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Wednesday, August 10, 2022
Town now ‘cautiously’ advises residents to ‘Stay safe’ not ‘Stay home’

NOTL has entered 'recovery' phase and is empowering people 'to protect themselves while they are out,' mayor says


As NOTL begins to rise out of the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake now wants people to “stay safe” rather than just “stay home.”

The town has “cautiously” entered the “recovery” phase of dealing with the pandemic and on Thursday morning the municipality announced a major change in its message to residents.

That message now is #StaySafeNOTL as safety guidelines have evolved as the town worked its way through phase one, “preparedness,” to phase two, “response.”

“We’ve realized that the ‘stay home’ message, while extremely effective in phase one and two, needs to be changed for this recovery phase,” Lord Mayor Betty Disero said in the town announcement.

“With some businesses and public spaces beginning to reopen, the message of 'stay home' just isn't resonating with people any more,” she said.

“While staying home remains a highly effective way to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we must shift to a message that empowers people to protect themselves while they are out.”

In line with recovery measures taken by the province, the town is cautiously transitioning to the recovery phase, which has already led to lifting a parking ban in Old Town, reopening of public restrooms, municipal green spaces and some recreational amenities, the resumption of issuing building permits and restoration of the 2020 hanging basket program.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is not over, and our town will be forever changed as a result of this pandemic,” said interim chief administrator Sheldon Randall.

“The health and well-being of residents, community members and staff remain at the forefront of every decision being made. Although we are transitioning into our recovery phase, we are still under a state of emergency and must continue to approach recovery cautiously,” he said.

Additional recovery efforts and messaging will be forthcoming in the coming days and weeks, the town said.

* Read the full town announcement here.

* The social medium is the message: Read our feature story on the town's communication strategy here.