The provincial government is taking a slow, measured approach to recovering the province’s economy. Every decision that benefits the economy is weighed against the public health challenge of keeping a lid on COVID-19. While opening retail stores to a limited extent, the consistent direction from the Ontario Government and supported by Westport Council is stay home when possible, wash hands often, practice physical distancing of at least 6 ft between people, wear a mask when out in the public and avoid non-essential travel.
The opening of retail stores for pick-up and curb side delivery on Monday, May 11 was a positive sign for economic recovery. This was authorized by the government because the number of cases of COVID-19 was declining in the province. More restrictions have been lifted and this past week we saw retail stores open to the public although with safety measures in place that comply with the legislation. The harbour was operational on May 23, the same day that the basketball court and public washrooms at the Information Centre opened. Small, measured, safe steps.
Visitors will continue to come to Westport this summer and, just like residents, will be required to comply with the business owners’ expectations. Council asks everyone to continue to be diligent to prevent COVID from taking hold in the Village. This includes frequent hand washing, physical distancing of 6 ft, wearing a mask when in public and limiting exposure to COVID with only essential travel. Signs will be posted at the entrances to the Village reminding everyone to follow the physical distancing protocols.
We have learned that community spread of the virus can be rampant and that our behaviour impacts the health of others. We must continue to make the safety of our community a priority by remaining vigilant through physical distancing and other best practices to avoid contact with COVID.
We are stronger together – each of us performing our role to the best of our ability. This is a point in time when we need to believe in our strengths, support each other and remember to be kind. Stay safe.