Statement from Warden Bob Sanderson on Northumberland's move to Yellow-Protect category

Yellow-Protect icon of a uniformed security official

Cobourg, ON – December 4, 2020 –  “As Ontario responds to the second wave of COVID-19, we have witnessed a concerning trend over the last few weeks of increasing positive cases in Northumberland County. Today, the provincial government announced that the HKPR District Health Unit – including Northumberland County – will move from the Green (Prevent) category of the provincial COVID-19 Response Framework to the Yellow (Protect) category as of 12:01 a.m. on Monday, December 7, 2020, in an effort to prevent additional spread in our community.

This change means some additional restrictions and enforcement measures. This includes new capacity limits for sports and fitness facilities, new hours of operation, seating rules and screening requirements for restaurants, and some changes for meeting facilities, theatres and other venues. Limits on social gatherings, and weddings, funerals and religious services, remain unchanged. For more information about the Yellow (Protect) category, and the entire provincial framework, please visit the Government of Ontario's COVID-19 Response Framework page.

I know that news of increased restrictions is discouraging for some. Throughout this pandemic, there has been a lot of information to absorb, a lot of changes to adjust to, and I know this has been difficult for our residents and businesses. It has been a hard eight months.

But in this adversity, our community has also shown tremendous heart:

  • Our businesses have pivoted to create new products, online offerings and contactless pay and pick-up;
  • Our faith communities have implemented resources and outreach for vulnerable community members;
  • Our schools have adopted online models and in-class changes to keep our children safe while learning;
  • Our health and community care providers have worked together to provide coordinated supports, including three COVID-19 testing and assessment centres and an upcoming interactive COVID-19 Virtual Forum; and
  • Your municipalities continue to work cooperatively together to address local needs and provide the essential services on which our community relies.

We have also seen incredible acts of kindness. Everything from neighbours dropping supplies to people in isolation, to parades organized in honour of our healthcare workers, to creative virtual events supporting local charities, to residents coordinating food drives.

I’m very proud of the effort our residents have put forward during this health care emergency to take care of each other and keep our community strong and safe. And I want us to continue in this same spirit.

I encourage everyone to continue following the advice of our public health professionals. Limit your interactions to people within your own household. Continue to stay home whenever you can - and wear a mask, maintain physical distancing and wash your hands frequently when you can’t. These are the personal actions each of us should continue to take to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe.

Please also continue to support our local businesses wherever you can safely do so. They have been working incredibly hard throughout this pandemic to adapt to new and changing requirements, and to keep staff and customers safe, while striving to deliver the products and services we need. They are the backbone of our local economy and deserving recipients of local loyalty. If you are a local business looking for information about the impacts of today’s announcement, please call the provincial hotline at 1-888-444-3659 or visit the Government of Ontario's COVID-19 Help Businesses Ontario page for more information.

Now is the time to stay the course. We have seen that this strategy works – we used it to flatten the curve in our community once before, and we can do it again. 

And in doing so, we will know that even as we stand six feet apart, we will be standing together as one community, and we will get through this difficult period.”