COVID-19 Lambton Shores Updates

Updated August 28, 2020    

Welcome to the COVID-19 Lambton Shores information hub. Here you will find the latest information and updates. Please check back for regular updates. The health and safety of our community and residents are our number one priority and we continue to monitor the situation very closely.

NEW FACE COVERING BY-LAW 
The Municipality of Lambton Shores Council has approved a Face Covering By-Law. This by-law came into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, August 24th, 2020.  More information.

As most of Ontario has moved into Stage 3 of reopening, Ontario has transitioned into the recovery phase with the new Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act. While the provincial declaration of emergency has ended, the new act will provide the province with the necessary flexibility to address the ongoing risks and effects of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Some emergency orders that were previously in place under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, will continue under the new act. This includes orders related to labour redeployment in long-term care and retirement homes, stages of reopening, compliance with public health advice and gatherings.

For more information visit the Provincial COVID-19 Website

Reopening Ontario: Stage 3

The County of Lambton, including the Municipality of Lambton Shores, advanced to Stage 3 of the reopening process on Friday, July 24, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. 

What does Stage 3 mean for us?

Nearly all businesses and public spaces will be able to gradually reopen in Stage 3, with public health and workplace safety restrictions in place, while some high-risk venues and activities will remain closed until they can safely resume operations.

Stage 3 does not mean that the fight against this deadly virus is over — far from it. Everyone must continue to be vigilant and follow public health advice and workplace safety guidelines. This will help limit outbreaks and reduce the risk of undoing the significant progress we have made together over the past several months.

In Stage 3, more restrictions will be loosened and nearly all businesses and public spaces will reopen, as long as they follow the public health advice and workplace safety guidance necessary to keep everyone safe.

The Municipality of Lambton Shores will reopen parks, playgrounds and sports fields with some limitations. Patrons are asked to continue practicing physical distancing when interacting with people outside of their social circle, bring their own hand sanitizer to clean their hands frequently and not to visit if they are not feeling well. Indoor facilities will remain closed at this time. Contact the Parks and Recreation Department for more information 519-243-1400, option 3.

What you need to know to stay safe?

As we work toward recovery, acting responsibly and respectfully towards each other will help keep family, friends, colleagues and neighbours safe.

Everyone can make Stage 3 a success by: 

 
Physical Distancing

Maintaining physical distancing of at least two metres from people outside of your household or social circle

Masks

Wearing a face covering in indoor and outdoor public spaces where physical distancing is a challenge

Hand washing

Washing your hands frequently with soap and water

Sanitizer

Using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available

Cleaning

Cleaning frequently touched surfaces more often

Cough

Practicing good hygiene (covering a cough and sneeze and avoiding touching your face)

Maximum people indoors

Limiting indoor gatherings to a maximum of 50 people, or less, to maintain physical distancing

Maximum people outdoors

Limiting outdoor gatherings to a maximum of 100 people, or less. to maintain physical distancing

Stay home

Staying at home and away from others if you are feeling ill or have symptoms of COVID-19

public health

Protecting the most vulnerable by following public health advice

Testing

Getting tested if you are worried you have or have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19

   

For more information on the provinces staged reopening plan, visit the Reopening Ontario website.

Lambton Public Health

The Municipality is following the direction from Lambton Public Health, who is making their decisions based on the provincial and federal response. 

For up-to-date information on COVID-19, visit the Lambton Public Health website.

Municipal Information

 Municipal Updates
 Facilities and Services

 See the below list for the latest updates on Municipal facilities and services. 

Administration and Office Buildings
Lambton Shores municipal offices are closed the public. Staff will be reporting for work at this time. Residents are encouraged to utilize various telephone and online options for reporting issues, making payments and the provision of services. Visit our Contact Us page for more information on how to reach staff. 
Arenas

The Municipality has developed reopening plans for both the Shores and Legacy Recreation Centres that are linked below. 

Shores Recreation Centre Guidelines for Ice Users - updated August 27, 2020

Legacy Recreation Centre Guidelines for Ice Users - updated August 27, 2020

Arena user groups will be asked to complete a Return to Play Operations Plan prior to returning to the ice for the 2020/21 season. A template is provided below:

COVID-19 Recreation Facility User Return to Play Operations Plan

If you have any questions regarding the facility guidelines or the return the play template, please contact:
Phone: 519-243-1400, Ext. 8313
Email: Ashley Farr 

Beaches

Grand Bend Beach

The Grand Bend Beach is open for public use. Before your visit, please check our Beach Cam page to assess the current conditions.

For your safety and the safety of others, the following guidelines have been established: 

  • Bring your own hand sanitizer and water bottle
  • Maintain 2m distance from others
  • No games or sports equipment
  • Playground equipment and spray pad are open
  • Public washrooms will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. daily, but will be closed 3 times per day for cleaning.
  • Do not visit if you do not feel well

Please note the concession is closed for the 2020 season - please support local businesses!

 

Before you visit Grand Bend Beach, please note the following rules are in place for the safety and enjoyment of all visitors:

1. Tents are prohibited, however single pole umbrellas are permitted. Umbrellas must be set up behind lifeguard stands. Do not set up directly in front of the lifeguard stands.  
2. Grand Bend Beach is smoke and vape-free
3. No alcohol, glass or BBQs

For additional information, click here or read Lambton Shores Parks and Facilities By-Law.

By-Law Services

At the present, Lambton Shores continues to offer By-Law Enforcement services. To limit public interaction, residents are now required to file their complaints via phone or e-mail.

To report an issue call 519-243-1400, Ext. 8412 or email: Roberta Brandon

Building Services 

The following changes have been made to the building permit process during this unprecedented time:

  • Building permit applications will only be available for drop-off at the Northville Office.
  • Once a permit is ready for pick-up, the applicant will be contacted to schedule a specific time and location to sign the appropriate paper work and pay for the permits.
  • Inspections should be booked as normal by phone or email, however in order to ensure social distancing, inspection sites must be vacated while our inspector is conducting the inspection. This can be accomplished by either leaving the site or by simply waiting in a vehicle while the inspection is completed. The results of the inspection will be communicated to you through email or phone.

If you have any questions regarding these new practices, please contact the Building Department as follows:
Phone: 519-243-1400, Ext. 8510
Email: Jackie Mason

Cemeteries

Burial services will continue as normal with attendence restrictions in place, as per the Ontario Governments Declaration of Emergency. Please call the municipal office as usual for information or to make arrangements. 

If you have any questions, please contact: 
Phone: 519-243-1400 Ext. 8611
Email: Karen Cameron

Council and Committees Meetings

Meeting information and schedules will be updated on the Council Meeting Calendar.

Fire Services

Lambton Shores Fire Stations remain fully functional. We are taking precautionary measures to ensure that volunteer firefighters can attend emergencies. Updates to our services include:

  • Volunteer firefighters will still respond to incidents, however, you may see members wearing personal protective equipment such as gloves, masks, and protective eyewear. This is for their protection. To decrease the risk of exposure to our firefighters, we are asking all residents to ensure their smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are functioning properly to reduce the number of false alarm calls. 
  • Fire inspections will continue as normal.
  • Public Education and Prevention activities have been temporarily suspended.

At this time we would ask that all correspondence be done by phone or e-mail. 

Yard Waste Fires

Open air burning can be a fire hazard, as well as infringing on the enjoyment of your neighbours.  Check online and review our Open Air Burning By-Law before starting your burn. 

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Lambton Shores Fire Chief as follows:
Phone: 519-243-1400 Ext. 8801
Email: Lawrence Swift

Garbage and Recycling

At this time, garbage and recycling collection is not impacted. For regular updates visit the Bluewater Recycling Association webpage. 

Compost Site

The Lambton Shores Compost site is now open on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9:00am - 2:00pm weather permitting. In order to practice physical distancing and ensure the safety of our staff and residents, only one vehicle at a time will be permitted to enter the site.

The compost site is located  at 7550 Brush Road, Forest.

For more information on acceptable items, visit our Compost Page

Libraries and Cultural Services

All Lambton County Library locations (including the Sarnia Library Theatre), Judith & Norman Alix Art Gallery, Lambton County Archives, Lambton Heritage Museum and Oil Museum of Canada will remain closed indefinitely. For more information visit the Lambton County website.

Library Curbside Pick-Up - Starting June 8

Lambton County Library has finalized its plans to offer a contactless curbside pickup service at 13 of its locations and will begin offering the service on Monday, June 8, 2020. Libraries in Alvinston, Bright's Grove, Corunna, Florence, Forest, Mallroad, Oil Springs, Petrolia, Point Edward, Sombra, Thedford, Watford and Wyoming have established temporary hours of operation to provide the new contactless service to the community.

Libraries remain closed to the public under provincial order. To access this service, library card holders must reserve materials in advance using one of the following methods:
1. Online using the library's catalogue at lclibrary.ca;
2. By calling a library offering curbside pickup if they have a particular title they would like to reserve; or
3. By calling the Lambton County Library Readers' Advisory Service at 519-337-3291 ext. 5909 or 1-866-324-6912 ext. 5909 from Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. and Saturday 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., to have library employees choose material based on the library cardholder's preferences.
Card holders will select one of 13 designated library locations for pickup and will receive a phone call when the material is ready. When picking up materials, patrons will be instructed to park in spaces that are designated with signage for curbside pickup.

Visit the LCLibrary website for more information including the hours of operation for each site.

Marinas
Due to record high water levels in Lake Huron, the Port Franks Marina is not open to seasonal boaters for the 2020 season.  At this time, the boat launch and parking area remain available for day use and access to Armstrong East and West seasonal properties across the river.  Armstrong East and West Property owners currently using the marina for access to their seasonal properties are encouraged to contact the Port Franks Harbour Master at 519-243-2354 to discuss any concerns.

The Grand Bend Marina is now open.  Boaters must contact the Grand Bend Harbour Master at 519-238-2000 to confirm slip readiness and make arrangements for your boat launch.  Boaters need to be aware that restrictions due to COVID-19 will impact the availability of washrooms and dockside utility services, as well as fuel and pump-out services for an undetermined period of time. 

Parks and Outdoor Spaces

Parks, Playgrounds and Sports fields

The municipal parks, playgrounds and sports fields are open for public use with some limitations. The following guidelines have been put in place to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19:

  • Maintain a physical distance of 2 metres from others at all times.

  • Bring alcohol-based sanitizer to clean hands frequently.

  • Do not visit if you are not feeling well.

Visitors should also be aware that the parks, playgrounds and sports fields will not be cleaned or sanitized on a regular basis. 

Contact the Parks and Recreation Department for more information 519-243-1400, option 3.

Municipal Tennis Courts

The municipal tennis courts at the Esli Dodge Conservation Area and the Port Franks Community Centre are open for public use. Players are asked to review and abide by the newly posted rules that have put in place to keep everyone safe. If you have a key to the Port Franks courts from last year, you may continue to use that key this year. If you need to purchase a key for $10, please call 519-243-1400, option 2 to make arrangements to pick one up. 

Tennis Court Rules (1)
Tennis Court Rules (2)

The court at Whyte Park remains closed at this time.

Spray Pads

All municipally owned spray pads are open for public use. Please remember to practice physical distancing, bring your own hand sanitizer and water bottles. 

Planning and Development

The Municipality of Lambton Shores is now scheduling public hearings for Planning Act applications. For the present, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these hearings will be held before Council and the Committee of Adjustment virtually by video conference. The public will have the ability to participate in these public hearings by choice of video conference or telephone. Notices of hearing are being given as required by the Planning Act and also posted on the web site (see below). The notices include instructions for how to participate in a hearing.

Please note that, since Municipalities are not required to process planning applications during the declared state of emergency, the Municipality reserves the right to postpone hearing a particular application if it is deemed more appropriate to hear that application when hearings are again held “in-person”.

The Lambton Shores Planning Department continues to review all development proposals and planning applications. The Municipality asks that you continue to plan your projects in discussion with staff and submit applications when they are ready. 

Our planning and engineering staff remain available through email or phone to answer any inquires you may have; however no in-persons meetings are currently being scheduled.

If you have any planning related inquiries, please contact Will Nywening as follows:
Phone 519-243-1400, Ext. 8512
Email: Will Nywening

Recreation and Community Centres
All Lambton Shores facilities are closed. This includes:
  • Shores Recreation Centre
  • Legacy Recreation Centre
  • Port Franks Community Centre
  • Thedford Village Complex
  • Arkona Community Centre
  • Arkona Seniors Centre
  • Grand Bend Recreation Centre

Refunds will be processed for any rentals that have been cancelled as a result of the closures.  

Rental Requests

We are accepting requests for future rentals but they will not be approved until our facilities have re-opened. You may request a booking through

Staff will be in touch with your to discuss your request. 

Event Permits

Event permits will still be received by the Municipality. Visit our Plan an Event page for more information and event applications. Permits will not be approved until facilities have re-opened. 

Social Services

Lambton County has provided a Social Services Poster to answer your immediate questions. 

Please visit the Lambton County Social Services page for more information. 

Taxes

The next tax bills will be issued in early August. The first installment will be due on August 31 and the second installment will be due on November 30.

Payments

Payments can be made by various methods. Information is available on Bill Payments web page.

Customers that are set up with monthly budget billing and installment pre-authorized payments, these will continue as scheduled.  If you are mailing in your payment, please ensure that you include your stub with your cheque. It is your responsibility to ensure the payment arrives by the due date.

If there are any questions, please contact the Finance Department at 519-243-1400, option 1.

Transportation
Transportation operations including road and streetlight maintenance continues as normal. All maintenance requests or notifications must now be done via e-mail or by phone.
Utilities Billing

At this time there will be no interruption to the water and wastewater billings.  As a reminder, the following locations will be billed in the next few months as planned:

March – former Bosanquet area

April – Grand Bend and Arkona

May – Forest, Thedford and rural expansion area

Payments

Payments can be made by various methods.  Information is available here on our Bill Payments webpage. 

Customers that are set up with pre-authorized payments, they will continue as scheduled; however, if you have a concern and need to discontinue this process, please contact the Finance Department at 519-243-1400 option 1.

If you are mailing in your payment, please ensure that you include your stub with your cheque. It is your responsibility to ensure the payment arrives by the due date.

Water and Sewers

Water and Sewer services will generally be provided in the normal fashion. Urgent matters including watermain breaks, sewage back-ups, etc. will continue to be handled on an as needed basis and should be reported by phone or through our website.

Water Turn-On Services

For those returning from out of the country that are requesting the water to be turned on, we would ask that if at all possible an alternative person be available for our operators to meet with in order to limit exposure of our staff. Typically a neighbour or family member has been asked to “look after” your property while you are away and would be a good contact for our staff if possible. By doing this, you will also have water ready to use upon your arrival.

Regardless of whom our staff meets, when we are required to attend your property we would ask that you practice social distancing and maintain at least 2m (6ft) distance between the operator and member of the household. If our operator needs to enter your residence to address a leak, we would ask that you remove yourself from the area (go to an upper level or leave the premises) to allow our staff to address the concern.

If you have any questions regarding your utilities, please contact Nick Verhoeven at 519-243-1400, ext. 8213

Temporary Patio Extensions

Patio Expansions and New Patios

In response to the Province of Ontario’s Stage 2 – Reopening Ontario Plan, the Municipality of Lambton Shores is offering an expedited process to allow for temporary patio spaces.  The Provincial Government and the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) will allow businesses that serve food and beverages to open outdoor seating on site effective June 19, 2020.

Temporary patios must complete the Temporary Patio Registration Form and comply with guidelines provided by the Municipality of Lambton Shores, Lambton Public Health and the ACGO regarding size, occupancy and health regulations.  Temporary patios will be allowed to operate without permit until January 1, 2021, if registered with the municipality. 

Restaurant patrons are limited to the patios unless they require use of washroom facilities or are paying their bill. No municipal permits will be required for existing businesses to operate patios on private property.  However, businesses are required to register and confirm that they will comply with the guidelines.

If a business is requesting to open or expand an existing patio on public property, permission and additional approval must be obtained.

Registration:

Fees

Fees will be waived for the registration of Temporary Patios.

Inspections/Occupancy

You are not required to call for inspections; however, the municipality may conduct audit inspections of patios to ensure compliance with the general safety requirements outlined in the Registration Form. 

Owners shall provide their liquor licence, if requested by the Chief Building Official.  The Chief Building Official is authorized to inspect all temporary patios and require adjustments to the patio in order to address compliance with these Guidelines.

You are not required to request an Occupancy Permit; however, you are required to comply with the Provincial social distancing guidelines.

If you require municipal approval to obtain a Liquor License, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission will be notified of the registration of your patio.

 FAQ

Can I use the park?

Municipal parks, green space, trails and pathways remain open for travelling through only. They are not for gathering or recreational activity, and if you are in an open green space, maintaining physical distance of no less than 6 feet is required at all times.

Can I meet up with my friends?

Organized social gatherings and public events of more than ten people are not permitted across the Province. This includes social gatherings held in private homes with people who don’t reside there. Households where more than five people live are exempt. Unless it’s essential, health officials and the Province are strongly urging you to stay home.

Can my business stay open?

The Province has updated their essential businesses and services list

Business owners with questions on whether they fall within the list of essential businesses and services can call Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659.

Can I enjoy a backyard fire?

You can enjoy your backyard fire as long as your fire abides by Lambton Shores Open Air Burn By-Law. Please be conscious of the safety of Lambton Shores Fire Fighters and ensure your fire remains safe and is not a nuisance to your neighbours.  

Do I have to self isolate?

Under the Federal Quarantine Act you must isolate yourself for 14 days if you have:

  • returned from travel outside Canada
  • been diagnosed with COVID-19, or are waiting to hear the results of a lab test for COVID-19
  • symptoms of COVID-19, even if they are mild
  • been in contact with a suspected, probable or confirmed case of COVID-19

You can report someone who is failing to self-isolate by contacting the Public Health Agency of Canada at phac.covid19.aspc@canada.ca or by phone at 1-833-784-4397.    

Will I get a ticket?
You could. All of these measures are in place to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in our community. Now isn’t the time to take these orders lightly.

We encourage all people and businesses to voluntarily comply with all Provincial Emergency Orders which are short-term restrictions. Education, awareness and compliance are preferred options. OPP or in some cases Municipal Law Enforcement officers will apply discretion on whether to launch any enforcement actions such as:

  • Offences relating to non-essential businesses that remain open in contravention of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. (EMCPA).
  • Offences relating to gatherings of more than five people in contravention of the EMCPA.
  • Offences relating to the illegal use of closed facilities, parks or beaches
Complaints for less serious incidents can be reported online at opp.ca/reporting or by calling the OPP non-emergency line at 1-888-310-1122. 

Why are these restrictions in place?

The province has enacted a declaration of emergency to help contain the spread of COVID-19 and protect the public. These measures are for your health, the health of your loved ones and the community. For more information from the Ontario Government on measures to help stop the spread of COVID-19, please visit ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus

Community Information

Community Information

Before visiting any business, please remember to follow Lambton Public Health Guidelines and practice physical distancing.

Community Support
Grand Bend Community Foundation
 Grand Bend Pandemic Support Group

Not feeling well? Returning from abroad? Do you need:

  • Groceries picked up
  • Mail picked up
  • Dog walking
  • Other errands
  • Support

We are a group of volunteers from Grand Bend and surrounding area who are willing and able to help. If you or someone you know is in need, please contact:

Kim Hammond

519-238-1725

gbhelps2020@gmail.com

 Volunteer Postings
Are you looking for a way to support your community? The Optimist Club of Forest and Kiwanis Club of Forest are working together to determine the best way to provide support based on community need. If you’re interested in volunteering, please leave a message for the Optimist Club at 519-786-6044. 
Community Health Services
Information for Businesses
Pharmacies
CDS Pharmacy

2 Main Street South, Forest

519-786-2104

**Delivery available, call the store for details**

 

Pharmasave Forest Pharmacy

19 King Street West, Forest

519-786-5161

pharmasave.com/forest

**Delivery available, call the store for details**

 

Pharmasave Grand Bend Pharmacy

46 Ontario Street South, Grand Bend

519-238-6506

pharmasave.com/grand-bend

** Delivery available, call store for details. Currently a limit to the number of people in the store at any given time.** 

 

Shopper’s Drug Mart Grand Bend

65 Main Street East, Grand Bend

519-238-8540

Stores.shoppersdrugmart.ca/en/store/1023

**First opening hour dedicated to customers who need assistance, including seniors and people living with disabilities. Shopper's is now taking over the phone orders.**

 Groceries
Arkona Food Market

7291 Arkona Road, Arkona

519-828-3577

**Grocery Delivery is available through a partnership with Arkona Lions Club and Arkona Automotive. Please call the Arkona Food Market to place your order and arrange for delivery at 519-828-3577**

 

Forest Contact House

Open Tuesdays from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

6276 Townsend Line, Forest ON

**Please note there is a limit to the number of people allowed in. Food will be delivered curbside to your vehicle.**

 

Forest Foodland

88 King Street East, Forest

519-786-2321

Ontario.foodland.ca/stores.forest

** Reduced hours, first hour of shopping reserved for seniors and vulnerable individuals. Forest Foodland is now offering pickup options Monday-Friday 9am-5pm (to Forest and surrounding area) for those with a compromised immune system or for vulnerable people in the community. Using this service is easy! Simply email  forestfoodland@gmail.com with your order and contact information.  For more information call the store at 519-786-2321.**

 

Lambton Elderly Outreach

Meal Delivery Service

https://www.lambtonelderlyoutreach.org/

 

Mike and Terri’s No Frills

98 Ontario Street South, Grand Bend

519-288-6211

**Special hours for seniors and vulnerable individuals, 7am-8am Tuesday and Friday. Grocery pickup available through Grand Bend Pandemic Support**

 

Sobeys Grand Bend

55 Main Street East, Grand Bend

519-238-8944

sobeys.com/en/stores/sobeys-grand-bend/

** Reduced hours, first hour of shopping reserved for seniors and vulnerable individuals. Grocery delivery available through Grand Bend Pandemic Support and ONE Care**

 

Williamson Farms and Country Store

14 King Street West, Forest

226-520-0144

https://williamsonfarms.ca/

**Williamson Farms and Country Store is offering curbside pickup or delivery throughout the Lambton Shores area. For more information visit their website or call at 519-520-0144**

 

Zavitz General Store

99 Main Street, Thedford

519-296-4994

**Some product limitations in effect, delivery available, please call the store for details**

Support Local Businesses

Many other local businesses are adapting operations to continue to serve the Lambton Shores community.  The Grand Bend and Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism has compiled a list of Chamber member business information.  Other business listings can be found online through the Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership and the Forest BIA.  Please connect directly with businesses to confirm availability and services offered.  

Tourism Sarnia-Lambton Local Businesses Page

For local restaurants visit Shoreline ToGo.

To find out more about local business services and hours visit Shop Lambton Map.

Non-Profit Support

Emergency Community Support Fund

Grand Bend Community Foundation COVID Relief Fund

Through the incredible generosity of our community members, the Grand Bend Community Foundation has developed a substantial COVID relief fund. We want to support organizations experiencing an increase in demand for existing services (often accompanied by a decrease in fundraising revenue). We are also open to ideas for innovative new ideas to support vulnerable populations in this unprecedented time. To find out more, contact Pat Morden, 519-619-8630 or grandbendcf@gmail.com.

 

Who can I call? 

If you have a complaint

We encourage all people and businesses to voluntarily comply with all Provincial Emergency Orders which are short-term restrictions. Education, awareness and compliance are preferred options. OPP or in some cases Municipal Law Enforcement officers will apply discretion on whether to launch any enforcement actions such as:

  • Offences relating to non-essential businesses that remain open in contravention of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. (EMCPA).
  • Offences relating to gatherings of more than ten people in contravention of the EMCPA.
  • Offences relating to the illegal use of closed areas and facilities.

Complaints for less serious incidents can be reported online at opp.ca/reporting or by calling the OPP non-emergency line at 1-888-310-1122. 

Other Helpful Resources

Where to go for information

List of COVID-19 information resources.

Contact Us