Some Niagara-on-the-Lake residents will have received a robocall from Lord Mayor Betty Disero, who explains the shutdown that started Boxing Day, in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.
The calls were made over two days, Dec. 23 and 24, and went to those with landlines only.
The idea for the calls originated from the Region, with all municipalities taking part.
Other municipalities also sent out a robocall when the Region declared a state of emergency last spring, but Disero says at the time Niagara-on-the-Lake had already made that decision before the Region did, and chose not to use the automated calls, thinking they might just confuse some people.
It was the Town’s emergency control group that made the decision to use them this time.
Disero says she hasn’t heard any response from anyone who received a call, and neither she nor her mother, both with landlines, had received one. The calls were organized by a vendor through the Region.
In a very unscientific survey on social media, The Local asked residents if they had received a call, and about 30 per cent of those who weighed in said yes.
The message Disero shared was that which residents have been receiving through the media from the Town and Region.
“The situation is serious, and this is a call to action for all of us to take the necessary steps to protect one another,” she says.
“I want to thank everyone who has followed public health’s directives over the last nine months. It continues to make a difference and save lives.”
Disero also uses the robocall to remind residents what is expected during the shutdown.
She asks them not to gather with anyone outside their home; to only go shopping for necessities and consider curb-side pickup and delivery to support local businesses; and to wear a mask, and wash and sanitize hands frequently.
“Lastly, if you have any symptoms, get tested, and stay home,” she says.
“I know the holidays will make this difficult, and news of the province-wide shutdown may be a cause for concern. But we all must do our part to slow the spread of the virus.”
Not following these directives may result in fines, while also putting lives at risk, she says.
For more information visit NiagaraRegion.ca/COVID19 and notl.com/covid-19.
Disero can be reached by phone at 905-468-3266, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.