Confirms police investigation underway

In a statement released Thursday afternoon, the Town of Pelham said that it was aware of reported assertions “regarding Councillor Ron Kore’s positive COVID-19 test result and the recently opened Niagara Regional Police (NRP) investigation.”

“While the Town is not in a position to confirm COVID-19 test results,” the statement reads, “the hope is that Councillor Kore is in good health; the Town wishes good health on all our citizens. The Town is also not able to comment on ongoing NRP investigations. While it may seem that these positions dodge the issue, the Town of Pelham must ensure the protection of privacy for individuals involved and investigations to run their course unimpeded. The Town of Pelham will cooperate with any and all NRP investigations.”

Niagara Regional Police spokesperson Phil Gavin confirmed the existence of an investigation, but would not disclose details.

“We are aware of the community concerns in relation to this matter,” said Gavin. “We have commenced an investigation.  As such it would not be appropriate to comment further.

The Town statement suggests that residents concerned about visits to areas where a potential COVID-19 case was confirmed be advised that “Public Health conducts contact tracing and follows up with all persons who may be contacts of a case and at significant risk of infection.”

The statement asserts that at present, the only locations Public Health is communicating as having increased risk are long-term care homes and retirement homes.

“Decisions to close public parks, facilities, and programs were made to help prevent the spread of the virus,” reads the statement. “Staff were encouraged to work from home, met via teleconference, and council was authorized to host virtual Council meetings. Measures to promote physical distancing and safe work environments were immediately instituted through an active and ongoing internal and external information campaign.”

“Now is the time to adhere to Provincial and Public Health guidelines. Physical distancing. Self-isolating. Only going out for essential trips. These are important messages and everyone is urged to hear them and practice them. The only way to beat this is to do it together.”