The Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts, is imposing a Province-wide Shutdown. Additional restrictions will be put into place to reinforce that Ontarians should stay at home as much as possible to minimize transmission of the virus and prevent hospitals from becoming overwhelmed. The Province-wide Shutdown will go into effect as of Saturday, December 26, 2020, at 12:01 a.m.
The restrictions will remain in effect until Saturday, January 23, 2021. At the end of the Province-wide Shutdown period, the COVID-19 Response Framework: Keeping Ontario Safe and Open will be re-enacted.
Shutdown measures include, but are not limited to:
- Restricting indoor organized public events and social gatherings, except with members of the same household (the people you live with). Individuals who live alone may consider having exclusive close contact with one other household.
- Prohibiting in-person shopping in most retail settings - curbside pickup and delivery can continue. Discount and big box retailers selling groceries will be limited to 25 per cent capacity for in-store shopping. Supermarkets, grocery stores and similar stores that primarily sell food, as well as pharmacies, will continue to operate at 50 per cent capacity for in-store shopping.
- Restricting indoor access to shopping malls - patrons may only go to a designated indoor pickup area (by appointment only), essential retail stores that are permitted to be open (e.g. pharmacy, grocery store), or, subject to physical distancing and face covering requirements, to the food court for takeout purchases. Shopping malls may also establish outdoor designated pickup areas.
- Prohibiting indoor and outdoor dining. Restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments will be permitted to operate by take out, drive-through, and delivery only.
- On the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, all Ontarians are advised to stay home as much as possible with trips outside the home limited to necessities such as food, medication, medical appointments, or supporting vulnerable community members. Employers in all industries should make every effort to allow employees to work from home.
Measures pertaining to City Facilities and their Impacts on Service (if applicable)
All events and social gatherings:
- Indoors: not allowed, except with members of your household (or one other household if you live alone)
- Outside: 10 people for outdoor organized public events
City facilities will be closed to the public effective Dec. 26, 2020, in order to comply with the shutdown. This includes:
- City Hall - 4310 Queen Street
- Any building and development plans can be dropped in a designated box at the front door.
- Any payments can be made by cheque through the City Hall drop box.
- Gale Centre - 5152 Thorold Stone Road (including the walking track)
- MacBain Community Centre - 7150 Montrose Road (closing as of December 23rd, and including the walking track)
- Niagara Falls History Museum - 5810 Ferry Street
- Wayne Thomson Building - 4343 Morrison Street
- Niagara Falls Transit/WEGO Building - 8208 Heartland Forest Road
- This is in addition to the following City facilities that have been closed since March 16, 2020, and will remain closed until further notice - Coronation 50 Plus Recreation Centre - 5925 Summer Street, and Chippawa Willoughby Arena - 9000 Sodom Road
- While city facilities are closed to the public, City of Niagara Falls staff will remain available to assist and serve citizens online and over the phone. Phones will continue to be answered between the hours of 8:30 AM and 4:30 PM Monday to Friday (905-356-7521), holidays excluded, and online services will remain available at www.niagarafalls.ca . For after-hours water or sewer emergencies, individuals should contact our Service Centre directly at 905-356-1355.
- Virtual Council meetings will continue
- Limit of 10 persons in the Council Chambers
Municipal Works Programs and Services Updates
- Water Meter Installation Program bookings and installations planned between December 26th and January 23rd will be rescheduled.
- WRAP and Drainage Inspections will be postponed until after January 23rd
- Sewer Cleaning and Rodding will take place on an emergency response basis only by Municipal Works during the shutdown. Non-emergency responses will be postponed until after January 23rd.
- Water Meter Repairs will take place on an emergency response basis only by Municipal Works during the shutdown. Non-emergency responses will be postponed until after January 23rd.
- Capital Projects construction will be proceeding as planned.
Religious, wedding and funeral services:
- Indoors: 10 capacity where physical distancing can be maintained
- Outside: 10 people where physical distancing can be maintained
Outdoor Recreational Amenities
- All outdoor recreational amenities including playgrounds, trails, skating rinks, ball hockey surfaces, select tennis courts etc. will remain open, weather permitting.
- No organized game play is allowed.
- Use at your own risk, and practice physical distancing.
Niagara Falls Transit
Extreme Cold Weather Relief
- For the duration of the shutdown, the warming centre originally planned for the Niagara Falls History Museum will move to the Gale Centre.
- Shower facilities will be available for vulnerable populations at Gale Centre on set times and days, and during extreme weather events.
- The Niagara Falls Public Library warming centre (Victoria Avenue branch) will also be available.
- For details see https://niagarafalls.ca/living/severe-weather/extreme-cold-relief.aspx
Niagara Falls Public Library
- As of December 26, 2020 the Library will provide the following contactless services in line with the Province-wide Shutdown regulations: curbside pick-up, holds pick-up, print pick-up, Visiting Library service delivery, and virtual programs.
- For information visit https://my.nflibrary.ca/About/Status
Staff to Work remotely, where possible.
- Any City Staff who can work from home will do so.
- Municipal Works will work in organized pods to limit contact.
All open businesses must:
- screen employees (for example, limit capacity so guests can stay at least 2 metres apart)
- make sure anyone indoors wears a mask or face covering, including workers who have to come within 2 metres of anyone else
- make sure workers use personal protective equipment (PPE) that protects their eyes, nose and mouth when they have to come within 2 metres of anyone who is not wearing a mask or face covering or separated by plexiglass
- clean and disinfect often-touched surfaces, such as equipment, washrooms, locker rooms, change rooms and showers frequently
- create a safety plan?and have it available upon request (for example, to inspectors or law enforcement officers.
The City of Niagara Falls would like to thank residents for their continued cooperation, patience and understanding during these unprecedented circumstances.
For more information contact:
Jim Boutilier, Fire Chief, City of Niagara Falls