Government Incentives and Covid News for Seniors~~ July 17’s Update

Things have rapidly changed again for us. Starting today, Chatham-Kent and most of the province is moving into stage 3.

While Chatham-Kent has moved to stage 3 you must be aware that Lambton and Windsor-Essex are remaining in stage 2.  While many things are sanctioned to open up it is still up to each municipality and\or businesses discretion as to when and/or how things will open in this new stage.

What New for Stage 3?

Almost all business will be open up; restaurants can now serve inside; splash pads and arenas will be allowed to operate events and activities maybe allowed to go ahead and more people can gather together in social activities as long as they are social distancing.

In Chatham-Kent:

“Dr. David Colby is permitting that the following operations in Chatham-Kent may resume service as early as Friday, July 17 at 12:01 A.M with public health measures in place:

  • Outdoor recreational facilities, including playgrounds and splash pads (splash pads open next week)
  • Indoor facilities for sports and recreational fitness activities, including gyms, yoga and dance studios and other fitness facilities
  • Training for indoor team sports and individual high-contact sports
  • Seated dining indoors at restaurants and bars; no buffets
  • Personal services for the face (facials, facial piercings, eyebrow waxing, eyelash extensions etc.)
  • Performing arts shows and cinemas with reduced capacity for physical distancing
  • Casinos (slots and electronic gaming only; no table games) and charitable gaming halls and events, including horse racing
  • Remaining workplaces may open, with remote work wherever possible”

For us, our Restaurants are opening up their dining areas, while splash pads and arenas will remain closed until after decided on by the Council on Monday night. This is a logistic move to make sure that everyone is on board with how to proceed in this new stage.

The Chatham Casino will be remaining closed for the time being but hoping to open in the near future. Many other business and work places will be opening up throughout the week as soon as they have all procedures and protocols in place.

The Ontario government has increased limits on how many can gather.  According to their policy

“As part of the Stage 3 reopening, Ontario will be increasing gathering limits for those regions entering the next stage to the following:

  • Indoor gathering limits will increase to a maximum of 50 people;
  • Outdoor gathering limits will increase to a maximum of 100 people;
  • Gathering limits are subject to physical distancing requirements.”

Social bubble/circles will remain the same only 10 people and all must remain only that bubble/circle. Hopefully in the next few weeks we may see that number increase but as for now to keep our numbers low and to help do tracing easily if necessary, the government would like the social circles to remain small.

Emergency Order Extended

While we are opening up into Stage 3 for economic reasons, the Ontario Government has extended the Emergency Orders until July 29th. Their reasoning is as follows.

“Keeping the emergency orders in place provides the government with the necessary flexibility to ensure the protection of vulnerable populations, such as seniors, while continuing to implement its Framework for Reopening the Province with many regions entering Stage 3 on Friday.”

In summary, by extending the Emergency Order they can keep watch on how Covid-19 progresses as we move forward into stage 3. This gives them the opportunity to move quickly and enforce new measures should there suddenly become an increase case numbers due to moving into this next stage.

USA and Canada Border Remains Closed.

The US and Canada Governments has agreed to extend the border closure for not essential travels until August 21st. While they are allowing people to visits immediate family on either side of the border, the Canadian Government has made a decree that anyone entering Canada must self isolate for 14 days no matter how long you were resided or visited in the USA.

What Does That Mean For Us?

It means that we are moving forward to a more normal way of life with some major changes on how we socialize.  It means that our provincial case numbers as well as our local numbers have remained low enough to move forward.

While Chatham-Kent is not making it mandatory to wear masks indoors other municipalities have so if you are planning on traveling make sure you bring your masks with you.

We are to continue to social distance even though social activities can be enlarged to 50 indoors and 100 outdoors. If social distancing may be hard we are encouraged to wear masks. We must remember to practise good hygiene by washing our hands with soap and water or using hand sanitizer regularly. 

For those 70 and older or have compromised immune systems it is still recommended we wear masks when out in public or in social environments.

If you still do not feel comfortable going out in public, please do not feel pressured to do so. Some may like to see how the next couple of weeks progress with the number of cases before deciding to move forward, and we respect that. In this day and age we are all responsible for our own health as we move forward into stage 3. Just remember to take a moment and enjoy the weather outside even if it is in your own backyard or balcony.

If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to reach out and message us. We are in this together and together we will get through.

Research References:

Reopening Ontario

Reopening in Stage 3

Ontario Emergency Order Extended

C-K’s Medical Officer of Health Public Statement

C-K Public Health Media Release

USA Canada Border Closure Extended

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