Approximately one-quarter of all cases reported last week were associated with Roberta Place Long-Term Care Home outbreak in Barrie.


Measures to stem the tide of COVID-19 seem to be working, based on new data that shows new cases in Ontario continue to crest downward from recent peaks of more than 3,000 a day.
The province reported 1,740 new cases today, and 63 deaths. But still, it seems to continue a trend away from daily highs that had health officials and politicians warning that intensive care beds (ICU) were rapidly filling.
The Ministry of Health is reporting there are now 1,466 patients in Ontario hospitals being treated for COVID-19, with 383 in ICU beds; of that number, 298 are on a ventilator. There are about 1,700 such beds across the province. The most recent numbers also show a decline in COVID-19 patients taking up ICU beds.
Nationally, over the past seven days 37,943 cases were reported, a drop of 19 per cent from the previous seven days. However, there were 1,118 deaths reported, an increase of eight per cent over the same time period. Across the country, 4,038 people are being treated in hospitals,
The growth rate seems to be dipping in the Simcoe/Muskoka region, with the health unit reporting an average daily rate of 1.3 per cent for the most recent week, a continuing decline.
More than 15,000 doses of the fizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine have now been administered through the Simcoe/Muskoka region, most of them going to frontline workers in local hospitals, long-term-care homes, and retirement homes, the health unit reports.
“This includes 932 individuals that have received both of the required doses of the vaccine. In addition, 2846 (or 89%) long-term care residents have received their first dose,” says the report.
“There have been 35 new cases reported to the health unit for the current week. There were 439 new cases reported to the health unit last week (week of Jan. 17), slightly lower than the 448 cases reported for the week of Jan. 10. Approximately one-quarter of all cases reported last week were associated with Roberta Place Long-Term Care Home outbreak in Barrie.”
Based on projections, if this level of growth continues there will be about 575 cases reported during the week of Feb. 14- 20, or about 82 cases per day with a projected weekly incidence rate of 100 cases per 100,000 population. That’s a decline from previous projections of 750 cases.
There are now 5,180 confirmed cases in the region, and 127 deaths. There have been more than 1,000 cases of COVID-19 in the region’s long-term-care homes, with 25 per cent of the cases resulting in deaths.
To send the curve bending in the other direction, the growth rate needs to be below one. It’s a key indicator to determine if infection rates are moving in the right direction … downward. If the value is two, that means one person is responsible for passing the infection to two people. 
The region, along with the rest of the province, is currently in stay-at-home mode. Premier Doug Ford said the measures are necessary to halt the rapid growth of COVID-19 cases. Click here to read what the measures mean for Barrie residents.

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“It’s clear that this is not the year for a significant tax increase. Our residents are currently facing a new and deeper round of economic uncertainty due to the pandemic.” – Mayor Jeff Lehman


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The new municipal budget just passed by city council represents the lowest tax hike Barrie ratepayers will face in 20 year, and came about by using reserves to offset a pre-deliberation hit of 3.75 per cent.
With COVID-19 measures reducing municipal income by $5.7 million and the County coming to the City with a significant increase due to its costs for emergency shelter and long-term care, ratepayers were looking down the barrel at a hefty hike.
Instead, the increase was whittled down to 0.92 per cent, Wirth Mayor Jeff Lehman saying now is not the time to dig deeper into the taxpayers’ pockets.
“It’s clear that this is not the year for a significant tax increase. Our residents are currently facing a new and deeper round of economic uncertainty due to the pandemic. This was an extremely challenging budget year, but I’m very pleased we were able to bring the tax increase down from 3.8 per cent to 0.9 per cent,” he said.
“We did this by making some very hard choices, like using $1.75 million from the Alectra community reinvestment reserve, to offset the tax base. The reserve is typically used to fund projects that have a benefit to the community—this year the biggest benefit to our community is keeping the tax increase down.”
Here’s what’s in the 2021 budget:
• The operating budget of $368 million will deliver city services, and a capital budget of $253 million will be used to continue replacing and building more of Barrie’s roads, pipes and buildings—including a new library branch in the Holly area
• For the average Barrie home (includes town homes, apartments and detached homes) assessed at $367,550, this increase translates to an additional $40.71 annually. The assessed value is provided by MPAC and is different than the market value of homes
• The 0.92 per cent property tax increase consists of 0.67 per cent for City services and services provided by our service partners (Barrie Police Service, County of Simcoe, Barrie Public library) and 0.25 per cent for the Dedicated Infrastructure Renewal Fund. The fund is used to replace and renew roads, pipes and buildings. Given the economic uncertainty around the pandemic, councillors temporarily reduced the one per cent dedicated infrastructure renewal fund to 0.25 per cent for 2021, to help provide financial relief for residents.
The 2021 operating budget includes:
• Funding for new permanent traffic calming measures to create safer roads
• In recognition that more people will be spending time outdoors, continued investments will be made in parks and the waterfront with more furniture
• Plans to modernize parking, moving away from paper parking passes by digitalizing various parking passes such as downtown monthly permits, resident waterfront permits, other potential residential area permits, or special event parking permits
• New investments in economic development to position the city for recovery following the pandemic
• New investments to address growing demand for customer service and by-law enforcement
Some key projects in the 2021 capital budget include:
• New library branch in the Holly area
• Construction of Allandale Transit Mobility Hub. The terminal will coordinate local and regional transit services with seamless connections
• Land acquisition for a new fire station to service the Mapleview Road and Prince William Way area
• The completion of Bryne Drive from Caplan Avenue to Harvie Road to reduce traffic congestion at the Essa Road and Mapleview Drive interchanges by redirecting east / west traffic to the Harvie Road / Big Bay Point Road Highway crossing
• Expansion of Essa Road from Coughlin Road to Mapleview Drive West
• Bell Farm Road reconstruction
• Completion of the Harvie Road bridge
• Continued focus on addressing the condition of roads and saving money over the long term with the road resurfacing program
• Several stormwater projects to address regulatory compliance, protect Lake Simcoe and reduce flooding
Council also approved a 2.48 per cent increase to water rates and the wastewater rates were frozen for 2021. New rates come into effect in May of each year, and for a typical Barrie home consuming 180 cubic metres of water annually, the water bill will increase by $8.83.
Residential property tax bill funds are allocated to City services (56 per cent), education (13 per cent as mandated by the Province) and service partners (31 per cent between the Barrie Police Service, County of Simcoe, Public Libraries, etc.). The Business Plan and Budget will be funded through property taxes, user fees and other financing sources.
Residents can visit barrie.ca/PropertyTaxes and use the City’s Property Tax Calculator to see an estimate of their property taxes and a breakdown of how they’re used to fund services. The 2020 Business Plan & Budget is available at barrie.ca/budget.
Our council is also making a significant investment into the County’s Long Term Care facilities and staff will be reporting back on additional investments in affordable housing, economic development, and the social determinants of health,” said Lehman.

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“Our primary concern at this point is that students are connecting with their school every day. We know that some students struggle in this remote learning environment – they may have academic difficulties, but equally concerning are issues related to mental health and wellness.” – Frances Bagley, education director


From Frances Bagley, Director of Education, Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board

Late last evening, we received confirmation from the Ministry of Education that our schools in Simcoe County and Muskoka will continue with remote learning beyond Jan. 22. The Ministry is expected to make an announcement in early February regarding the return to school date.
St. Peter the Apostle Catholic School in Parry Sound, which is part of a northern public health unit, will continue with face-to-face learning.
We are disappointed that the majority of our students are not returning to in-class learning where they can learn and be supported in person by their educators and peers. This announcement means that face-to-face elementary learners from Kindergarten to Grade 12 will work remotely from home and will continue to access their virtual classroom (either Brightspace or Google Classroom) to make daily connections with their class, participate in activities and complete assigned tasks. 
Our primary concern at this point is that students are connecting with their school every day. We know that some students struggle in this remote learning environment – they may have academic difficulties, but equally concerning are issues related to mental health and wellness. We are encouraging caregivers to reach out if they have concerns about the children in their lives. The school is a good starting point, but there are also excellent resources and support for students, staff and parents in the community as well as on our website at smcdsb.on.ca.
It is important that people ask for help  and access the support that is available if they are experiencing challenges.
A reminder that if your child is not participating in remote learning on any of the days during the school closures, it is important that you contact the school using the regular safe arrival/attendance procedures. Our schools are committed to working with families who may be having difficulty accessing remote learning, including access to technology and the internet.
Please note that there are Professional Activity Days scheduled for all schools in our board as follows:
• Monday, Feb. 1 all elementary schools
• Tuesday, Feb. 2 all secondary schools
There will be no instruction (synchronous or asynchronous) on the scheduled PA Day. Let’s all do our part in following the Province’s stay-at-home order so that our students can return to their classrooms. We continue to pray for brighter days ahead. 

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Barrie police continue to investigate an alleged shooting at a townhouse on Yonge Street that occurred Wednesday, Dec. 30, around 9:50 p.m.
Police responded to a residential townhouse unit after a report was received that a patio door had been shot out. Responding officers immediately set up a perimeter and two Barrie Police Canine Units were called to the scene to assist in locating the person responsible.
Police also learned that as many as five gunshots were heard by witnesses who lived in the area and were able to confirm that no one was struck by the gunfire. There were no reported injuries as a result of this incident.
The canine units that attended tracked two sets of footprints that led away from the area, but it would appear that the persons responsible were able to elude police and made good their escape that evening by unknown means.
Detectives from the Barrie Police Investigative Services have continued to investigate the circumstances surrounding this occurrence and with the assistance of the Forensic Identification Unit that attended to the scene on the night this occurred, evidence has been collected that police hope will help to identify the persons responsible.
Police know that the suspects were dressed in black, both wore white socks and at least one of them was armed with a small caliber firearm. At this point in the investigation, it is believed that this incident is isolated in nature.
Anyone who resides in the townhouse unit that may have information or security video of this shooting is asked to contact Detective Constable Mathew Mulhall at 705-725-7025, extension 2561. Should you wish to remain anonymous please call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (1-800-222-8477) or submit your information online at https://www.p3tips.com.
If you have any information on this crime or any others, being anonymous, you will not testify in court and your information may lead to a cash reward of up to $2,000.

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There were 126 new cases reported to the health unit for the current week. There were 450 new cases reported to the health unit last week (week of Jan. 10), lower than the 495 cases reported for the week of Jan. 3.

Are measures to stem the tide of COVID-19 working? Based on new data that shows new cases in Ontario are cresting downward from last week’s previous highs of more than 3,000 a day, they may be.
The province reported 1,913 new cases today, although there are cautions the number may be underreported in the Toronto region. But still, it seems to continue a trend away from daily highs that had health officials and politicians warning that intensive care beds (ICU) were rapidly filling.
The Ministry of Health is reporting there were 1,626 patients in Ontario hospitals being treated for COVID-19, with about 400 in ICU beds; there are about 1,700 such beds across the province.
It is being reported that there were another 46 deaths, bringing the provincial total to 5,479. Of those deaths, 29 were residents of long-term-care homes; more than 40 per cent of these homes in Ontario are experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks.
Nationally, over the past seven days 46,880 cases were reported, a drop of 17 per cent from the previous seven days.
The growth rate seems to be dipping in the Simcoe/Muskoka region, with the health unit reporting an average daily rate of 1.4 per cent for the most recent week, a decline from the 1.8 per cent rate of the previous week.
More than 13,000 doses of the fizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine have now been administered through the Simcoe/Muskoka region, most of them going to frontline workers in local hospitals, long-term-care homes, and retirement homes, the health unit reports.
“This includes over 577 individuals that have received both of the required doses of the vaccine. In addition, 2,845 (or 89 per cent) long-term care residents have received their first dose. says the report.
“There have been 126 new cases reported to the health unit for the current week. There were 450 new cases reported to the health unit last week (week of Jan. 10), lower than the 495 cases reported for the week of Jan. 3.”
Based on projections, if this level of growth continues there will be about 595 cases reported during the week of Feb. 7- 13, or about 85 cases per day with a projected weekly incidence rate of 100 cases per 100,000 population. That’s a decline from previous projections of 750 cases.
There are now 4,834 confirmed cases in the region, and 91 deaths. There have been more than 900 cases of COVID-19 in the region’s long-term-care homes, with 25 per cent of the cases resulting in deaths.
To send the curve bending in the other direction, the growth rate needs to be below one. It’s a key indicator to determine if infection rates are moving in the right direction … downward. If the value is two, that means one person is responsible for passing the infection to two people. 
The region, along with the rest of the province, is currently in stay-at-home mode. Premier Doug Ford said the measures are necessary to halt the rapid growth of COVID-19 cases. Click here to read what the measures mean for Barrie residents.

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“It’s clear that this is not the year for a significant tax increase, and our residents are currently facing a new and deeper round of economic uncertainty due to the pandemic. While City finances are similarly at risk, staff did an excellent job of managing costs in 2020 and have positioned us well to flex with fiscal impacts in 2021.” – Mayor Jeff Lehman


Mayor Jeff Lehman has outlined a series of proposed changes to the 2021 budget to meet two primary goals, including reducing the tax hit on Barrie ratepayers.
In a Jan. 18 memo to council, Lehman identifies as goals the tax reduction, and dedicating funds to offset the 2022 increase. He also suggests changing the funding mix in the City’s capital plan to reduce borrowing costs and potentially advance strategic projects.
Total impact of these measures on the tax levy would be $7.1 million, and if adopted by council would result in a tax increase of 0.9 per cent. Ratepayers are facing a possible 3.75 per cent hike.
“I’m also recommending to council that we pursue several new fiscal measures for 2021 that will help with COVID recovery, specifically small business tax relief and a support program for water customers who can’t pay their bills,” he writes.
The mayor continues that it’s clear 2021 is not a good time for a significant tax increase, with residents facing new economic uncertainties due to ongoing COVID-19 realities, including the recent provincial stay-at-home order.
Many suggestions, he adds, have already been put forward by CAO Michael Prowse. The mayor’s proposals focus on the “larger dollar changes” and are:
• Applying $1.3 million of Safe Restart Funding to offset one-time COVID-related policing costs
• Reduce the Dedicated Infrastructure Renewal Fund (DIRF) 1 per cent to 0.25 per cent in 2021, and set a target of 0.5 per cent in 2022. That will result in a $1,880,000 reduction in the 2021 levy, and a $625,000 reduction in the 2022 levy
• Remove the operating funding for the Fleet Replacement Project, resulting in a reduced reserve contribution of $460,000
• Apply Barrie Hydro Holdings Inc. (BHHI) Dividends and Tax Rate Stabilization Reserves to offset tax increases in 2021 and 2022, resulting in: a reduction of $1.75 million through BHHI funding, reduction of $1.25 million through Tax Rate Stabilization Reserve (TRSR) funding, earmarking $1 million of BHHI funding to offset 2022 tax increase, and earmarking $1 million of TRSR funding to offset 2022 tax increase
• Fund the Growth Strategy from BHHI Dividends and the TRSR, which will reduce the tax bill by $500,000
• Create a two-year strategy to reduce tax increases by applying a portion of the 2021 and 2022 BHHI dividends to the operating budget, and draw on the TRSR
“To provide further if modest relief to our residents, I would propose freezing wastewater rates for 2021. The overall impact of these proposed changes would be to reduce the tax increase to 0.7 per cent and reduce by a little over 50 per cent the proposed increase in water/wastewater bills, resulting in an increase of about 1.1 per cent to the average water bill in 2021 instead of the proposed 2.4 per cent,” he writes.
The COVID-19 measures taken by the City (reduction in services) have reduced certain operational and compensation costs, but the municipality is still facing a drop in revenues of $5.7 million.
“While new growth will offset some of this revenue loss, the overall fiscal impact is negative,” writes the mayor.
The County has come to the City this year with an increased financial ask to fund “provider loans to social housing providers,” says the mayor, adding the City’s balance for major financed capital projects will be $19 million in 2021, “a substantial liability” that can only be reduced by increased reserve contributions.
As such, he doesn’t agree with cutting the increase to County reserves for 2021.
“It’s clear that this is not the year for a significant tax increase, and our residents are currently facing a new and deeper round of economic uncertainty due to the pandemic. While City finances are similarly at risk, staff did an excellent job of managing costs in 2020 and have positioned us well to flex with fiscal impacts in 2021.”

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The region, along with the rest of the province, is currently in stay-at-home mode. Premier Doug Ford said the measures are necessary to halt the rapid growth of COVID-19 cases. Click here to read what the measures mean for Barrie residents.


More than 11,000 doses of the fizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine have been administered through the Simcoe/Muskoka region, most of them going to frontline workers in local hospitals, long-term-care homes, and retirement homes, the health unit reports.
“This includes over 420 individuals that have received both of the required doses of the vaccine. In addition, 1,630 (or 51 per cent) of long-term-care residents have received their first dose,” says the report.
However, the virus continues to expand in the region at a growth rare of 1.8 per cent, based on the week of Jan. 3-9.
“Based on projections, if this level of growth continues there will be approximately 750 cases reported during the week of Jan. 3 to Feb. 6, or about 107 cases per day with a projected weekly incidence rate of 125 cases per 100,000 population.”
To send the curve bending in the other direction, the growth rate needs to be below one. It’s a key indicator to determine if infection rates are moving in the right direction … downward. If the value is two, that means one person is responsible for passing the infection to two people.
The unit is reporting 83 new cases since the last update; the unit updates Monday through Friday. There are now a total of 4,592 confirmed cases in the region, 1,187 of which are active. Deaths now total 86, with four additional ones since last update.
The region, along with the rest of the province, is currently in stay-at-home mode. Premier Doug Ford said the measures are necessary to halt the rapid growth of COVID-19 cases. Click here to read what the measures mean for Barrie residents.

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The City has created a temporary warming centre downtown that can be accessed day and night during the winter, regardless of the weather, starting Monday, Jan. 18.
In light of the current state of emergency, the Barrie Transit terminal, located at 24 Maple Avenue, will be available 24/7 for anyone who needs to get out of the cold during the winter months.
The warming centre is subject to capacity restrictions. Attendees will be limited to 30 minutes at a time to allow others the opportunity to warm up. The warming centre is not intended to be an overnight shelter (no sleeping). Safety protocols will be followed to ensure physical distancing. Screening will take place and face coverings must be worn in all indoor public spaces.
The County of Simcoe provides overnight shelter through their emergency motel system. For more information, visit the County’s website or call Service Simcoe at 705-735-6901. 
Visit the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit’s website for more information about how to stay safe during extreme cold.
On a related note, the Busby Centre is opening new shelter spaces for homeless individuals in our community and needs to hire staff. These are paid positions. Health, social services and related backgrounds is an asset, but all are encouraged to apply. Emailgetconnected@busbycentre.ca to apply or get more information.

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The investigation into this murder has continued over the last 26 years and the arrest was prompted by new information received by the Homicide Unit approximately one year ago.


An arrest has been made in the death of 20-year-old Katherine Janeiro, found deceased in her Barrie apartment on Oct. 10, 1994.
On Wednesday, Jan. 13, Barrie Police Service Homicide Unit investigators arrested a 58-year-old Barrie male. The investigation into this murder has continued over the last 26 years and the arrest was prompted by new information received by the Homicide Unit approximately one year ago.
Janeiro was found in her apartment at 258 Dunlop Street West. A post-mortem examination was conducted, and the cause of death was determined to be multiple stab wounds.
“In any investigation, it is important that every piece of information received is always closely examined; you just never know which one holds the key detail you are searching for and will lead your team ultimately to arrest the person responsible,” said Detective Kevin Scales, case manager.
Katherine’s daughter Dawn, who was just two years old at the time of her mother’s death, provided the following statement:
“I want to thank those who never gave up hope in looking for my mother’s murderer. I wish my grandparents, Dinora and Fernando Janeiro, were alive to see this day. Grief is the most familiar feeling to me. Closure on my mother’s case will help to finally bring me some peace.”
Barrie Chief of Police Kimberley Greenwood said the announcement of an arrest in a historical investigation is one that can bring about mixed feelings of emotion for the family involved.
“The fact that today we can hold someone accountable for the violent death of Katherine Janeiro should serve as proof that no homicide case is ever closed until an arrest is made. I commend our detectives, both past and present, for their persistent determination to see this investigation through to the end.”
Anyone who may have information regarding this investigation is encouraged to contact the Barrie Police Service at 705-725-7025, extension 2160. The accused is scheduled to appear via video on Thursday, January 14, 2021, at the Ontario Court of Justice, located in Barrie, to be remanded into custody.

“The fact that today we can hold someone accountable for the violent death of Katherine Janeiro should serve as proof that no homicide case is ever closed until an arrest is made.” – Barrie Chief of Police Kimberley Greenwood

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The new provincially mandated stay-at-home order gives police, bylaw officers, and workplace inspectors the authority to issue tickets to people not in compliance


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Just some thoughts

The province has moved into a renewed state of emergency, this one coming with a stay-at-home order. Although the province released a list of permissible activities allowed under the order, confusion swirls, including around the matter of enforcement.
As detailed in a statement from the City, the order gives police, bylaw officers, and workplace inspectors the authority to issue tickets to people not in compliance. Not wearing a mask or face covering indoors can get you ticketed, and enforcement personnel can “temporarily close a premise and disperse individuals who are in contravention of an order and will be able to disperse people who are gathering, regardless whether a premise has been closed or remains open such as a park or house.”
Ok, thanks for that, but here’s the rub: how will that enforcement play out in real terms? Before getting into that, here’s a list of those aforementioned permissible activities:
• Work, school and child care: Working or volunteering where the nature of the work or volunteering requires the individual to leave their residence, including when the individual’s employer has determined that the nature of the individual’s work requires attendance at the workplace
• Attending school or a post-secondary institution
• Attending, obtaining or providing child care
• Receiving or providing training or educational services
• Attending, obtaining or providing child care
• Obtaining goods or services that are necessary for the health or safety of an individual, including health care services and medications
• Obtaining goods, obtaining services, or performing such activities as are necessary for the safe operation, maintenance and sanitation of households, businesses, means of transportation or other places
• Purchasing or picking up goods through an alternative method of sale, such as curb-side pickup, from a business or place that is permitted to provide curb-side pickup under the Stage 1 Order
• Attending an appointment at a business or place that is permitted to be open by appointment under the Stage 1 Order
• Obtaining services from a financial institution or cheque cashing service
• Obtaining government services, social services and supports, mental health support services or addictions support services
Further details include:
• All non-essential retail stores, including hardware stores, alcohol retailers, and those offering curb-side pickup or delivery, must open no earlier than 7 a.m. and close no later than 8 p.m. The restricted hours of operation do not apply to stores that primarily sell food, pharmacies, gas stations, convenience stores, and restaurants for takeout or delivery
• Outdoor organized public gatherings are now restricted to a limit of five people. Mask or face coverings are required in the indoor areas of businesses or organizations that are open. Wearing a mask or face covering is recommended outdoors when you cannot maintain physical distance
• Businesses must ensure that any employee who can work from home, does work from home
Critics are saying the order lacks clarity, particularly around the issues of what is essential and enforcement. To add clarity, the Province released the permissible list (above), but questions still remain regarding enforcement. Premier Doug Ford has said there is no clear definition as to what defines essential, adding that depends on individual circumstances. And it seems there is to be no limit on how long people can stay out, or how many times they do go out.
There’s no doubt something has to be done to rein in rapidly growing COVID-19 cases. New modelling released this week shows the spread of the virus is now over seven per cent on the worse days, and that hospital Intensive Care Units (ICUs) risk being overwhelmed. By early February, the modelling predicts beds in the unit will be filled with COVID-19 patients.
During normal times, most of those beds are filled with people suffering injuries or conditions like heart attacks. Now, more than 400 of the province’s beds are occupied by COVID-19 patients. Surgeries are being cancelled now.
Almost 40 per cent of Ontario’s long-term-care homes have active outbreaks, and more deaths are expected.
“Without significant reductions in contacts, the health system will be overwhelmed and mortality will exceed the first wave totals before a vaccine has time to take effect,” says the modelling.
Ford was clearly unwilling to follow Quebec’s lead with a curfew, so the new measures can probably be labelled ‘curfew-light.’ It seems people are being asked to use their best judgement as to what constitutes essential travel. Will enforcement follow that vague interpretation, or will it be something else, more proactive than reactive? Let’s have some clarity here.

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A state of emergency due to rising COVID-19 cases continues in Barrie and across the province.


“We know we can turn things around, Barrie. We did it in the spring and I know we can do it again.  With vaccinations begun, we need to make that final effort to stop the spread and quite literally save lives.” – Mayor Jeff Lehman

The original state of emergency declared by Mayor Jeff Lehman on March 23 remains in effect following the Province’s announcement that a stay-at-home order will commence on Thursday, effective 12:01 a.m.
The order requires everyone to remain at home and only leave for essential purposes, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services, for exercise or for essential work. The following measures are part of that order, but are not limited to:
• All non-essential retail stores, including hardware stores, alcohol retailers, and those offering curb-side pickup or delivery, must open no earlier than 7 a.m. and close no later than 8 p.m. The restricted hours of operation do not apply to stores that primarily sell food, pharmacies, gas stations, convenience stores, and restaurants for takeout or delivery
• Outdoor organized public gatherings are now restricted to a limit of five people. Mask or face coverings are required in the indoor areas of businesses or organizations that are open. Wearing a mask or face covering is recommended outdoors when you cannot maintain physical distance
• Businesses must ensure that any employee who can work from home, does work from home
“The numbers are rising at a concerning rate in our area and our hospital is facing an urgent situation,” said Lehman. “We know we can turn things around, Barrie. We did it in the spring and I know we can do it again.  With vaccinations begun, we need to make that final effort to stop the spread and quite literally save lives.”
What does this mean for Barrie residents? The following framework outlines the City services affected as part of the stay-at-home order. Please note the following is subject to additional input or further restrictions by the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU). Previous measures remain in effect for City services and now also include the following:
City Hall:
• Starting Jan. 14, no in-person services will be available at Service Barrie (with the exception of Burial Permits). Service Barrie is available via email (ServiceBarrie@barrie.ca) or by phone (705-726-4242). Many services are available online at barrie.ca/OnlineServices. Payments for invoices and bills continue to be accepted through the drop boxes located at the front and back of City Hall
Planning:
• The Planner of the Day is available to answer planning related questions online or over the phone only. Emailplanneroftheday@barrie.ca or call 705-726-4242
Building Inspections:
• The City will suspend inspections that do not meet the criteria for essential construction. This includes residential that did not have a permit before Jan 14
Recreation:
• Parks and outdoor rinks (including volunteer-run rinks) will remain open. Ice surface occupancy protocols remain in place. Adhering to previous direction from SMDHU, signage at each location identifies the maximum number of skaters permitted on the ice surface at one ​time. Hockey is prohibited on all outdoor rinks at this time
• Allandale Recreation Centre, Holly Community Centre, East Bayfield Community Centre, Eastview Arena and Sadlon Arena remain closed to the public. Virtual classes are available for residents who have an existing play.barrie.ca account
Waterfront Trails and Washrooms:
• The City has been maintaining more trails by the waterfront and in Sunnidale Park to create more space for people to exercise outside. The existing winter washrooms at the waterfront remain open
• Barrie Public Library:
• Library branches will continue to offer pick-ups and returns of books and movies, as well as Digital Library access and online programming
Landfill:
• The landfill remains open with a reduced capacity (10 vehicles at a time). Please wear a mask and keep two metres from anyone else while visiting the landfill
City construction projects:
• City construction projects can continue as part of the new province regulations
Enforcement:
• The province has provided authority to all enforcement and provincial offences officers, including the Ontario Provincial Police, local police forces, bylaw officers, and provincial workplace inspectors to issue tickets to individuals who do not comply with the stay-at-home order, or those not wearing a mask or face covering indoors as well as retail operators and companies who do not comply with Provincial regulations. Those who decide not to abide by orders may be subject to set fines and/or prosecution. City staff continue to take reports regarding by-law violations at 705-739-4241 and enforcement.services@barrie.ca
• In addition, all enforcement personnel will have the authority to temporarily close a premise and disperse individuals who are in contravention of an order and will be able to disperse people who are gathering, regardless whether a premise has been closed or remains open such as a park or house
The City is waiting for further direction from the Province regarding any additional changes to enforcement. The City needs the support of Barrie businesses and residents to respect the health restrictions. The enhanced proactive inspections to ensure businesses are meeting all health and safety requirements and regulations will continue.
Businesses must operate in compliance with the advice, recommendations and instructions of the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, including recommendations and instructions on physical distancing, cleaning and disinfecting.
The Ontario Small Business Support Grant will provide a minimum of $10,000 and up to $20,000 to help eligible small business owners during this challenging period. Small businesses required to close or significantly restrict services will be able to apply for this one-time grant and use the support in whatever way makes the most sense for their individual business.
Visit Ontario.ca/COVIDsupport for more information. Property tax and energy bill rebates for businesses are available here https://www.ontario.ca/page/businesses-get-help-covid-19-costs.
If you have questions about what will be open or impacts to business or employment, call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659. For the most up-to-date information on the status of City services, visit barrie.ca/services. For detailed and up-to-date information and local case information, visit the Health Unit’s website.
Additional Resources: Service Barrie: 705-726-4242, Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit: 705-721-7520 or simcoemuskokahealth.org, Ontario 211: Community and Social Services: call 211 or visit communityconnection.ca, Barrie Police Service Non-Emergency Line: 705-725-7025, Canadian Mental Health Association: cmha.ca, Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868 or kidshelpphone.ca, Barrie and Area Healthcare options: barriehealth.ca/

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As detailed in the staff report, transit planning principles which “represent the guiding concepts of best practice transit network design” are services promises, the foundation, and the pillars of the transit network


The future of transit in Barrie will be on the table tomorrow as the City’s finance and corporate services committee considers transit principles connected with the Barrie Transit Vision Project.
The project is a staff initiative designed to align with the construction timeline of the Allandale Mobility Hub.
“Barrie’s Transit Vision will determine the optimal bus route network with our new hub location at Allandale GO in 2022. The project will also consider other elements such as Barrie’s new urban growth areas, developing intensification corridors, City of Barrie Transportation Master Plan and new transit service models (Transit on Demand),” writes Michael McConnell, transit operations planner, in a staff report.
“Barrie’s Transit Vision will align with the Allandale Mobility Hub occupation in 2022 and will include future phasing of our transit network to grow with the city while reducing the need for future substantial changes that have a high impact on the rider.”
Stakeholder engagement sessions are planned as part of the process, with the first one set for sometime during the first quarter of the year, available through the City’s website. Staff will present council with the proposed network design.
As detailed in the staff report, transit planning principles which “represent the guiding concepts of best practice transit network design” are:
Service promises: refers to the longevity, financial feasibility, and rider experience of the transit network.
a) Access: measures a rider’s ability to access their city. It is a determination of how many people and jobs a person can access in a given amount of travel time
b) Efficiency: Designing a network that acknowledges that transit resources are limited and allocates these resources in an efficient manner
c) Comfort: A comfortable transit network integrates every aspect of the transit journey towards maximizing a rider’s happiness on their trip, including on-street infrastructure
d) Convenience: A transit network that services the entire city, is easily understood, and operates when you need it
e) Future Ready: A network which is planned to accommodate existing transit demands and future development
The Foundation: recognizes that a transit service must think broadly about the riders demands for the service and how those demands are accommodated
Pillars of the transit network:
a) The Quick Pillar aims to reduce a rider’s ‘on-bus’ travel time through directness of travel, layover time, bus stop spacing, and road characteristics
b) The Frequent Pillar is placed at the centre because of its importance to Barrie’s Transit riders, allowing riders to travel when they want to go, reducing wait times at the bus stop and transfer points, providing riders the freedom to change their plans, and enhancing the trust of the route by reducing the wait time
“By the end of 2022, Barrie will potentially have new urban areas (secondary lands), a new mobility hub (Allandale), and new transit-on-demand zones. These events could require minor adjustments to routes and/or schedules as service opportunities/issues arise to meet the needs of our riders,” reads the report.
“Furthermore, the Allandale Hub project route changes may require minor schedule/route adjustments during the transition period to improve the service for the riders. More significant transit service changes or enhancements, such as the Allandale Hub route changes or enhancements, will still require council approval prior to implementation.”
Committee is also scheduled to view a presentation on Barrie Transit’s vision and an update on the transit-on-demand experience.

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The City is running a fun, new contest to name the snowplows. There are 12 snowplows that need names and residents can come up with some creative and unique ideas.
Submit your idea for a snowplow name for your chance to win a City of Barrie prize pack. The winning names will also be featured on the City’s Plow Tracker app and will be added to the snowplow machines for the 2021-22 winter season.
How to enter:
• Brainstorm a fun name for a City of Barrie snowplow
• Visit the online contest submission form via barrie.ca/PlowTracker to share your name, your snowplow idea name, and your contact information (email, phone and address)
The contest is open and entries will be accepted until Jan. at 4 p.m. A shortlist of names will be selected in late January, and then the public will vote to choose 12 winning names. Voting will close at 4 p.m. on Feb. 10, and winners will be announced in mid-February.
The following contest rules apply:
• You must be a City of Barrie resident to participate in the contest. One name entry per resident please
• Any inappropriate or offensive names will not be considered or published
Visit barrie.ca/plowtracker to learn about the City’s online plow tracker. Visit barrie.ca/snow to find out more about the City’s winter maintenance updates, levels of service and frequently asked questions.

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Last night, the Barrie Police Service was kept busy with the report of two robberies that had taken place in the downtown area within a 3.5 hour period.
The first robbery occurred at 7 p.m. at P_ZZA, located at 50 Dunlop St. E., after a male suspect entered the restaurant, made a demand for money, and fled on foot. A significant police response resulted in the establishment of a perimeter while the Canine Unit attempted to locate the suspect. Unfortunately, the suspect made good his escape, but with the description provided by the victim and the availability of surveillance video, members of the Community Response Unit (CRU), who are responsible for the policing in the downtown area, immediately were able to provide all the officers involved in this investigation with the identity of the suspect.
A second robbery took place at 10:29 p.m. after the Circle K convenience store located at 149 Dunlop St. E. was robbed and the suspect again fled on foot. A dynamic police response, virtually identical to the one that happened for the earlier robbery again descended upon the downtown area. A short time later, the Barrie Police Canine Unit successfully tracked a suspect to a nearby location where he was arrested.
As a result of the investigation, which was conducted by detectives from the Barrie Police Criminal Investigation Division, a 50-year-old male from Barrie has been charged with Robbery (2 counts), Fail to Comply with Probation (2 counts) and Weapons Dangerous. He has been held in custody and is scheduled to have a bail hearing today. Police were also able to recover money that had be obtained during these incidents.

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The County is scheduled to present its 2021 budget numbers at Monday night’s virtual council meeting. Costs relating to COVID-19 are adding to this year’s budget.


The County of Simcoe, which provides a range of services to Barrie, is coming to the City for 7.7 per cent more than last year’s budget request.
The County provides ambulance services, long-term care, Ontario Works, children’s services, social housing, and other needs to the City. In return, the City funds its share of the services provided. That totals $26,857,000 this year, up from 2020’s forecast finish, $25,471,000, and the actual 2020 budget of $24,949,000.
The County is scheduled to present its 2021 budget numbers at Monday night’s virtual council meeting.
The County’s 2021 budget has been approved by county council. Costs related to COVID-19 pushed up spending in a number of areas, the County says. The City is being asked to come up with another $750,000 to operate long-term care, with the County citing additional costs including additional staff, disinfectants, and other virus-containing measures.
Regarding capital costs, including the redevelopment of Simcoe Manor, the City’s contribution seems to be increasing $594,000. The City’s costs for its share of land ambulance (paramedics) is actually coming in at $1 million less than last year, but the City’s share is still $6,583,000.
With the County’s budget, its residents are looking at a zero per cent municipal tax hike. City residents are facing a possible 3.59 property tax hike.
During a general committee meeting in November, conversation turned to COVID-19 support funds from other levels of government (more than $9 million from Safe Restart), and what to do with it. The question of using it to lower a possible tax hike was raised, followed by a caution from Mayor Jeff Lehman.
“The County is coming to the City for 7.7 per cent more than last year, and that’s a substantial amount of funding. When I asked questions about that, the primary cause is an increase in long-term-care costs; I think all of us who have watched what has happened during COVID can understand why the county wants to spend more on staffing and long-term care,” he said then.
“It’s a substantial bill for the City … when asked how the City could pay for this, they said Safe Restart funding.

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Total budget request comes in at $57,292,783, which includes a $52,480,037 operating budget, a $1,853,000 capital budget, and $2,959,746 in legislative expenses.


The Barrie Police Service will be looking for an increase of 2.65 per cent over last year’s spending, asking city council to approve a 2021 budget of more than $57 million.
The requested budget will be the subject of a presentation to council on Monday. Total numbers come in at $57,292,783, which includes a $52,480,037 operating budget, a $1,853,000 capital budget, and $2,959,746 in legislative expenses.
The operating budget comprises:
• Salaries account for 76 per cent of the budget
• Benefits take up another 23 per cent
• Overtime costs add one per cent to the operating budget
Also included in the operating budget are costs related to the Police Services Board, and operating and facilities expenses. Revenues of $5,950,020 came in from grants, secondments, revenues … including a $2.7 million grant for court security/prisoner transportation.
Policing in Barrie, according to the presentation, largely consists of:
• Emergency: emergency calls require immediate police response to protect people or property. They may be non-criminal but are urgent
• Non-criminal: These calls do not result in criminal charges, but still require police investigation, assistance, and resources
• Non-emergency: These situations can be criminal occurrences that have already taken place, or proactive enforcement measures such as traffic stops
• Criminal: Criminal calls are those that result in a criminal investigation or criminal charges. These calls may start out as non-criminal situations
With the capital budget, 38 per cent is for fleet maintenance, 24 per cent for information technology, and seven per cent for cameras worn by police officers.
The service employs 244 sworn officers and 118 civilians. Last November, council watched a presentation, Barrie Police Service: Inside the Call, from police chief Kimberly Greenwood discussing the workings of the service.

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“The work they will do over the coming two years will help our community as it grows and guide our efforts to support anti-racism efforts in our City.” – Mayor Jeff Lehman


The City is moving ahead with the Anti-racism Task Force, comprising seven members who will work with community organizations to foster a better understanding of minority groups in Barrie.
The initiative comes from a motion council approved last June, and sponsored by the Barrie Police Service, to established the task force, which will work with police services, school boards, community groups, municipal organizations, social services, business, labour and government agencies to help get a stronger understanding of minority groups and their needs.
“We are extremely pleased to welcome these seven individuals and look forward to the work of this task force,” said Mayor Jeff Lehman. “The work they will do over the coming two years will help our community as it grows and guide our efforts to support anti-racism efforts in our City.”
During the summer months, groups and individuals met to guide the process, leading to the official call for applications to the task force in the fall. More than 30 applications were received from a variety of personal and professional backgrounds and experiences, with seven members chosen.
The task force had an introductory meeting in December with the mayor and Police Chief Kimberley Greenwood.
“The work that this group of volunteers has agreed to be involved with will help to identify what Barrie requires as we prepare and plan for a future that is based upon inclusiveness, fairness and community collaboration,” said Greenwood. “I commend these civic minded citizens and am confident that their collective efforts will make for a more vibrant and unified Barrie.”
The next meeting of the task force will be held this month to select a Chair, discuss pressing issues in the community, and discuss the work ahead. 

“The work that this group of volunteers has agreed to be involved with will help to identify what Barrie requires as we prepare and plan for a future that is based upon inclusiveness, fairness and community collaboration.” – Police Chief Kimberley Greenwood.

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Local restaurants are among businesses that can access financial support from the City through the COVID-19 Tourism Response Fund.
In a press release, the City says it is collaborating with the Regional Tourism Organization 7 (RTO7), Grey County, Simcoe County and the City of Orillia to administer the fund, a non-repayable contribution ranging from $2,500 to $20,000, to tourism operators in Barrie and the surrounding regions of Grey and Simcoe counties. Eligibility extends to restaurants, accommodations, select retail and others.
The City recognizes that the tourism industry has been severely impacted by COVID-19. The intention of this fund is to help offset the high cost for tourism operators of adapting to changing health and safety requirements and prioritizing safety during the pandemic. Examples of adaptation are the addition or expansion of patios at restaurants, the plexiglass barriers at counters or between tables, touchless payment systems, reservation systems, sanitization stations, COVID sanitizer fogging equipment and others.
To be eligible, businesses must be a small-to medium-sized enterprise (1-99 employees) or a not-for-profit enterprise and/or Indigenous organization/community, and must qualify as one of the following types of tourism operators:
• Accommodation (hotels, motels, resorts, campgrounds and recreational vehicle facilities)
• Recreation and entertainment (zoos, museums, theatres, sports facilities, amusement parks, government parks, heritage sites, hunting, fishing or outdoor adventure outfitters, casinos)
• Food and beverage services (restaurants from fast service to fine dining, as well as pubs, nightclubs, cruise ships and convention centres)
• Travel service (retail travel agencies, wholesale tour companies, corporate offices with their own booking divisions)
• Transportation (companies that provide transport by air, land or water, and include airlines, bus companies, taxi companies, ferry services and cruise ships)
• Not-for-profit enterprises and Indigenous organizations/communities that support tourists
• Retail stores heavily dependent on tourism may also be considered
Applications will be accepted until Jan. 31. RTO7, in collaboration with the Counties of Grey and Simcoe and the Cities of Barrie and Orillia, will evaluate all submissions.
Businesses can learn more about the eligibility requirements and download the application form on the RTO7 website. To learn more about how the City is supporting businesses through the pandemic, and to find out about more financial assistance options, visit barrie.ca/SupportForBusiness.

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“It has been a tremendous privilege for the Barrie Community Foundation to have been able to step forward and help the Barrie community by distributing the monies with which we were entrusted by the citizens of Barrie.” – Marshall Green


Keep the good news about your business going during the lockdown, and emerge stronger and prepared for the growth that awaits. Get noticed, build your brand and audience with Devine Media Service. Display your ad and/or promotion, have it proactively promoted through social media feeds, have those feeds managed, and support local journalism, for one, affordable and inclusive price

Since April, the Barrie Community Foundation has distributed Rapid Micro Grants of $1,000 to more than 20 Barrie charities. Granted through the Barrie Community Foundation’s Crisis Fund, these monies are helping to ease the strain of a pandemic. 
“It has been a tremendous privilege for the Barrie Community Foundation to have been able to step forward and help the Barrie community by distributing the monies with which we were entrusted by the citizens of Barrie,” said Marshall Green, Barrie Community Foundation, Chair.
“We have been able to provide 21 organizations and agencies who have been struggling to help the disadvantaged in our community during this unprecedented crisis.”
Throughout the pandemic, the Barrie Community Foundation has granted more than $500,000 to organizations – on the front lines of the COVID-19 response. These funds have come from different streams in the Barrie Community Foundation – our endowment fund grants, our local Community Crisis Fund, and the Federal Emergency Community Support Fund that we administered on a local level. These grants ranged from $1000-$20,000.
“We are grateful to receive a $1000 Rapid-Micro Grant through the Community Crisis Fund,” says Suzanna McCarthy, Executive Director, John Howard Society of Simcoe and Muskoka. “Now we will be able to replace a piece of aging technology which is no longer fully functional. This single improvement will have an incredible impact on our agency, allowing us to spend more time focusing on serving our community.” 
The organizations receiving Rapid Micro Grants this year include: Gilda’s Club, YouthReach, The Gilbert Centre, Christmas Cheer, Barrie Native Friendship Centre, Glowing Hearts Give and Get, The John Howard Society of Simcoe and Muskoka, Catholic Family Services, Redwood Park Communities, Elizabeth Fry Society, Hospice Simcoe, Theatre By The Bay, Women and Children’s Shelter of Barrie, The David Busby Centre, Youth Haven, Epilepsy (Ontario) Simcoe County, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Barrie and District, Camphill Communities Ontario, Season’s Centre for Grieving Children, Child Advocacy Centre, New Path Youth and Family Services.
“We’re grateful to be the conduit to get these funds out, supporting safe shelter for those fleeing abuse, food and warm clothes for those in need, technological support for seniors in isolation so they can communicate better with family and friends, retraining for those who lost their jobs in the pandemic and so much more,” added Green.
Charitable donations to support Barrie’s Community Crisis Fund can be made online here: https://www.barriecommunityfoundation.org/endowment-funds/the-community-crisis-fund/ 
To set up your own endowment fund that allows you to give back and support your community year after year, please contact Sarah Ingram, Executive Director of the Barrie Community Foundation, at 705-816-6368. 

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The Barrie Police Service was part of a two-year operation into illegal cannabis production, sale, and distribution across the province. The effort resulted in numerous warrants being executed and seizure of product, including more than 180,000 cannabis plants. The OPP takes you inside a facility in a rare video that looks at the magnitude of these illegal operations and the impact they have on the community.


From the OPP

In the last two years, members of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Provincial Joint Forces Cannabis Enforcement Team (PJFCET) have tackled illegal cannabis production, sale and distribution enterprises across Ontario.
The PJFCET is responsible for enforcing the cannabis laws and investigating criminal enterprises that exploit or abuse the legal cannabis market and consists of members from: OPP, Kingston Police Service, Hamilton Police Service, Barrie Police Service, Waterloo Regional Police Service, Sarnia Police Service, Windsor Police Service, London Police Service, and Niagara Regional Police Service.
Investigators have executed 152 warrants across Ontario, seized over 180,000 cannabis plants, thousands of pounds of dried cannabis, edibles and concentrates and other illicit drugs, $3.2 million Canadian currency and over $1.8 million in proceeds from crime such as property, vehicles and firearms. The PJFCET has laid 1,176 federal Cannabis Act and Criminal Code charges.
The PJFCET partners with OPP Regional Community Street Crime Units, along with members of the OPP Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau, Emergency Response Team and Tactics and Rescue Unit, Ontario Fire Marshal, Ministry of Environment, Canada Border Services Agency and local municipalities to safeguard and protect communities from the dangers inherent with the illegal cannabis industry.
Communities spread across the province face threats from violence associated with illegal crime activities, from human trafficking, to impacts on the environment, including the quality of life when surrounded by large-scale illegal cannabis facilities.
These sophisticated operations exploit Health Canada registrations to produce or designate someone to produce, cannabis for medical purposes by diverting cannabis authorized to be grown for medical purposes to the illegal market.
Cutting off the illegal supply is not only related to enforcement and arrests. The OPP continues to work with online platform operators to remove illegal cannabis sites that are selling unsafe and unregulated cannabis products.
“The PJFCET’s initial focus was on storefronts and then shifted to the online space. Now, we are targeting the illegal cannabis sites where we see the magnitude of the scope of these illegal operations. They are not small operations growing for personal use. They are lucrative criminal networks funding other criminality. This is organized crime at its highest level,” explains Detective Inspector Jim Walker, OPP Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau, Provincial Joint Forces Cannabis Enforcement Team.

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The health unit is reporting 248 new cases for the current week. Last week (Dec. 27 to Jan. 2) the unit reported 388 new cases. Its numbers are updated daily, Monday through Friday. There are now a total of 3,833 confirmed cases in the region, with 2,525 recovered and 69 deaths.


The Simcoe/Muskoka region continues to be on the wrong side of the COVID-19 Rt rate, with the latest numbers from the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit showing the average daily growth of the virus coming in at 1.6 per cent.
“Based on projections, if this level of growth continues there will be approximately 600 cases reported during the week of Jan. 24-30, or about 85 cases per day with a projected weekly incidence rate of 101 cases per 100,000 population,” the unit reports.
To send the curve bending in a negative direction, the Rt rate (effective reproduction rate) needs to be below one. It’s a key indicator to determine if infection rates are moving in the right direction … downward. If the value is two, that means one person is responsible for passing the infection to two people.
Another term to understand is the reproduction rate, or RO. It refers to the number of people an infected person can be expected to infect; without any safety precautions, the infection number can be two to four from one person. The difference between RO and Rt is that the latter changes depending on individual behaviour.
The unit is reporting 316 new cases for the current week. Last week (Dec. 27 to Jan. 2) the unit reported 388 new cases. Its numbers are updated daily, Monday through Friday. There are now a total of 3,833 confirmed cases in the region, with 2,525 recovered and 69 deaths. Today (Tuesday) the Province is reporting 3,128 new cases, or 147 weekly per 100,000 people. It is also being reported that 1,347 people are being cared for in Ontario hospitals for COVID-19, including 325 in intensive care. Of that number, 245 people are on ventilators.
Highlights of the report include:
• The seven-day moving average of new COVID-19 cases in Simcoe Muskoka steadily increased from early August to early October, from less than one case per day to more than 16 cases per day. The moving average dropped to 12 cases per day in mid-October; however, it increased to nearly 50 cases per day by mid-December
• Young adults (18 to 34 years) have had the highest rate of new cases since the start of the second wave of the pandemic; however, the rates have increased significantly across all age groups since August
• While the rate of new COVID-19 infections among females was higher than males in the first wave of the pandemic, the rate among males has been higher than females since September
• There have been more than 650 cases associated with local outbreaks since the start of the pandemic. From March to October approximately 75 per cent of these cases were linked to long-term care and retirement homes outbreaks and more than 20 per cent were linked to workplace outbreaks. See the list of current institutional outbreaks for more details. From November onward, outbreak-associated cases have been distributed relatively evenly across institutional settings, congregate settings, educational settings and workplaces.
• There are currently zero active school outbreaks in Simcoe Muskoka. For more information and data about COVID-19 and school impacts, visit the Province of Ontario’s COVID-19 cases in schools and child care centres website
• Most COVID-19 cases in Simcoe Muskoka are from the Barrie and South Simcoe areas. Click here to view the epidemic curve by municipality
• Approximately half of all new infections in December with a known cause were acquired from close contact with a confirmed positive case and about 20 per cent were acquired in the community with no known source of infection
The region is currently in shutdown mode, along with the rest of Southern Ontario. Premier Doug Ford said the measures are necessary to halt the rapid growth of COVID-19 cases. Click here to read what the measures mean for Barrie residents.

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Snow removal operations in the downtown area will during the overnight hours on Monday, Jan. 4, and Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021. 
All vehicles should be removed from metered parking by 8 p.m. on Monday. Vehicles that are not removed by this time will be ticketed and towed. The areas impacted include the following streets, or sections of streets, in the downtown area, during the following dates and times:
Monday, Jan. 4 – 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.: Bayfield Street – Simcoe to Sophia, Clapperton Street – Dunlop East to McDonald, Owen Street – Dunlop East to McDonald, Mulcaster Street – Codrington to Dunlop, Chase McEachern Way, Dunlop Street East – Poyntz to Bayfield, Collier Street – Poyntz to Bayfield, Worsley Street – Poyntz to Bayfield, Codrington Street – Mulcaster to McDonald, McDonald – Mulcaster to Sophia East, Sophia Street East – McDonald to Bayfield.
Tuesday, Jan. 5 – 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.: High Street – Bradford to Park, Bradford Street – Simcoe to Dunlop West, Toronto Street – Lakeshore to Ross, Mary Street – Simcoe to Sophia West, Maple Avenue – Simcoe to Ross, Simcoe Street – Bradford to Bayfield, Dunlop Street West – High to Bayfield, Park Street – Parkside to Toronto, Ross Street – Wellington West to Bayfield, Sophia Street West – Toronto to Mary.
This operation will involve rolling road closures, which will be coordinated by Barrie police and City staff. Snow removal operations in the downtown area are an essential part of the City’s efforts to keep the streets clear and passable for residents, as well as emergency vehicles.
For more information about snow removal, visit barrie.ca/snow.

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Sergeant John Parcells, a veteran officer with the Barrie Police Service, performed CPR on James Hall, who had collapsed in his driveway. The Barrie resident made a full recovery

A Barrie police officer is being recognized for actions that assisted an elderly Barrie man who was in medical distress.
Last Sunday around 9:50 a.m., Sergeant John Parcells, a 32-year veteran of the Barrie Police Service, was on patrol in the Heather Street area looking for a motor vehicle that had earlier been reported stolen. At the same time, 89-year-old James Hall was removing snow from around his parked car when he collapsed.
Observing this, Sergeant Parcells exited his police vehicle and immediately removed Mr. Hall from his motor vehicle and commenced cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), while requesting the assistance of the County of Simcoe Paramedic Services at his location. Mr. Hall responded to the CPR he received and was transported to a local hospital for medical treatment.
Mr. Hall made a full recovery and was released from hospital a short time later. There is no doubt that the outcome of this incident could have been very different if Sergeant Parcells had not been where he was at the time Mr. Hall collapsed.
This incident serves as a valuable reminder that the ongoing training that police officers receive throughout the course of their careers is very valuable and no doubt contributed to what has been referred to by those involved as a ‘Christmas Miracle.’

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Barrie Police are asking for the public’s assistance after a break and enter that took place at a residence on Dec. 18 in southwest Barrie.
Police responded to a reported break and enter that occurred in the evening hours and is believed to have been carried out by two suspects. After entering the home, the suspects stole gaming consoles, jewelry, and other personal items, as well as a large quantity of South Korean currency. At current exchange rates, one Canadian dollar is worth approximately 850 South Korean won.
Investigating Officers are asking anyone who may have information on this break and enter to contact Detective Constable J. Dorion at 705-725-7025 Ext. 2660 or jdorion@barriepolice.ca. Any information can be provided anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or leave an anonymous tip online at www.p3tips.com.

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The City of Barrie reminds residents of the following schedule changes during the holidays:

Barrie Transit Holiday Schedule
There will be no service on Jan. 1. On Dec. 26, Transit will operate their regular Saturday service. On Dec. 31, there will be regular weekday service with no extended evening service, but it will be free to ride Transit from 5 p.m. to the end of service. The City remains committed to providing the option of a safe ride home for those who may need it for work on New Year’s Eve. Visit barrie.ca/TransitNotices for further detail. 

Curbside Collection
There will be no curbside collection on New Year’s Day. Collection will occur one day later for both weeks. Materials must be curbside by 7 a.m. on your collection day. Seebarrie.ca/CurbsideCollection for more information about Christmas tree collection in January. 

Landfill
The Landfill Site will be closed on Dec. 26, at noon on Dec. 31 and all-day Jan. 1. Under the new provincial shutdown measures, as of Dec. 29, the landfill will remain open at reduced capacity. The City asks all residents visiting the landfill to wear a mask.

City Hall
City Hall closed at noon on Dec. 24 and will remain closed for statutory holidays on Dec. 25-28 and on Jan. 1. Effective the week of Dec. 29 (following the statutory holiday) City Hall will be open for pre-booked appointments only through Service Barrie on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Residents must call 705-726-4242 to book an appointment.

Recreation
Allandale Recreation Centre, East Bayfield Community Centre and Holly Community Centre will remain closed until further notice as part of the provincial shutdown.

Parking
Downtown on-street metered parking and parking in the Chase McEachern lot is free for the first two hours during December. Downtown parking (on-street and lots) is free on all statutory holidays. Waterfront parking is enforced 24/7/365; residents must display their permits and visitors are required to pay. From Dec. to March 31, on-street parking is not permitted from 3–6 a.m. within the Downtown BIA, and on other City streets from 12:01–7 a.m. Visit barrie.ca/parking for more information.  
If winter maintenance is not required, on-street parking will be permitted for the following dates and times: 12:01 a.m. to 7 a.m. on Dec. 26, 12:01 a.m. to 7 a.m. on Jan. 1.
If winter maintenance is required on these nights, the City will ask residents to remove parked vehicles from the road to allow crews to effectively clear the streets. The City will advise media, and notice will be posted at barrie.ca/snow, Facebook, and Twitter by 4 p.m. on the day prior that will confirm whether overnight on-street parking is permitted.

Options for City activities over the holidays
The City’s two main outdoor ice rinks will remain open with capacity limits for the duration of the provincial shutdown, weather-permitting. The Circle at the Centre rink at City Hall and the Centennial Park outdoor rink are open for pleasure skating only, no hockey permitted. Both rinks will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., weather permitting. Skaters are required to follow safety procedures when using outdoor rinks. More information and updates are available here: barrie.ca/rinks.
Celebrate New Year’s Eve virtually. Following the advice of the Health Unit, the City is hosting a virtual night of free fun, so you and your family can celebrate safely at home. Tune in to the City of Barrie on Facebook or YouTube​ New Year’s Eve (Dec. 31) starting at 7 p.m. for an hour-long celebration featuring a special performance by Splash’N Boots followed by a family countdown. 
Visit barrie.ca/services to confirm the current status of all City services during the COVID-19 pandemic. This holiday season, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit and the Government of Ontario is advising that everyone should avoid social gatherings. Families should not visit any other household or allow visitors in their homes, and only go out for essential items or needs.

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