Greater Napanee town staff has developed a four level chart system to track the town’s COVID-19 recovery process.
Town CAO Ray Callery gave an overview of the chart to town council during a special Zoom chat room style meeting Tuesday, which was broadcast on the town’s YouTube channel. Council voted five to two to receive the report and to further develop a communication tool for the public and an implementation plan for the various stages.
Each level is numbered zero through three. Level 0 is Lockdown, Level 1 is Emergency, Level 2 is Recovery and Level 3 is COVID Aware. At the moment, the town stands somewhere between Level 1 strict and Level 1 eased.
“The various levels are to try and give an idea to the public and staff as to when things may have to open and close, depending on Public Health’s direction when we’re taking a step forward or taking a step back in the process,” said Callery.
Upgrading the levels will be determined by several factors.
“The intention to move through levels, I would like to say there’s specific dates involved, but it’s not so much date related, it’s more in how the province is opening up other related services,” said Callery. “Once we have those services available and once we’re comfortable that we’re doing things properly in that, then we’d look at sort of Level 2 recovery.”
With that in mind, town staff has mapped out some very general timelines.
“Some of the timeframes we’d looked at is sort of a June 1 as really being into a Level 1 eased, possibly three or four weeks later taking a look at the recovery model,” said Callery. “We’re going to have to move in relation how other services are opening in our community. We’re going to have to take that into consideration. We also have make sure if there are physical changes that need to be made in some of our buildings in order to provide safe customer service with proper physical distancing, we want to make sure that we have time to implement those properly and communicate not only to council and staff but also the public how that’s going to work.”
Five of the seven members of council supported the report with councillors Bob Norrie and Terry Richardson the two opposed. Norrie spoke out about the process in which decisions during the state of emergency have been made, stating he felt council wasn’t being included in the decision making process.
“Now that we have jobs to do, we should participate,” said Norrie. “No more of we don’t know what’s going on. I’ve not seen minutes or anything, so we don’t know what’s going on.”
Mayor Marg Isbester said she took his comments to heart while also noting members of council were being sent details of every meeting held involving the Emergency Operations Committee.
“It isn’t that I feel badly that we’ve done anything wrong, I just think we’ve gone according to protocol but I also can appreciate having been on council now and having got your feet wet for 16 months that the feeling is everything sort of ground to a halt. Well it did,” said Isbester. “I’m not going to just wipe this under the rug. When we get into face to face meetings I want to make sure we discuss this in a very open way to find out just what you think has gone wrong. I don’t think there’s been anything go wrong as far as how things have been handled. Whether you feel as if it has been choices for boat launches and so on, all of this has to happen at a rapid pace to make sure we’re looking after staff and residents. I do think it needs to be looked at fully and probably right across the province and the country. I don’t think other than a world war did they ever think we would be in (a state of emergency) this long.”