Three municipal offices in CK close due to COVID-19

Civic centre in Chatham. September 18, 2018. (Photo by Greg Higgins)

High levels of COVID-19 among municipal staff members in Chatham-Kent have forced the closure of three municipal offices, effective immediately.

The Municipality of Chatham-Kent made the announcement on Wednesday afternoon, saying the offices in Ridgetown, Tilbury, and Dresden will be closed for a minimum of five days because many staff are in “COVID-19 protocols.”

On Thursday, Chief Administrative Officer Don Shropshire said 170 municipal staff members are off work because of COVID19.

The Chatham and Dresden Service Ontario offices will remain open, though, according to the municipality.

Municipal officials said residents may experience longer wait times for telephone inquiries during this reduced staffing period.

They said citizens are encouraged to use online municipal services, including dog tag licence renewals, through the Pet and Wildlife Rescue (PAWR) website found here.

Property taxes can also be paid via the Chatham-Kent Municipal Public Portal found here.

Residents can also contact for general information and service requests and inquiries.

Meanwhile, Chatham hospital officials reported the number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized on Wednesday is down slightly from Tuesday. Director of Communications at Chatham-Kent Health Alliance (CKHA) Fannie Vavoulis said there are 28 COVID-19 patients in the hospital and 11 of them are not vaccinated. Vavoulis reported the ICU has five COVID-19 patients and four of them are on ventilators. The ICU is at 70 per cent capacity.

CKHA also has 77 staff off work because of the virus or exposure to COVID-19. There are also 60 staff members at work under self-isolation conditions or working from home, according to CKHA. That’s up from a combined 126 last week.

Chatham-Kent Public Health is reporting one new COVID-19 outbreak at an unidentified group home. The group home has two cases. There are a total of 10 COVID-19 outbreaks across Chatham-Kent with a total of 68 cases. The outbreaks are affecting three group homes, the Chatham hospital, and six long term care and retirement homes. Hudson Manor Retirement Home in Tilbury has a total of 21 cases.