With most stores closed, all entertainment closed, most restaurants doing takeout only, many businesses sending their workers to work from home and others encouraged to stay at home, Cobourg is in virtual lockdown. I ventured out today (it was a glorious day!) and looked at what’s happening Downtown, at the Mall and at No-Frills. The first thing you notice is that there’s no problem getting parking anywhere – although it’s free on municipal meters and parking lots. The next thing is that since stores and banks are limiting the number who can be inside at one time, there are orderly queues outside. One example was a bit strange: Staples looked closed but on closer inspection they had a sign that said – use the other door – a limit of 10 inside store at one time.
The main entrance to the Mall has a sign that says they are only open noon to 6:00 pm and then you can only go to Pearle vision (closed Sunday). Other businesses and the Cinema are closed except Metro (7 am to 8 pm) and Scotia Bank (week-days 9:30 to 3:00) which can be accessed at the West entrance. Like other supermarkets in Cobourg, Metro dedicates the first hour to seniors and those living with disabilities. The LCBO had a line outside and seemed busy with a busy parking area unlike the rest of the mall’s parking which was practically deserted.
Parking lots in shopping plazas were also close to empty but then most stores are closed although several organized a process of “order by phone then pick up at the store”. The status of many restaurants and food stores is given at the Covid-19 in Cobourg page (link below) but it’s best to check it out yourself by phone or online.
Pedestrian traffic Downtown was light despite the perfect weather.
Despite the Covid-19 crisis, Police are still busy with regular arrests being made. So it seems the virus has not yet made a dent in criminal activity. On the hot issue of the recent shooting, Chief Paul VandeGraaf told me that they have now determined that the shooting took place outside Cobourg and the OPP will be in charge of the investigation. Paul also said that the victim has now been transferred to Sunnybrook and the car involved has been recovered just outside Cobourg.
Cobourg Town Council meetings in the immediate future (e.g. the one scheduled for April 6) will be held using videoconferencing technology although some the Town’s decisions about the Covid-19 virus will be made by the ECG (Emergency Control Group) who meet daily by “virtual conferencing”. In response to my questions about their accountability, Mayor John Henderson told me that the ECG team includes representatives of each department within the Town of Cobourg, Northumberland County and the HKPR District Health Unit and, as well as Mayor Henderson, includes Fire Chief Mike Vilneff (Community Emergency Management Coordinator), Interim CAO Ian Davey, Communications Manager Ashley Purdy, Town Clerk Brent Larmer, Police Chief Paul VandeGraaf and Emergency Planner Shannon Murphy. They made statements on videos here.
County Council will hold a special meeting on Monday, March 30, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. via teleconference (that’s phone only, no video) to approve urgent bylaw changes. These include procedures for teleconferencing and suspending the requirement for garbage bag tags effective Wednesday, April 1, 2020 until Friday, May 29, 2020. The County says that “Members of the public and media are invited to call 1-647-374-4685 and enter the meeting identification number 641 181 080 when prompted. The line will open 15 minutes prior to the start of the meeting.”
Below are some photos of Cobourg late morning 27 March, 2020.
- Covid-19 in Cobourg – page is regularly updated.
- Government benefits re Covid-19
- Shooting Victim at Hospital – 24 March 2020