City of Kawartha Lakes ‘certainly not inviting’ visitors amid coronavirus pandemic: mayor

In addition to all non-essential businesses closing due to the coronavirus pandemic, all municipally run amenities, parks and boat launches are closed to the public until further notice in the City of Kawartha Lakes.

It’s for those reasons that the mayor says there’s no reason to make a non-essential trip to the community at this time.

“I’m not going to stand up and tell somebody who owns property up here that they shouldn’t come up to their property,” Andy Letham said on a media teleconference on Tuesday morning.

“We’re certainly not inviting people to come up to the Kawartha Lakes at this time because we’re under a state of emergency and have a lot of restrictions in place.”

Under the emergency order from the province, campgrounds and trailer parks are not allowed to open for recreational purposes, with the exception that they can open to allow Canadian residents who only have a trailer in a park as their permanent residence.

All federally run parks through Parks Canada are closed, however Letham hadn’t received any updates on whether the Trent Severn Waterway recreational navigation season would be cancelled or pushed back.

In an email to Global News, Dale MacEachern, the external relations manager of Ontario waterways for Parks Canada, confirmed the waterway is tentatively slated to open May 15, the Friday of the Victoria Day long weekend.

“We have heard nothing to date. I know our communities (Fenelon Falls, Coboconk, Bobcaygeon, Kirkfield) depend on the opening of the Trent,” said Letham. “All non-essential business are closed, all restaurants and bars are closed. Even if the Trent opened, I don’t think it would do anything on the tourism perspective. People are getting the message to stay home right now. I wouldn’t be surprised if it is delayed.”

Also on the media teleconference, Letham said emergency services are not overwhelmed at this time and that the municipality has a good and stable supply of personal protective equipment (PPE).

Road work is resuming in the municipality, but only where conditions are extremely poor and are considered critical.

Normally, road crews would go out to fill potholes with four workers in one truck.

“Truck crews are given a directive to respect physical separation and are limited to one per vehicle in the short-term,” said CAO Ron Taylor.

The next media teleconference is scheduled for April 9 at 9:30 a.m.

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