THE CORPORATION OF THE TOWN OF COCHRANE

Town of Cochrane COVID-19 Response Plan

The following is a list of announcements and information from the Town of Cochrane regarding the COVID-19 Pandemic and its response.

Please note these announcements span from the beginning of the pandemic as recognized by the World Health Organization and many pieces of information have been updated or changed and continue to be updated as the municipality moves forward during these times.

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Office Closure Due to Provincial Order

Town Hall will be closed as of April 8th. The office will remain closed until such a time that the Provincial restrictions are lifted in the Porcupine Health Unit. We will continue to follow the recommendations of our Public Health Unit, Ministry of Health and Provincial and Federal Government. 

We thank you for your patience and cooperation during these times.

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COCHRANE, ONTARIO, April, 2021

TAKE NOTICE THAT the Town of Cochrane is working in partnership with the Porcupine Health Unit (PHU) for the next phase of public vaccination clinics in Cochrane.

To facilitate mass public vaccination clinics the PHU has requested the use of the ice pad at the Tim Horton Event Centre (THEC). Staff are actively removing the ice so that vaccination clinics can be moved from the Pavilion to the THEC effective April 7, 2021.

The Town acknowledges the short notice and significant impact on ice users and thanks all affected organizations for their understanding and commitment to a healthy and protected Cochrane.

To read the official bulletin from the PHU see the attached pdf.
Bulletin Change in Venue in Cochrane EN FR Apr 1

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COCHRANE, ONTARIO, March, 2021
For Immediate Release — Friday, March 19, 2021 – PHU to move to “YELLOW – PROTECT”

Timmins, Ontario —Dr. Lianne Catton, Medical Officer of Health for the Porcupine Health Unit (PHU), is confirming that, beginning Monday, March 22, 2021 at 12:01 am, the Government of Ontario is placing the Porcupine Health Unit area in the “Yellow – Protect” category of the COVID-19 Response Framework.

To read the Full Notice or to read the notice in French, see the full documents attached below.

Media Release – Yellow Protect March
Media Release – Yellow Protect – FR

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ONTARIO, January, 2021 — News Release – Ontario Declares Second Provincial Emergency to Address COVID-19 Crisis and Save Lives

TORONTO – In response to a doubling in COVID-19 cases over the past two weeks, the real and looming threat of the collapse of the province’s hospital system and alarming risks posed to long-term care homes as a result of high COVID-19 transmission rates, the Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts, is immediately declaring a second provincial emergency under s 7.0.1 (1) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMPCA).

Details were provided today by Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Solicitor General Sylvia Jones, Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health, and Dr. Adalsteinn (Steini) Brown, Co-Chair of the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table.

“The latest modelling data shows that Ontario is in a crisis and, with the current trends, our hospital ICUs will be overwhelmed in a few short weeks with unthinkable consequences,” said Premier Ford. “That’s why we are taking urgent and decisive action, which includes declaring a provincial emergency and imposing a stay-at-home-order. We need people to only go out only for essential trips to pick up groceries or go to medical appointments. By doing the right thing and staying home, you can stay safe and save lives.”

Effective Thursday, January 14, 2021at 12:01 a.m., the government is issuing a stay-at-home order requiring everyone to remain at home with exceptions for essential purposes, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services, for exercise or for essential work. This order and other new and existing public health restrictions are aimed at limiting people’s mobility and reducing the number of daily contacts with those outside an immediate household. In addition to limiting outings to essential trips, all businesses must ensure that any employee who can work from home, does work from home.

These new public health measures will help stop the spread of COVID-19 by reducing concerning levels of mobility as the province continues its vaccine rollout and ramps up to mass vaccination when the federal government is able to provide the necessary supply to do so.

Click the pdf below to view the revised guidelines.

ENHANCING PUBLIC HEALTH AND WORKPLACE SAFETY MEASURES IN PROVINCEWIDE SHUTDOWN

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COCHRANE, ONTARIO, November, 2020 — Covid-19 Child Care Centres Response Plan

Regulations in the Child Care and Early Years Act require that all Licensed Child Care Centres offering childcare services during the COVID-19 outbreak practice good health and sanitary practices daily. Child Care Centres that have a purchase agreement with the Cochrane District Social Services Administration Board will be expected to comply with this guideline created in partnership with the Porcupine Health Unit as a minimum expectation.

COVID-19 RESPONSE PLAN
PLAN D’INTERVENTION DU CASSDC EN RESPONSE A LA COVID-19

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COCHRANE, ONTARIO, June 5, 2020 — TOWN RE-EVALUATES ITS FINANCIAL RELIEF TO LOCAL RATEPAYERS

Take note that effective, June 1st, 2020 the interest and penalties charges will be reinstated.
Town of Cochrane Council, at their Special meeting held March 26th, 2020, implemented a financial relief to the local ratepayers utility and tax bills by waiving all interest and penalties charges for a period of 60 days.

Council, at its regular meeting held Tuesday, May 26, 2020, re-evaluated the relief and mentioned that in view of the fact that the Province has outlined a framework to reopening businesses, services and public spaces in gradual stages; and that financial and other supports are available during COVID-19 from the local government, expressed their desires to not extend the relief.

Take note that effective, June 1st, 2020 the interest and penalties charges will be reinstated, that the User Fee increases, will also take effect June 1, 2020, which was originally scheduled for April 1, 2020; and that Water and Wastewater User Fee increase will take effect August 1, 2020, which was also originally scheduled for April 1, 2020.

At this time, we wish to take this opportunity to thank the public for their patience and understanding during this time of uncertainty.

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COCHRANE, ONTARIO, May 12, 2020  – Covid-19 Guidance: Essential Workplaces
Information for business owners and managers about measures they can put in place to protect workers, customers, and the general public from COVID-19.

Dear business owner or manager,

The Porcupine Health Unit needs your assistance in reducing the spread of COVID-19.

Ontario has begun the gradual reopening of the economy, and some businesses are now resuming operations. The Porcupine Health Unit (PHU) wants to ensure that business owners and managers are informed about measures they can put in place to protect workers, customers, and the general public from COVID-19, such as how to clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and physical distancing measures.

As well, the health unit has signage to promote preventative measures that can be posted in their workplaces.

Below are links to the following COVID-19 documents (English and French):

COVID-19 Guidance: Essential Workplaces (French)
Cleaning and disinfection for public settings (French)
How to wash and sanitize your hands (French)
Entrance signs (French)
Physical distancing when shopping (French)
Reducing the Spread (French)
How to self-monitor (French)

We are asking you to follow the guidelines and to post the posters in appropriate areas of your store.

Business owners or managers can visit the Business and Workplaces section on the PHU website (phu.fyi/covid-business) for more information about businesses and COVID-19.

If you have specific questions, they can call 705-267-1181 or 1-800-461-1818 (ext. 2996 to speak to the Duty Inspector.

Thank you for your support in reducing the spread of COVID-19 for all community members.

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COCHRANE, ONTARIO, April 23, 2020  – The Cochrane, Iroquois Falls and Smooth Rock Falls COVID-19 Business Impact survey was conducted to understand the impact of COVID-19 on local businesses and organizations during and beyond the pandemic.

A total of 78 responses were received between April 7 and 14.  Of that total, 70% were the private sector, 27% from the public sector and 3% from the not-for-profit sector businesses and organizations in the Cochrane, Iroquois Falls and Smooth Rock Falls region.

When survey respondents were asked how they would rank the risk that COVID-19 poses to their long-term business prospects:

27% indicated that it could put them out of business.
46% that it is going to significantly impact their finances.
19% that although it may impact them financially, they are confident that they can weather the storm.
8% indicate that it has no impact on their long-term business prospects.

Since the release on March 26th of the list of essential services, 43 of the survey respondents reported lay-offs.  Those layoffs represent 110 full-positions, 90 part-time positions, 11 contract positions, 18 seasonal jobs.

Local businesses and organizations were also asked what their local community could do to assist help them in managing the COVID-19 pandemic.  Here is what they ask of the residents of the community:

Stay home to help stop the spread – the sooner we all stay home, the sooner things can be back to normal.

The partners involved in conducting the Cochrane, Iroquois Falls and Smooth Rock Falls COVID-19 Business Impact survey are: Far Northeast Training Board, The Town of Cochrane, Smooth Rock Falls Economic Development Corporation and Iroquois Falls Economic Development Corporation.

The results of the survey are available on the following site www.fnetb.com or by clicking the button below.

ONTARIO, April 22, 2020 — Here you will find a document with links to the Provincial Government Support for Businesses and Individuals.

http://www.cochraneontario.com/document/ontarios-action-plan-update-support-for-businesses-and-individuals/

COCHRANE, ONTARIO, April 2, 2020COVID – 19 Cochrane Helpline

The Town of Cochrane is initiating a community helpline to help anyone within the municipality access information in regards to COVID-19.

Mayor Clement believes that communication is the key for everyone to be informed and to be diligent with all of the directives coming out. “Not everyone has access to the internet” said Mayor Clement, the phone line will give access to seniors and anyone else who does not have internet service or a computer.

The helpline will be monitored by Town staff who will inform anyone calling with up to date information from all agencies serving Cochrane. Information will include many topics such as volunteer services and new information on services that are being offered including funding.

The call line will be open daily between the hours of 9am until 5pm, persons can also leave a call back number or leave a message.

Cochrane Helpline -705-272-6380
Please note the Helpline is now out of service please call the municipal office with any questions.

COCHRANE, ONTARIO, April 1, 2020 Fire Ban 

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COCHRANE, ONTARIO, March 28, 2020 — Statement from the Mayor

I wanted to take a few moments to provide the community with an update on our actions to prevent the spread of COVID 19:

  1. Under the leadership of our Fire Chief we have been conducting daily EOC meetings.  This has allowed us to coordinate our efforts with various agencies such as the PHU, OPP, Hospital, Mental Health professions etc.  These have been very helpful in identifying the various issues in the community and how the various agencies are responding.  Chief Valle has done an outstanding job keeping us all organized on that front!
  2. Our Public Works department remains fully operational.  All precautions are in place to protect essential staff in order to protect our water supply and other essential services. Garbage and recycling pickup remain unchanged along with all other key functions.
  3. Daycare/Recreation Staff:  We are unclear about the provincial announcement about reopening daycare for essential services but will wait for the province to give direction on how they are going to proceed. We are ready to provide essential support to front line workers who need childcare if called upon to do so.
  4. Corporate Services remain open to help the public with any needs they may have. Any member of the public that has questions regarding municipal services please call Town Hall and we will be happy to assist.
  5. Our economic development staff continue to support local business. The Town has put together a resource package for small business which can be accessed on the Town’s web site.
  6. CTS/Wires are completely operational and have taken all required precautions when dealing with service calls and interaction with the public.
  7. PBH: The bears are healthy and well cared for, although the facility remains closed to the public until further notice.

I would like to thank all our dedicated public servants for their work and going above and beyond to keep our town running.

To all our residents we know that these are troubling and anxious times for you and your families. We ask you to continue to play your part in keep our community safe by staying home and practicing social distancing. Parents, please keep you children home including our teens. Avoid playdates, birthday parties and just hanging out even if it is only a small group, wash your hands regularly and stay vigilant in preventing the spread of this virus.

Council and I remain committed to your safety and wellbeing. We are also concerned about our economy and the impacts this event is having on the pocketbook of our residents. Therefore my colleagues and I have convened this special meeting to consider some small actions to help you through these difficult times.

We are a strong and united community and we must remain optimistic for the future and this too shall pass. In the meantime, keep your self and your family safe, don’t panic and reach out for help if you need it.

COCHRANE, ONTARIO, March 26, 2020 — The Town of Cochrane is taking steps to help local ratepayers with their utility and tax bills as well as re-examining operating budgets.

COVID 19_Town Financial Relief Plan_2020-03-26

To provide a small amount of financial relief for our residents the Town of Cochrane will be implementing the following measures effective immediately:

  1. Council amended their procedural by-law to allow for electronic participation by Council members for meetings.
  2. Council has waived all interest and penalties for tax payments for a period of 60 days at which time it will be re-evaluated.
  3. Council has waived interest and penalties for monthly water and sewage payments for a period of 60 days at which time it will be re-evaluated.
  4. Previously approved user fee increases scheduled to take effect April 1. 2020 will be deferred for 60 days at which time it will be re-evaluated.
  5. Council has directed staff to present an amended 0% increase tax-based budget for consideration April 28, 2020.
  6. Council has directed staff to defer the implementation of the approved 2020 water/sewage budget and to report back with an amended 0% increase budget for consideration on April 28, 2020.

Mayor Denis Clement reiterated the Towns commitment to working with the community to provide a small measure of relief for our community in these uncertain times. “Council and I know these are small measures, but they are actions within our control that we hope will help ease financial anxiety.  I would encourage any member of our community who needs assistance with municipal services to call Town Hall and speak to a member of staff.”

We thank the public for their patience and understanding during this time of uncertainty.

For further information please contact:

Mayor Denis Clement, Town of Cochrane
Denis.clement@cochraneontario.com
705-272-4361 (p)
or
Darren Ottaway, Chief Administrative Officer
Darren.ottaway@cochraneontario.com
705-272-4361 (p)

ONTARIO, March 23, 2020 — The Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, released the following information for residents and businesses on March 23, 2020 @ 4:30PM.

For more information please call 1 (888) 444-3659 or visit the Government of Canada’s website at https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html

The following PDF outlines federal and provincial support programs for businesses and employees:

COVID-19 Government Announced Support

Announced COVID-19 Federal Economic Stimulus Measures for Businesses and Workers (as of March 31, 2020)

COCHRANE, ONTARIO, March 19, 2020 — Valued Residents:

At the Town of Cochrane we are committed to the health and safety of our employees and residents. We are closely monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak and are putting measures in place to help protect our staff and the community we serve.

We have made the decision to close the Town Hall, as of noon (12:00 PM), Friday, March 20th, 2020, to keep our residents and employees safe. However, we are here to continue to serve you via phone and email. Our office will temporarily close until local health authorities determine increased social interactions are safe to resume.

The Town of Cochrane makes it easy to manage your payments with the following options available to you:

  • Pay online through your bank
  • Make payments at your bank
  • Contact our staff to pay with your credit card or debit card at 705-272-4361.

WILL I STILL GET MY INVOICE MAILED TO ME? Yes.

For more information on COVID-19: https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus

Thank you for your understanding and compliance with our preventative measures.

COCHRANE, ONTARIO, March 17, 2020 — Over the past several months we have watched with concern as the COVID 19 virus developed in China and then quickly spread across the globe.  Over the past several weeks the Town has been preparing for the event that our community will continue to be affected.  As of today, I can report that there are no confirmed cases of COVID 19 in our region, but we still need to plan assuming that it is only a matter of time until we are directly affected.

To prepare for this event the Town has taken the following actions:

  • We have closed all public daycare centers effective March 14th until April 5th, at which time we will re-assess the situation.
  • All schools have been ordered closed effective March 14th until April 5th, at which time the Province will provide further direction.
  • Effective March 14th we have closed the Tim Horton Event Centre and related recreational/public meeting facilities until April 5th, at which time we will reassess the situation.
  • The Cochrane Public Library and the Polar Bear Habitat have been closed to the public effective March 14th, until April 5th.
  • On March 16th, the Town opened its EOC (emergency operations centre) in order to coordinate with other public agencies such as the hospital and the OPP. The EOC will be meeting on a regular basis and updating Mayor and Council on any new developments.
  • We have taken the appropriate steps of identifying key municipal services such as water/sewage treatment operators and winter operation operators and have taken steps to ensure these positions have redundancy in the event of staff illness.
  • The Town will be using technology to its advantage by conducting electronic meetings and a VPN network that allows staff to work from home if needed.

This morning we heard that the Province of Ontario has declared a state of emergency and has ordered the closure of restaurants, clubs and bars to the public. Take out and delivery remain options for restaurants. We will continue to monitor this directive understanding the significant impact these closures may have on peoples lives and our local economy.

We understand that with labour disruption comes financial challenges.  Any resident who is experiencing financial hardship please know that the Town will work with you on an individual basis to provide relief from taxes or water bill interest charges.  The Province and the Federal government are also promising financial aid to businesses impacted by this situation.

In times like these we understand that you may be afraid or uncertain about the future.  I can tell you that things will get better, but in the meantime, we must pull together to support and care for each other in times of need.  I would encourage all residents of Cochrane to not panic, and to take personal responsibility for your health by staying vigilant about washing your hands, coughing into your sleeve instead of your hand, practice social distancing of 6 feet, avoid unnecessary contact from things like shaking hands and most importantly stay home if you are sick.

We would also like to discourage people from hoarding food and supplies such as toilet paper.  Remember our most vulnerable people may not have the means to stockpile supplies and when they have the resources key items may not be available to them. Our community continues to receive regular shipments of food and supplies, and we are not anticipating any shortages.

These are uncertain times and we do not have all the answers, but I will promise you that the Town will keep you informed of our activities and efforts to protect you and your family.  Mayor and Council also encourages you to take care of one another, check in on your neighbours, and stay safe. This is not the first time our community has faced adversity and we are prepared to meet the call, but we need your help too.  Keep an eye on each other, check in on your neighbours and together we will weather these uncertain times.

COCHRANE, ONTARIO, March 13, 2020Town is taking steps to prevent the transmission of COVID – 19

The Town of Cochrane is taking steps to prevent the transmission of the Covid19 virus. While the risk to Cochrane residents is low, we are not immune as a community. The Town recognizes the significant impact this will have on our families, students, seniors and the broader community, but these actions are necessary to keep our people safe.
To slow the spread of Covid 19 and protect our residents the Town of Cochrane will be taking the following actions:

1) Effective March 14 – April 5, 2020 the Tim Horton Events Centre will be closed to the public. Full time staff will be required to report to work and the Town will be taking the time to conduct maintenance activities.

2) Spring break camps for ages 4 -12 at the Cochrane Daycare Centre will be cancelled. Parents who have registered their children will receive a full refund.

3) The Cochrane Daycare Centre (both locations) will be closed to the public effective March 16 – April 5, 2020. This is a provincial directive the Town received this morning.

4) The OSOR oval race that is scheduled to take place March 14 will continue as scheduled, however, the Town will not be opening the pavilion and are discouraging participation in social events.

5) The PBH will be closed to the public until March 14 – April 5, 2020. Full time staff will be reporting to work and the bears health and safety remains a priority.

6) The Town will be restricting public access into municipal office areas, “behind the counter” unless necessary.

7) Business continuity plans for essential municipal employees are in place and key staff will be able to work from home or in socially isolated workspaces. Water systems, emergency response staff continuity plans are in place.

8) Town staff to conduct business using technology such as Go To Meeting or Skype wherever possible.

9) Cochrane Public Library will be closed to the public effective March 14, – April 5, 2020. Residents are encouraged to visit the CPL website for updates on remote services and programs.

Mayor Denis Clement reiterated the Towns commitment to keeping people safe “We understand that closing public facilities is not ideal and will have an impact on peoples lives but these precautions are necessary to keep our residents, especially our most vulnerable people, safe.”

The Town will be using its website and Facebook page to keep residents informed of closures and cancellations.

We thank the public for their patience and understanding during this time of uncertainty.

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