It’s hard to believe it’s been just over a week since the Town of Amherstburg declared a State of Emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the looming threat of rising water levels. So much has changed, so much has been accomplished and so much may yet come.
I would like to thank the mayor, the CAO, the senior leadership team and all Town of Amherstburg employees for their diligent and dedicated work responding to this rapidly evolving health crisis under incredibly stressful circumstances.
I would also like to salute our residents for staying home, supporting local and choosing kindness and compassion over division and fear. The best way to get through this crisis is by staying positive and working together.
This pandemic has moved swiftly, with announcements and new restrictions coming almost daily from public health agencies and all levels of government.
The province announced on the weekend that it was prohibiting social gatherings of more than five people. On Monday, the province extended its State of Emergency, closed outdoor amenities like sports fields and playgrounds, and the Chief Medical Officer of Health strongly recommended self-isolation for anyone over the age of 70.
Please follow the physical distancing recommendations of our public health agencies and please rely on official sources for information. At the bottom of this blog are some links to official sources.
If you have any questions specific to the Town, phone the main number at 519-736-0012.
Stay safe and stay healthy!
Gear Procured For Frontline Workers
The Town took the lead in facilitating the production from Brian’s Custom Sports in Kingsville of 18,000 medical gowns that will be distributed to frontline workers.
The Town also took the lead in facilitating the production of 7,000 face shields from Vista Print. The Town dropped off 750 face shields to Windsor Regional Hospital on Tuesday, adding to the 250 dropped off the night before.
The Town worked on distribution with Amherstburg’s own Wolfhead Distillery, which has started to make hand sanitizer for the workers and organizations who need it most, including Amherstburg Community Services. Way to step up, Wolfhead!
Wolfhead is asking organizations who may be in need of hand sanitizer to use an online sign-up form.
The need to supply our frontline healthcare workers with protective gear remains a priority.
The need includes gowns, goggles, respirators, masks, gloves, sanitizer, and battery-operated thermometers.
If you are a business that can donate medical supplies, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are on Facebook or Twitter or if you’ve recently visited the Town’s website, you’ll see an enhanced engagement and outreach strategy, including a push to get more residents to sign up for the Emergency Alerts system.
Have you signed up yet? It’s quick and easy and you can do it here.
The Town has reached out to churches and faith groups in Town, offering the use of the alerts system so they can host services remotely so residents can practice physical distancing and worship from home. The system allows for conference calling of groups of nearly 100 people.
The Town also has a section on its website dedicated to COVID-19.
You can sign up at the bottom of the page to receive notifications whenever the page is updated with new information.
Mayor Aldo DiCarlo is answering residents' questions in videos posted to YouTube.
The first installment of Ask the Mayor is below. Send your questions to the mayor!
Town Takes Action
The Town has taken several additional steps to protect residents and slow the spread of COVID-19 since declaring an emergency. More measures may well be taken as this crisis evolves. Below are some examples of the Town’s efforts:
- Shuttered municipal facilities to the public
- Shifted municipal operations to support physical distancing
- Waived penalties and interest on property tax
- Closed and fenced off playground equipment
- Relaxed parking enforcement
- Assisted ACS with Meals on Wheels delivery
- Assisted the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission
- Daily meetings of the emergency Community Control Group
- Liaise with partner municipalities and CAOs in regular meetings to plot regional response
- Enhanced social media outreach and website updates
The Town is dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic while also preparing for the possibility of flooding.
Last Friday, water levels were 12 inches higher than they were at the same time last year.
The Town has ordered 25,000 sandbags to add to the 5,000 that were leftover from last year.
It has also ordered a sandbag filling machine that can load as many as 16 sandbags in a matter of minutes.
Once it is operational, public works employees can quickly load pallets and distribute sandbags to residents in need of assistance.
Residents in areas traditionally at risk from flooding can phone the Public Works Department at 519-736-3664 to arrange to pick up a maximum of 100 sandbags.
Sand can be bagged at the Public Works South Yard at 6744 Concession Road 6 South, where there are now five separate sand piles to ensure physical distancing.
Below are some links to official sites and Twitter accounts, and a list compiled by Amherstburg resident Chris Uszynski of local restaurants offering takeout.