covid 19 4

Hub Staff

The Town of Saugeen Shores declared a state of emergency on March 24, 2020 to control the spread of COVID-19 in the community. Six months later, on September 28, Director of Protective Services Phil Eagleson provided updates to Council on the impact in Saugeen Shores and new challenges resulting from the reopening of schools. The Director emphasized that eventually the community will need to return to its regular state of operation but cautioned that the recent increase in cases are not to be ignored.

“We can’t go on in a state of emergency forever,” admitted Eagleson. “Council will need to make a decision, or more specifically you Mr Mayor, will have to make a decision to end the emergency at some point."

Saugeen Shores Mayor Luke Charbonneau shared his reluctance to lift the current state of emergency with the recent surge of cases in the province. “A month ago I may have said that we might be looking at ending the state of emergency toward the end of September, I am not of that view today,” declared Charbonneau.

“I think it’s important for us to be clear with the public that this is an emergency and they need to treat it as an emergency and they need to keep doing the things that we’ve been doing all along and frankly a little bit more than what we’ve been doing over the last few months,” urged Charbonneau. “Reducing your social bubble and seeing fewer people," he added.

Councillor Dave Myette agreed that the community should be increasing their efforts in anticipation of a second wave. “We have to be cognizant of the conditions in the community and in the broader province at the moment,” stated Myette.

The report presented to Council acknowledged the increased strain the opening of schools has had on the assessment centres in Owen Sound, Kincardine and Hanover.

The Mayor recognized the need for a more local testing centre, particularly before the winter weather hinders travel, and confirmed to Council to be working adamantly at securing an assessment centre in Saugeen Shores. Deputy Mayor Don Matheson echoed Charbonneau’s concern and reported the long lineups at all neighbouring assessment centres with wait times of up to two hours, even with an appointment.