Sooner or later, communities will be re-opening. Beyond that, there are seemingly countless questions.
Cumberland’s chief administrative officer Clayton Postings touched on this situation at the April 27 council meeting, as he gave council an update about the area’s COVID-19 related activities.
He said the community is beginning a recovery plan around re-opening facilities.
“Things are changing on a daily basis,” he said. “We don’t know timelines or dates…. We’re just beginning the planning and preparation.”
This, he added, is happening on a collaborative basis with other local and regional government partners in the emergency operations centre (EOC), though this is in the early phase.
Coun. Vickey Brown asked Postings whether this planning simply covered reopening facilities that were closed or if there were other recovery initiatives.
“From the business side of things we’re still gaining information … both as a region and locally,” Postings responded.
The Village has sent out communications information and surveys to local businesses, and the CAO hoped to have that information as to their status back during the week.
“From the business and economic side, we’re beginning that planning,” he said. “We’re still gathering that information.”
There is also the issue of local facilities that have closed as a precaution to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Postings said they are hearing from the Province that facilities like golf courses are starting to re-open, and there could be others such as tennis courts following in the days ahead.
“At the end of the day, we just need to make sure … those facilities still continue to meet whatever guidelines the Province has,” he said.
As examples of guidelines, he pointed to the need for maintaining distancing standards and not holding public gatherings.
“Again, none of these dates are set right now,” he added.
Adapting might also mean measures such as erecting barriers inside the Village office for people coming in to pay taxes, and Postings said the Village has ordered these items.
“We’re anticipating there’s an opening sometime in the near future,” he said. “We’re not sure when that date will be, but we’re trying to put those steps in place so we’re not caught off guard.”
Postings also provided council with a written report of the latest work dealing with COVID-19. This has included Cumberland Economic Development working with local businesses to determine their status, providing $6,000 toward the Cumberland Food Share program, and monitoring and educating the public in high-traffic areas such as the trail network and Cumberland Lake Park about health and safety measures.
A number of facilities or services have seen closures or reduced hours in response to the pandemic, such as the Village Recreation Centre, Cultural Centre, Village office and fire hall, recreation and cultural programming, playgrounds, skate and jump parks, BMX track, tennis and basketball courts, the horseshoe pitch, parking lots, the campground and fire practice and fire prevention programs.