, and more. Let’s all be kind while we adapt to these changes in an effort to stay healthy and safe while we PORTicipate. For more information about the new Face Covering By-Laws, and frequently asked questions, visit Niagara Region's website. 

How can you limit the spread? 

There are simple measures every resident can take to limit the spread of COVID-19 in our community, including:
  • Washing hands often with soap and water
  • Using alcohol-based hand sanitizer if hand washing is not possible
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick
  • Social distancing: stay home and only leave for food and other essentials, preferably only once per week
  • Covering the nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing with a tissue or arms and sleeves 
  • Avoid touching of the face, eyes, mouth and eyes
  • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces
  • Staying home if sick
  • Avoid all non-essential international travel, as recommended by Provincial and Federal health authorities 
  • Avoiding sharing of personal items
  • Wear a mask when physical distancing is difficult or not an option

Self Isolation 

Individuals asked or ordered to self isolate due to recent travel or possible exposure should:
  • Not go to work, child care, or other public areas for 14 days
    • If you develop symptoms within 14 days of your self-isolation period, you must remain in self-isolation for an additional 14 days from the day your symptoms started OR 24 hours after your symptoms have stopped, whichever is longer
  • Separate themselves from others from others
    • Sleep in a separate room
    • Have a bathroom in your home dedicated to only you (if possible)
    • Maintain a distance of two metres from other people
  • Not have guests or visitors over
  • Clean hands often
  • Not use public transportation, ride sharing companies or taxis
  • Cancel non-urgent appointments until the end of the monitoring period
  • Avoid close contact with others, including those in their home as much as possible
  • Make alternate arrangements to support children and other dependents
  • Ask a friend or family member to help get a supply of groceries and other necessities, the isolating individual(s) should not under any circumstances go themselves

Individuals in self-isolation who need to go out for any reason, call the Public Health Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Info Line at 905-688-8248 ext. 7019 or 1-888-505-6074, and a nurse will provide you with detailed instructions to follow.

Additional Resources and Information 

Please visit the following links for further information related to COVID-19, including testing, case tracking and affected areas:

Niagara Region Public Health

Province of Ontario

Government of Canada

As this is an evolving situation, we continue to remind everyone the importance of using credible sources to stay informed. We encourage all Niagara residents and visitors to visit the Niagara Region’s Public Health Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) webpage.

For information regarding travel, please visit the Government of Canada website.

Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.