So here is some good news:
We’re seeing more people getting their COVID-19 vaccinations, case numbers continue to decrease, the provincial stay-at-home order is slated to expire on June 2, and the province is preparing to launch its three-step recovery roadmap starting June 14 (pending achievement of its vaccination targets).
This is, no doubt, a time we have all been very much looking forward to, a time when we can start taking cautious steps toward regaining some semblance of normalcy in our lives. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel, this time, not just because of fingers crossed, but because of the vaccine and the overwhelming number of people getting it.
In Niagara-on-the-Lake, we face a unique challenge in that we are a desirable and well-loved destination for visitors. This is a characteristic for which we have always been and continue to be proud, but we have already seen an increase in the number of visitors coming into our town to experience its rich heritage and breathtaking beauty, and we expect this will increase further once the province starts to ease restrictions.
If you’re like me, the prospect of large crowds pouring into town is at least a little bit anxiety-inducing. I am thrilled that we are headed in the right direction. But the last thing I want is for us to have to take steps backwards.
As of June 2, we will be leaving the stay-at-home order period and entering into a transition period. Transitions are challenging by their nature. The messaging from every level of government will be coming fast and furious. It may be confusing. For this reason, we must do everything we can as individuals to protect ourselves and each other.
Keep a distance from those outside of your household. Plan your schedules to avoid areas during times when they are typically busier. Always wear a mask indoors and outdoors whenever physical distancing is a challenge. Wash and sanitize your hands frequently, and don’t touch your face.
If you have a COVID-related concern or wish to report contraventions of emergency orders, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. The town will continue to do its part to protect the health and safety of the public, using every available avenue to educate about provincial regulations and public health guidelines. However, our staff resources may be stretched even further, making it difficult for them to keep up. While the staff cannot be everywhere all the time, they will do the best they can to respond to inquiries and concerns.
As always, remember to be patient with yourself and with one another. In these times of heightened stress, it is more important than ever to be kind to one another.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: we can and will get through this together.
Thank you, Niagara-on-the-Lake, for your continued cooperation.