Please see the new info received today:

Guelph, Ont., March 13, 2020—While there are no confirmed cases of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Guelph Wellington, the City of Guelph’s Emergency Management Team is working with Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health and Guelph General Hospital to prepare for potential cases of COVID-19 in our community.

We have not declared an emergency, but we are using the City’s emergency response procedures, and we are prepared to activate the Emergency Operations Centre if it is needed.

“While we don’t have any confirmed cases here in Guelph Wellington, we understand that people are reading headlines in other communities and becoming increasingly concerned. Rest assured, the whole team here at the City, including our first responders, is working together to prepare and prevent the potential spread of the Coronavirus in our community,” said City of Guelph Chief Administrative Officer, Scott Stewart.

“Based on the advice of Guelph’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Nicola Mercer, City staff have decided to close some facilities to the public and cancel large community events. We know these cancellations are disruptive and inconvenient, but we’re all working to support each other and protect the health of our community,” said Guelph Mayor Cam Guthrie.

Prevent the spread:

Health officials have provided the following instructions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and other colds and diseases:

  • wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth, especially with unwashed hands;
  • avoid close contact with people who are sick;
  • cough or sneeze into a tissue, discard it immediately and wash your hands. Otherwise, cough or sneeze into your sleeve, not your hands.
  • stay home if you are sick to avoid spreading illness to others
  • avoid close contact – stay one metre (3 feet) from other people.

Closures and cancellations:

Based on the advice we received from Guelph’s Medical Officer of Health, the City is closing high-risk facilities and cancelling large community events. The City is waiving cancellation fees and issuing refunds for cancelled programs and events.

Evergreen Seniors and Community Centre:

Closed to the public. All programs and events are cancelled until April 30

March break camps:

Camps at Guelph recreation centres and Guelph Museums are cancelled

Guelph Farmers Market:

Closed to the public until April 30

River Run Centre:

Public events at the River Run Centre are cancelled until April 30. Private or closed events will be assessed on a case by case basis, using criteria provided by Health Canada.

Sleeman Centre:

Public events at the Sleeman Centre are cancelled. Private or closed events will be assessed on a case by case basis, using criteria provided by Health Canada.

Emerge Eco Market and Guelph H2O Go festival:

Postponed until further notice

Guelph Museums:

Open, screening visitors. Events will be assessed on a case by case basis, using criteria provided by Health Canada.

Recreation Centres:

Open, screening visitors. Events will be assessed on a case by case basis, using criteria provided by Health Canada.

Guelph Libraries:

Open, screening visitors. Events will be assessed on a case by case basis, using criteria provided by Health Canada.

Public meetings and events:

Any public meetings or events hosted by the City will be assessed on a case by case basis, using Health Canada’s guidance document: Risk-informed decision-making for mass gatherings during COVID-19.

For example, the City may proceed with events where:

  • Fewer than 250 people are invited or attending
  • Hand washing and hygiene stations are available
  • Participants can maintain a one-metre distance from one another
  • Participants are not older adults or others who may be at greater risk of severe disease

People invited or attending public events are asked to follow Health Canada’s recommendations to protect their health and prevent the spread of colds and diseases.

Flu screening at City facilities:

All City administration offices remain open, though we encourage people to consider online services where possible. We are also asking people not to enter a City facility if they have a fever or cough or are likely to have been exposed to COVID-19. Signs issued by Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health will be posted at all City facilities.

Enhanced cleaning:

The City has enhanced (more frequent or in-depth) cleaning practices in high-touch areas like public computers, public phones, elevator buttons, washrooms, public-facing counters, door handles, and buses.

Updates and resources:

As we receive more information and direction from the Ontario Ministry of Health, and Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health, we will share updates at guelph.ca/emergency and our social media accounts.

You can also subscribe to Alert Guelph or get the app on your phone.

Update on COVID-19: #GUELPH

Some info shared with me today I thought I’d share with all of you:

Thank you,

Cam

With more headlines and global statistics being reported every day, it’s understandable to feel concerned about the potential spread of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The right information from the right sources can help address those feelings.

It’s important to address your questions about City’s response to COVID-19.

We’re preparing, not panicking.

While there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Guelph Wellington, Guelph is preparing for potential disruptions like we would as part of any emergency preparedness plan.

We have not declared an emergency, but we are using the City’s emergency response procedures. Guelph’s Emergency Management Team is working closely with Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health, Guelph General Hospital, and Guelph’s Family Health Team, and we are prepared to activate the Emergency Operations Centre if it is needed.

“Pandemic” means worldwide, not deadly.

“The World Health Organization has characterized COVID-19 as a pandemic. Describing the situation as a pandemic does not change WHO’s assessment of the threat posed by this virus. It doesn’t change what WHO is doing, and it doesn’t change what countries should do.”

Read the March 11 media briefing from the World Health Organization

Prevent the spread:

In addition to preventing the spread of colds, flus and diseases, we need your help to prevent the spread of rumours, fear and misinformation.

A message from the Public Health Agency of Canada:

“At this time, Public Health Agency of Canada has assessed the public health risk associated with COVID-19 as low for the general population in Canada but this could change rapidly. There is an increased risk of more severe outcomes for Canadians:

·       aged 65 and over

·       with compromised immune systems

·       with underlying medical conditions

While a COVID-19 outbreak is not unexpected in Canada, our public health system is prepared to respond. PHAC, along with provincial, territorial and community partners, continues to reassess the public health risk, based on the best available evidence as the situation evolves.”

Get the latest facts from Health Canada

Questions and concerns from the community:

Please use the following information to answer questions about City programs, services and facilities. Please refer people to Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health if they have health-related questions.

Screening at City facilities:

All City facilities remain open, though we are asking people not to enter if they have symptoms or are likely to have been exposed to COVID-19. Signs issued by Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health will be posted at all City facilities. 

Public meetings, events and cancellations:

At this time, Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health has not suggested cancelling public meetings or events. Event organizers renting or using city facilities may choose to cancel their events.

People invited or attending public events are asked to follow Health Canada’s recommendations to protect their health and prevent the spread of colds and diseases. 

Cleaning protocols and personal protective equipment:

The City’s Emergency Management Team is working to provide hand sanitizer stations for the main entrances of any facilities that don’t already have them.

The City’s standard cleaning practices help prevent the spread of colds, flu, and other diseases. Because COVID-19 is now characterized as a pandemic, the City is enhancing cleaning practices in high-touch areas like public computers, public phones, elevator buttons, washrooms, public facing counters, door handles, and buses.

Health officials have provided the following instructions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and other colds and diseases:

·       wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;

·       avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth, especially with unwashed hands;

·       avoid close contact with people who are sick;

·       cough or sneeze into a tissue, discard it immediately and wash your hands. Otherwise, cough or sneeze into your sleeve, not your hands.

·       stay home if you are sick to avoid spreading illness to others.

Screening centre 65 Delhi Street

The Ontario Ministry of Health has directed hospitals to plan for advanced screening centres, and the City is supporting their efforts by providing the space at 65 Dehli Street. The building will allow health professionals to screen for cases of COVID-19 before sending patients to the hospital for treatment.

The centre will not open unless there is a need in the community, we’re simply working to be prepared in the event of local cases.

Weekly updates and resources:

As we receive more information and direction from the Ontario Ministry of Health, and Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health, we will update City Council, leadership and all City staff, and the community.

·       Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health

·       Ontario Ministry of Health

· Health Canada

img_7974

Last week, by a 12-1 vote, City Council (sitting as committee) decided to ask staff for more information on city owned land that may be eligible in allowing a proponent (not the city) to follow a planning process and help shelter the homeless in our city. This land is located in Ward 1 on Beaumont Crescent.

I cannot speak for any other member of council on their reasons or motives why they supported this vote but I will explain why I did at the time.

  1. I have always advocated to receive from our professional staff information on a number of issues, before I make any final decisions. There has been times where myself and many other members of council have requested through an official motion a desire for “more information” on a number of topics. So this request is nothing new.
  2. Receiving information is not the same as approving anything. Many times I have asked for information, received it, and done nothing further. I would hope that as a steward of your money you would want me to ask for more information before making final decisions.
  3.  There are currently people living in tents, in all seasons, in our city. This isn’t right.  I acknowledge that some are there by choice. Yet some are not. As your Mayor I believe I have both a leadership role and moral duty to try and help these citizens find hope, a sense of well-being, safety and assistance on the road to positive life change that I believe many are striving for.
  4. The evidence is clear, that housing, (a roof over someone’s head), is the key motivator for our homeless to use as a stepping stone along the housing continuum. Our city has no housing (as currently being proposed – supportive housing) like this to date. img_7973

Regardless of what I’ve stated above, upon further reflection, I voted for a motion with the right intent, but with the wrong requests. Let me explain:

  1. Taking a look at Beaumont Crescent only isn’t giving me all the information I could use to make an informed future decision. There could be other properties city wide. If we’re going to ask for details on one property, then we should ask for details on them all and how they could accommodate a development such as this. By excluding all other land options we may inadvertently being doing a disservice to the positive outcomes we’re all striving for. We need to “cast the net wider.”
  2. A development such as this will require wrap around supports and social services for those living there. The bulk delivery of  such services in and around Guelph are not implemented by us. In not recognizing or embedding the important role outside service agencies play within last weeks motion, we aren’t receiving the social and financial information that is vital to making any future decisions.
  3. I’ve taken the time to listen to many from the Beaumont Crescent neighbourhood, who feels targeted by the Committee Motion. This was never my intent when I voted for more information but I can empathize now that I’ve had conversations with both residential and business owners from this area of our city on how it has come across in this manner by excluding all other site options.

For these reasons above I cannot support the motion as passed at Committee last week and am publicly stating now that I will be looking for support at our end of the month Council meeting to amend the motion before final approval to the following:

  1. Remove “Beaumont Crescent” and replace it with “City wide Properties”.
  2. Add “that Council requests staff to seek responses from outside agencies, (such as but not limited to, the County of Wellington, Stonehenge, The Community Health Centre, Canadian Mental Health Association and others) on available capacity and resourcing to accommodate any such harm reduction housing proposals along with details on the delivery and funding required to administer the wrap around social service needs of the potential tenants.”
  3. Add “that staff report back by the beginning of Q2 2020”

I believe no one will argue that the intent and ultimate goal of helping the most vulnerable in our city is laudable and ultimately achievable. Yet if we are to move forward on this goal, we must do it with our eyes wide open, with as much information as possible, alongside real commitments from outside agencies and partners that will set up such projects that will result in the highest chances of success for those that we want to care for the most.

Thank you,

Cam Guthrie, Mayor – City of Guelph

 

More info found in chart and in link below!

Please click here for info: https://guelph.ca/2019/10/2020-budget-discussions-start-now/

A few have been asking me about the presentation from Chief Cobey to the Guelph Police Board on the 2020 Police Budget Proposal. So I’ve posted it here:

Budget presentation Sept 19-2019

Thank you,

Cam