People with cottages in Haldimand and Norfolk will soon get formal notices telling them they’re not allowed to live at their seasonal homes during COVID-19.
Dr. Shanker Nesathurai, medical officer of health with the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit, issued a public health order on April 23 saying people can’t stay in their “secondary residence.” That includes a “rented cottage, vacation home, beach house, chalet and/or condominium.”
Nesathurai told the board of health this week that “60 per cent of the cases in the province are in metropolitan Toronto.” He doesn’t want people from Toronto, or anywhere else, visiting Haldimand and Norfolk. He wants people to stay home.
“It’s the going back and forth, back and forth, that is problematic.”
John Rogers, president of the Turkey Point Property Owners Association, says the order will likely be hard to police in the Lake Erie town.
But there hasn’t been an influx of out-of-towners because it’s been a wet season with multiple floods, he said. Cottagers don’t usually show up until the Victoria Day weekend anyway.
So far, he said, “there’s been no definite season.”
Haldimand and Norfolk counties have 191 confirmed cases of COVID-19, of which 47 have recovered and 30 have died.
That’s one more confirmed case than Wednesday, when there were 190 cases and 44 recovered.
Overall, there is one case for roughly every 576 people. The majority of the cases have been at Anson Place Care Centre in Hagersville, which has experienced one of the worst outbreaks in the province.
Twenty-seven residents have died at Anson Place, and 71 of the centre’s 101 residents tested positive for COVID-19. Twenty-eight residents in the long-term care area of Anson Place still have COVID-19, and 17 in the retirement residence, says executive director Lisa Roth.
Health officials are testing residents now to see if previously COVID-positive cases are now negative, Roth said in an email Wednesday.
“We have completed the first round of testing for all residents in retirement, and the second round is underway,” she said. “We hope to have the results available later this week and remain hopeful that we are turning the corner.”
The City of Brantford is easing restrictions on motor homes so essential service workers and quarantined residents can occupy them on their properties.
The city’s zoning bylaw currently allows motor homes and travel trailers to be stored in rear and side yards on residential properties. Such storage is only allowed in front yards for 72 hours. Only trailers in the rear and side yard can be occupied, and only for two weeks.
Now city council has approved a temporary use bylaw so people can live in such vehicles for longer because of COVID-19.
That means front-line workers, including health care professionals, food services workers, truck drivers, grocery clerks and transit drivers, can live in trailers on their properties.
The new bylaw specifies that it has to be one metre away from the road, and it must be a residential property that isn’t a corner lot. People have to register their trailers and motor homes with the city clerk’s department (519-759-4150, email@example.com) and provide proof that they’re an essential service provider.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented crisis that calls for an unprecedented response,” the city said in a news release.
Overall, the city has 95 confirmed cases of COVID-19, of which 68 have recovered. Five have been hospitalized and three have died.
Hamilton has 431 COVID-19 cases right now, of which 424 are confirmed and seven are probable. Twenty people have died and 253 have recovered.
That’s six more cases than Wednesday, when there were 420 confirmed and five probable. One more person has died from the virus since Wednesday.
There are currently 14 outbreaks in Hamilton, 10 of which are at institutions and four in the community.
Seventeen COVID-19 patients are being cared for at Hamilton Health Sciences and another 11 at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton.
Halton has 515 cases as of Thursday, up from 508 the day before. Fifty-nine are probably and 456 are confirmed.
Of those, 352 have recovered and 22 have died.
The number of deaths in Burlington remained steady at seven. One more Burlington resident has been diagnosed with COVID-19 since Wednesday, and 60 people have recovered.
Niagara has 483 confirmed cases, up from 478 on Wednesday. Of those, 248 have recovered and 191 are still active. Forty-four people have died.
The area has eight outbreaks at hospitals and long-term care homes. A health-care worker at Hotel Dieu Shaver Health and Rehabilitation Centre has also tested positive for COVID-19. Hotel Dieu Shaver continues to accept patients, and the worker is isolating at home.