Coronavirus: Town of Cobourg, Ont. delivers pandemic response update

Click to play video 'COVID-19: Town of Cobourg delivers coronavirus pandemic response update' COVID-19: Town of Cobourg delivers coronavirus pandemic response update
WATCH: The Town of Cobourg delivered an update to its coronavirus pandemic response at a virtual news conference on Wednesday. Mark Giunta has more – Mar 25, 2020

It wasn’t your typical news conference in Cobourg, Ont. on Wednesday morning.

There were no reporters in this live-to-tape update that was eventually posted to the the town’s new emergency control group YouTube page.

READ MORE: MPP urges people to self-isolate after reports of travellers visiting Cobourg businesses

It was the first news conference since the town declared a state of emergency on March 19.

Story continues below advertisement

“Just recently, I declared a state of emergency that enables us to get additional resources and get provincial funds as required,” said mayor John Henderson.

The town’s emergency operations centre was activated on March 15, and with the call for the public to keep its distance, the emergency control group is meeting daily — virtually.

“This new way of operating is proving to be productive and efficient in this ever-changing environment we’re working in,” said Mike Vilneff, town fire chief and community emergency management coordinator.

Click to play video 'First confirmed case of COVID-19 in Cobourg' First confirmed case of COVID-19 in Cobourg
First confirmed case of COVID-19 in Cobourg – Mar 14, 2020

Meanwhile, Cobourg Police will enforce all non-essential closures as mandated by the province.

“First offence, education and a caution and forced closure; second offence, charges will be laid,” said police chief Paul VandeGraaf, describing the consequences of non-compliance.

Story continues below advertisement

READ MORE: COVID-19: Cobourg, Ont. high school to be used as emergency shelter amid coronavirus pandemic

All municipally-owned facilities and playgrounds remain closed to the public.

“[We’re] updating social distancing procedures for transit by relieving all fares and limiting the number of passengers on each bus,” said Ian Davey, town CAO and manager of the emergency operations centre.

The town will soon launch a public inquiry line for residents to get information on municipal programs, services, health updates and redirection to essential services.

“In summary, please remain calm, follow the Ontario protocols and call your loved ones with positive affirmation,” added Henderson.