Boaters urged to maintain social distance if visiting Pottahawk this weekend

Norfolk County and the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit are urging visitors to be extremely cautious and to practice social distancing when visiting Pottahawk Island this weekend, in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

While the Health Unit recommends avoiding events where physical distancing could be difficult, those who choose to attend this weekend should follow all public health protocols, including:

  • Do not attend if you feel unwell, have symptoms of COVID-19, have travelled outside of Canada in the past 14 days, or been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19.

Federal, provincial governments invest $4.1M into Big Creek Bridge replacement 

The federal and provincial governments are investing a combined $4.1M into the replacement of the Big Creek Bridge project at the Long Point causeway. 

The project includes the removal and replacement of the existing, two-lane bridge with a new 34.1m, two-lane structure that will include two paved shoulders for pedestrians and cyclists. 

“This funding announcement is without a doubt one of the most significant contributions ever made to Norfolk County for one of our most critical pieces of infrastructure,” says Mayor Kristal Chopp.

Norfolk County issues statement regarding leaking of confidential information

It has come to our attention that letters drafted by legal counsel for area farmer Brett Schuyler have been made available to the public via local media. These letters contain confidential and legally privileged information.

Mr. Schuyler challenged the Medical Officer of Health’s section 22 order regarding the number of migrant workers able to isolate in a single living quarters.

These letters were ultimately not allowed to be submitted to the Board of Health because they pertained to matters of ongoing litigation.

County working with partners to develop safety plan for Long Point beach

Norfolk County is working with Long Point Provincial Park, the Ministry of the Environment, Parks and Conservation, and the OPP to develop a plan to reduce overcrowding and keep visitors and residents safe at Long Point.

High Lake Erie water levels have led to a significant reduction of beach in the area, while increasing demand for beach use has led to COVID-19-related safety concerns as well as parking issues.

Representatives of the four groups had been meeting to develop an action plan and will update the community as soon as possible.

Norfolk County to open splash pads, offer summer ice, virtual/in-person programming

Norfolk County has finalized its plans for a range of recreational services this summer, including opening splash pads, offering summer ice in Waterford and providing diverse recreational and cultural programming. 

Below is an overview of County services to be offered this summer, and those being delayed until the fall. 

Specific updates to the community will follow. 

Splash pads in Delhi and Simcoe will open, with a maximum capacity of 10 people at any given time.

Norfolk County issues call for submissions for community operation or support of arenas, halls

Norfolk County has issued its call for submissions for community organizations or private groups interested in operating or supporting a community hall or arena.

The County is looking for groups to propose creative options that would address the long-term financial sustainability of these facilities.

Two non-mandatory pre-submission virtual meetings are scheduled for July 22 at 6:30 p.m. and September 2 at 6:30 p.m.

Submissions will be accepted until September 29.

Initial attempts to install monitoring well on Forestry Farm Road unsuccessful

Initial attempts to remediate an abandoned gas well leaking hydrogen sulphide, located along Forestry Farm Road, have not been successful.

Crews have been working since March to drill and install a monitoring well – to collect information on the area’s hydrology – near the leaking, abandoned well, but the area’s overcharged aquifer is forcing groundwater to flow to the surface, hampering repeated efforts to drill the monitoring well.

The work was the first of a three-phase remediation plan developed by scientists from the University of Waterloo and engineering consultants Geofirma.

Health and Social Services corrects internal privacy issue

Haldimand-Norfolk Health and Social Services has identified and corrected an internal privacy issue regarding individuals who took a COVID-19 test prior to May 19, 2020.

Security access on a file containing names, health card numbers and test results was inadvertently made broader than required, allowing a small number of employees who otherwise would not have had access to the file to view the information.

The issue was discovered by a supervisor, and immediate action was taken to restrict access to only those staff members who require it for the performance of their duties.

Statement from Haldimand-Norfolk Board of Health

The Haldimand-Norfolk Board of Health issued the following statement today, regarding the Medical Officer of Health’s section 22 order covering the self-isolation of migrant workers: 

The members of the Haldimand-Norfolk Board of Health recognize that the area’s agricultural industry is critical to producing locally-grown, fresh fruits and vegetables for the people of Ontario and Canada.

We also recognize that local farmers have expressed concern about the Medical Officer of Health’s section 22 public health order, which limits the number of migrant workers able to self-isolate in a single residence.

Port Dover beach to remain closed 

In the continued effort to protect the health and wellbeing of residents and visitors, the private owners of the Port Dover beach have announced that they are not yet in a position to safely open the area.

The decision comes after considerable consultation with the community and the Port Dover Board of Trade.

The popularity of the beach – which the owners have graciously allowed the public and Norfolk County to use for many years –

Line painting on roads begins in Norfolk

Line painting on roads is important for road safety and will begin this week and run throughout the summer. Lines are used to give drivers messages about driving behaviours – like passing – that are allowed or not allowed. The safety of all drivers on our roads is important, which is why the lines on Norfolk County roads are repainted each year.

Line painting is a moving operation; there is a paint truck with a follow vehicle behind when it is taking place.

County maintains AA- credit rating with Standard and Poor’s

Norfolk County has maintained its high AA- credit rating with Standard and Poor’s thanks to the bold actions taken by Council to address the County’s poor financial situation.

The main purpose of a credit rating is to provide financial information to potential investors in the debt issued by Norfolk County. A high credit rating means fewer taxpayer dollars are needed to service this debt.

The maintenance of the AA- rating is largely due to the multi-year plan to fix the County’s extensive financial issues, which began during last year’s budget deliberations.

Statement on Health Services Appeal and Review Board decision

Today, the Health Services Appeal and Review Board issued its ruling on the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit’s section 22 order regarding the self-isolation of migrant farm workers.

The Board upheld all aspects of the order itself, specifically that each farmer must submit a self-isolation plan to the Health Unit.

However, the Board removed the requirement in the Self-Isolation Plan Checklist that limits the number of workers self-isolating in a bunkhouse to a maximum of three, and indicated that each bunkhouse would instead have to be evaluated individually to determine the appropriate number of workers able to self-isolate.

Delhi Kinsmen Pool closed for season

With the continued uncertainty surrounding when it might be safe to open aquatics facilities, Norfolk County has made the difficult decision to not open the Delhi Kinsmen Pool for the 2020 season.

The seasonal facility would typically be open from the beginning of June to the end of August. In an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 throughout the community, the Province’s emergency orders have closed public swimming pools and splash pads until at least the end of June, significantly shortening the potential outdoor swimming season.