“By implementing this new bylaw, it’s our hope that our City will help Ontario and Canada slow the spread of COVID-19. We all need take this seriously now for the health of our families, our friends and our community. If you have to go out for essential needs, only send one member of the household, stay apart and be safe.” – Mayor Jeff Lehman


Barrie residents not complying with COVID-19-related distancing measures face significant penalties for noncompliance.
On Friday, Mayor Jeff Lehman signed the Barrie COVID-19 Emergency Measures By-law to help protect the health and safety of residents. The new bylaw prohibits certain activities and regulates physical distancing to help contain the spread of COVID-19 in the community.
Individuals not adhering to physical distancing regulation can be fined a minimum of $500 and maximum of up to $100,000 for each offence.
Municipal regulations under the by-law include:
• Prohibiting people from maintaining less than a 2.0 metre distance from one another on any public property (other than people they live with)
• Prohibiting businesses to operate in a manner that would allow people to be seated or to be standing less than two metres apart whether inside or outside the business (other than people they live with)
• Prohibiting people from using any of the following City property: playgrounds and other structures in parks such as benches, pavilions and shelters; dog-off leash areas; picnic areas; community gardens; outdoor sports facilities and outdoor fitness equipment, including sports fields, basketball, pickleball, disc golf, skateboard parks and tennis courts.
“Barrie is continuing to ensure our citizens stay home and stay safe,” says Mayor Jeff Lehman. “By implementing this new bylaw, it’s our hope that our City will help Ontario and Canada slow the spread of COVID-19. We all need take this seriously now for the health of our families, our friends and our community. If you have to go out for essential needs, only send one member of the household, stay apart and be safe.”
If residents wish to report a non-compliant business, the use of public amenities that are closed or gatherings of more than five people, they are asked to call 705-739-4241 or email enforcement.services@barrie.ca. A bylaw enforcement officer and/or security personnel will investigate the complaint to ensure compliance and may lay charges when appropriate. For emergency matters, please call 911.
For the latest updates to City services, visit www.barrie.ca/Services.

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The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit is reporting an outbreak of COVID-19 at a long-term care facility in the region.
It is also reporting 71 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 20 recovered, 11 hospitalizations and four deaths. Changes from the previous reporting day include five new cases, four in self-isolation and one in hospital. Three additional cases have now recovered. See the list of current institutional outbreaks for more details.
The region’s public health authorities are saying there is evidence of community transmission of COVID-19 in the region, which means the virus is spreading in the community and is not linked to travel or a previously known case.
That means the number of cases are expected to rise over the next days and weeks. Due to this, public health is unable to monitor how the virus is spreading from person to person and this makes it more difficult to slow its spread.
“This is not just a disease affecting the elderly, most of our cases are among adults between 35 and 64 years of age. This makes it even more important that people protect themselves and others by staying home and assuming that you and everyone around you may be carrying the virus. If we all do this, as well as continue to maintain physical distance of two metres from others and wash our hands frequently, we will be putting less people at risk and can flatten the curve,” says the unit.
Anyone who has new cold-like/respiratory symptoms (regardless of travel history), and has not been tested for COVID-19, is to self-isolate at home for 14 days. If your symptoms worsen, seek clinical assessment over the phone – either by calling your primary care provider’s office or Telehealth Ontario 1-866-797-0000. If you need additional assessment, your primary care provider or Telehealth Ontario will direct you to in-person care options.
Status of Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit cases updated daily Mon – Fri. Subscribe to the unit’s YOUTUBE channel to watch daily weekday media briefings with our Medical Officer of Health.
Protect yourself and others
Stay home: Avoid all non-essential trips into your community
Practise physical distancing: Physical distancing means keeping two metres or six feet between you and another person. Everyone should practise physical distancing to reduce their exposure to other people. Everyone should do their best to avoid close contact with people outside of their immediate families.
Practise proper hygiene: Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 15 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, sneeze and cough into your sleeve, and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

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Barrie residents not complying with coronavirus-related distancing orders may find themselves on the receiving end of a visit by authorities now that the City has established a dedicated COVID-19 Enforcement Line.
The line has been set up for the public to report instances of non-compliance with the COVID-19 emergency orders. Members of the public can call the COVID-19 Enforcement Line at 705-739-4241 or email at enforcement.services@barrie.ca.
Phone call volumes to the COVID-19 Enforcement Line may require you to leave a message. Please note that calls or emails received after 8 p.m. may be actioned the next day depending on available resources. For emergency matters, please call 911.
Once received, the complaints will be tracked and addressed by Barrie Municipal Law Enforcement officers, in collaboration with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit Public Health Inspectors and the Barrie Police Service.
The City will investigate the following:
• Use of City-owned amenities (including playground structures, skateparks, etc)
• Gatherings of five or more in a public space
• Non-essential businesses that are providing in-person services to the public
The City’s enforcement staff are currently conducting proactive patrols of all city parks. It is an offence to fail to comply with an emergency order. The maximum punishment is one-year imprisonment or a fine of up to $100,000 for an individual, $500,000 for a director of a corporation, or $10,000,000 for a corporation.
Provincial Government Information Lines:
• Stop the Spread Business Information Line – a toll-free line (1-888-444-3659) for anyone with questions about closures of at-risk workplaces or how emergency measures impact their business or employment.
• A Price Gouging hotline is also available. Consumers can report an individual who is price gouging by filing a complaint at 1-800-889-9768 between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday to Friday, or by filing a report online.
Everyone in Ontario should be practicing physical distancing to reduce their exposure to other people. Avoid close contact (within two metres) with people outside of your immediate families. If you think you may have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, first self-isolate and then use Ontario’s Self-Assessment Tool to see if you need to seek further care.
Take these everyday steps to reduce exposure to COVID-19 and protect your health:
• Wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
• Sneeze and cough into your sleeve
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
• Avoid contact with people who are sick
• Stay home if you are sick.
Additional Resources:
• Service Barrie: 705-726-4242
• Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit: 705-721-7520 or simcoemuskokahealth.org/
• Barrie Police Service Non-Emergency Line: 705-725-7025
• Ontario 211: Community and Social Services: call 211 or visit communityconnection.ca
• Canadian Mental Health Association: cmha.ca
• Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868 or kidshelpphone.ca

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“Our goal is to maintain service coverage throughout the entire city and maintaining the daily hours of operation we provide today. By moving to hourly service, we can provide a sustainable and reliable schedule that riders can depend on during these times. It’s extremely important we maintain this critical service so people can get to essential workplaces and grocery shopping.” – Brent Forsyth, Director of Transit.

Barrie Transit riders are getting a free ride as the City continues to respond to the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
Transit service will continue to be free until April 30, and starting April 6 will move to an hourly service. Buses will run from approximately 5:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. Monday to Saturday. The Sunday services will remain hourly services from approximately 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Also, as of April 6, the Downtown Bus Terminal will be closed until further notice.
“Our goal is to maintain service coverage throughout the entire city and maintaining the daily hours of operation we provide today,” said Brent Forsyth, Director of Transit. “By moving to hourly service, we can provide a sustainable and reliable schedule that riders can depend on during these times. It’s extremely important we maintain this critical service so people can get to essential workplaces and grocery shopping.”
The City has been putting increased measures in place to protect drivers and riders during this time. Free transit allows riders to board the bus from the back doors, which limits the contact between riders and drivers. People with accessible needs can continue to board using the front doors. To further encourage physical distancing, every other seat is taped off and buses are limited to no more than 15 passengers. Staff continues increased sanitizing practices on all Barrie Transit buses.
Barrie Transit has been offering free services since March 20. Refunds or credits for March and April transit monthly pass purchases will be provided on a prorated basis for the period of time Barrie Transit was free to the public. Riders should hold on to their March/April transit pass. Refunds or credits will be provided when the City is able to resume public facing services to the community.
Please consult MyRideBarrie.ca before departing on your trip to track your bus. Barrie Transit may be experiencing intermittent service issues on some routes. Please avoid all unnecessary travel. Do not use public transit if you are feeling unwell, or you have travelled outside Canada within the past 14 days.
For the latest updates to City services, visit www.barrie.ca/Services. For updates and information on COVID-19, visit simcoemuskokahealth.org/.

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Andrew Cywink, a Research and Innovation Technologist at Georgian College, wears one of the single-use face shields he helped create using fabrication equipment in the Alectra Centre for Research, Innovation and Commercialization, located within Georgian’s Peter B. Moore Advanced Technology Centre. Over 600 face shields were donated to the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre in Barrie. (Georgian College photo)

Georgian College is donating critical supplies to frontline healthcare workers and using the skills of its Research and Innovation team to manufacture temporary face shields.
With the college’s Health and Wellness programs being delivered through remote delivery, the college has been redeploying personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies to health partners.
“We’ve mobilized a phenomenal team effort across the college to collect the PPE supplies we are not currently using, including gloves, masks and gowns,” said Fay Lim-Lambie, Dean, Health, Wellness and Sciences.  “As a result, more than 105,000 individual PPEs will benefit health partners in need – including hospitals and long-term care facilities.”
Georgian’s Research and Innovation team also saw an opportunity to use innovative technology to meet the need for temporary face shields for the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) in Barrie until new PPEs can be mass produced. Two local manufacturers – Innovative Automation and Molded Precision Components – are also re-tooling their operations to start production of PPEs.
Production of more than 600 face shields took place this week with the help of Research and Innovation Technologist Andrew Cywink and Jared Bergsma, a Mechanical Engineering Technology student, who was able to help remotely on the project. Bergsma is doing his co-op in the Alectra Centre for Research, Innovation and Commercialization (C-RIC), located within Georgian’s Peter B. Moore Advanced Technology Centre.
“Our friends at Georgian College were one of the first to respond to our request for PPE, jumping in enthusiastically to lend support in this challenging time,” said RVH Foundation CEO, Eric Dean, whose team is spearheading community donations and PPE collections. 
“RVH and Georgian College have a long-standing partnership on many initiatives and this latest collaboration further demonstrates this remarkable relationship. We are incredibly grateful for their support in this unprecedented time.”
The college intends to help companies co-ordinate with RVH as new needs arise,” said Mira Ray, Director, Research and Innovation at Georgian. 
“We can also be on call to produce short-run items that the hospital or any medical clinic, health-care provider, or essential service the health-care sector needs.” 
To help with this effort, Georgian is looking for donations of raw materials, such as PET or PETg  (a polyester film made from polyethylene terephthalate) that could be used to manufacture more face shields.  If any companies would like to donate, they can reach out to researchandinnovation@georgiancollege.ca.

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Recognizing that household waste levels may be higher now that residents are staying home due to coronavirus distancing measures, the City is offering three free garbage tags to households who need them.
Residents who require garbage tags can email garbagetags@barrie.ca or call Service Barrie at 705-726-4242 and provide their name and address. Tags will be mailed out. Three garbage tags per residential address can be requested. The City asks that only one additional bag (with a tag) be used per collection week. The deadline for tag requests is June 30, and residents may only make a request once during this time period.
Currently in Barrie, curb-side collection is occurring as scheduled, wit​h the usual limits: two standard size bags every other week (max. weight of 45 lbs. per bag), and unlimited green bins and recycling boxes every week. If you have additional garbage, the additional bag must be tagged with a City garbage tag and attached to the neck of the garbage bag. Tags cannot be affixed to bulk items.

Keeping drivers safe:

In an effort to keep curb-side collection drivers safe during this time, the City is asking residents to place facial tissues, paper towels and napkins in a securely tied garbage bag instead of the green bin.
We also remind residents to sort garbage, green bin and recycling material properly, and ensure that cleaning wipes go in the garbage. They cannot go in the green bin and should not be flushed. If not sure where an item goes, check the City’s online look up tool at www.barrie.ca/WhereDoesItGo.  
All collection trucks are equipped with sanitizer and the contractor has masks and gloves available for all collectors.
In addition, the City’s annual Spring into Clean events that happen in late April have been cancelled. The City will continually update its website at barrie.ca/StayHome as the situation changes. For updates and information on COVID-19, visit simcoemuskokahealth.org/.
Useful resource numbers:
• 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
• Canadian Mental Health Association: cmha.ca
• Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868 or kidshelpphone.ca

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Status of Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit cases updated daily Monday to Friday

The region’s public health authorities are saying there is evidence of community transmission of COVID-19 in the region, which means the virus is spreading in the community and is not linked to travel or a previously known case.
That means the number of cases are expected to rise over the next days and weeks. Due to this, public health is unable to monitor how the virus is spreading from person to person and this makes it more difficult to slow its spread.
The health unit says there are currently 52 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the region, including nine recovered, eight hospitalizations and four deaths. Ages of those confirmed cases are: One teenager, seven people aged 18 to 34, 29 people aged 35-64, 14 cases aged 65 and older, and one pending.
“This is not just a disease affecting the elderly, most of our cases are among adults between 35 and 64 years of age. This makes it even more important that people protect themselves and others by staying home and assuming that you and everyone around you may be carrying the virus. If we all do this, as well as continue to maintain physical distance of two metres from others and wash our hands frequently, we will be putting less people at risk and can flatten the curve,” says the unit.
Anyone who has new cold-like/respiratory symptoms (regardless of travel history), and has not been tested for COVID-19, is to self-isolate at home for 14 days. If your symptoms worsen, seek clinical assessment over the phone – either by calling your primary care provider’s office or Telehealth Ontario 1-866-797-0000. If you need additional assessment, your primary care provider or Telehealth Ontario will direct you to in-person care options.
Status of Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit cases updated daily Mon – Fri. Subscribe to the unit’s YOUTUBE channel to watch daily weekday media briefings with our Medical Officer of Health.
Protect yourself and others
Stay home: Avoid all non-essential trips into your community
Practise physical distancing: Physical distancing means keeping two metres or six feet between you and another person. Everyone should practise physical distancing to reduce their exposure to other people. Everyone should do their best to avoid close contact with people outside of their immediate families.
Practise proper hygiene: Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 15 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, sneeze and cough into your sleeve, and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

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The City of Barrie continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic by increasing precautionary measures to combat the spread of the virus and encourage physical distancing.
At the advice of the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, the City is closing dog off-leash parks, skateboard parks, tennis courts, basketball courts and picnic areas/pavilions until further notice. Signs will be posted soon at all locations.
Parks remain open at this time, however the public are reminded to follow the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit’s recommendations to avoid crowds and maintain a distance of 2 metres (6 feet) from those around you. 
The City will continually update its website at www.barrie.ca/Services as the situation changes. For updates and information on COVID-19 from the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit visit: simcoemuskokahealth.org.

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Mayor Lehman declares state of emergency in Barrie

Mayor Jeff Lehman

Mayor Jeff Lehman has declared a State of Emergency in Barrie after receiving advice based on the most recent information from the Medical Officer of Health.
This decision is supported by the City’s Emergency Control Group. The Community transmittal of COVID-19 is now present in our community and we have reached as the Medical Officer of Health described as a “critical juncture” in the progression of COVID-19.
The declaration of a municipal emergency is part of the City’s ongoing efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 and will ensure the municipal government can continue to act and respond quickly to the pandemic and any other events that arise in the weeks ahead.
“By declaring an emergency, we are sending the strongest possible message to our residents to stay home and to change their behaviour, said Lehman. “While our staffing remains solid at this point, we believe the time is now to ensure the entire City and all of our combined resources are focused on flattening the curve. Please help fight COVID-19. Please share and support our brave health care workers and everyone working to fight this virus.”
Declaring an emergency provides the City with additional powers and resources to protect the health and safety of Barrie residents and streamlines the decision-making process for expediency through the City’s Emergency Control Group. This declaration aligns with the Government of Ontario’s Declaration of Emergency made March 17, 2020.
The City will continually update its website at barrie.ca/stayhome as the situation changes. For updates and information on COVID-19, visit simcoemuskokahealth.org/.

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The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit currently has 10 confirmed cases of COVID-19 including two hospitalizations and two deaths. The table below lists details on all confirmed cases within Simcoe County and the District of Muskoka.


DemographicsMunicipalitySource of InfectionStatus
140s MaleBarrieTravel (Spain)Recovering At Home
250s FemaleBradfordTravel (Ecuador)Recovering At Home
370s MaleBarrieTravel (Alberta)Deceased
470s MaleBarrieClose contactDeceased
560s MaleOrilliaTravel (Austria)Recovering At Home
640s MaleBarrieTravel (UK)Hospitalized
720s MaleBradfordClose contactRecovering At Home
850s MaleCollingwoodTravel (US)Recovering At Home
930s Female BradfordUnder InvestigationHospitalized
 1060’s Female New Tecumseth
Travel (Egypt, Israel, Jordan) 
Recovering at home 

Probable cases and individuals awaiting test results will not reported due to the rapidly evolving situation and changing case definitions.
The graph below shows the number of confirmed cases by date of symptom onset in Simcoe Muskoka. To date, nine cases either have history of travel to an affected area or are a close contact of a case. One case’s source of infection is currently under investigation.

Table last updated: March 23, 2020 at 12:00 p.m. ET. Cases are assigned to the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit based on the residential address of the patient, not the location of the hospital the patient was seen at. For cases that reside outside of Ontario, cases are assigned to the health unit that is actively following up with the patient.

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There are confirmed cases in Ontario. The Ministry of Health updates the status of cases in Ontario daily at 10:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.

The City of Barrie continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic by increasing precautionary measures to combat the spread of the virus and encourage social distancing.
In consultation with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, effective immediately, all City of Barrie municipal playground equipment and waterfront fitness equipment will be closed to public access. Signs are being installed today in all the parks with playgrounds and the fitness equipment along the waterfront trail.
The dog off-leash parks remain open at this time. However, signage is being placed at both sites reminding visitors to use extra precaution during this time. 
These measures are in place because the equipment cannot be regularly sanitized and will further promote social distancing as recommended by Public Health. The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit recommends that while outside you make sure to avoid crowds and maintain a distance of two metres (six feet) from those around you. This is a serious situation and we need to all come together to adhere to the direction from public health.
The City will continually update its website at barrie.ca as the situation changes. For updates and information on COVID-19 from the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit visit: simcoemuskokahealth.org.

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Barrie police were kept busy Thursday after four robberies were reported at two Circle K Convenience Stores located in the downtown area.
The first report came in at 6:50 a.m. when the Circle K located at 149 Dunlop St. East was robbed. The same suspect returned at 10:17 a.m. and robbed the store again but wore different clothing. At 3:27 p.m., Barrie police responded to the Circle K located at 151 Bayfield St. where the same suspect robbed this store, but again wore different clothing. The suspect was consistent though in one regard as he wore red gloves in all three of these daytime robberies.
Thursday night at 10:40 p.m., the suspect struck for the fourth time in just under 16 hours as he returned to the scene of his first two robberies and robbed the Circle K located at 149 Dunlop St. East for the third time. This time, he again wore a different clothing and black gloves.
Barrie Police immediately descended into the area and the uniform officers who initially responded received assistance from the Service’s Tactical Support Unit, the Canine Unit, Community Response Unit, Drug Enforcement Unit, Forensic Identification Unit and Investigative Services.
Police contained the area where the suspect was last seen fleeing into, and with 30 minutes, a 24-year-old male from Barrie was located and taken into custody.
The accused appeared for a bail hearing Friday and is charged with the following: Robbery (4 Counts), Disguise with Intent (4 Counts), Breach of Probation (4 Counts).

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A message from Arkady Spivak, Artistic Producer, Talk is Free Theatre

Dear Patrons, Supporters, and Friends,

Arkady Spivak, TIFT artistic director

As you are no doubt aware, we are living through a difficult time. While we are waiting to reschedule TIFT and WOW performances as soon as possible (and thank you for your patience – new schedule will be available in approximately two weeks), we also know that we have an obligation to help.
You see, theatre-makers (actors, directors, designers, etc.) are self-employed and spend their entire professional lives near a crisis – operating contract to contract, not knowing where the next rent cheque is coming from, no personal days off when in a show, only being able to attend weddings and birthdays on Mondays when the theatres are dark, and other.
But above all, artists and theatre workers are very experienced in one thing – to solve a problem creatively, and to repurpose a problem into an opportunity (while doing so on limited time and budget).
So, if you are looking to talk to your favourite TIFT actor or a professional to get their ideas, encouragement, perspective or to just talk to an extraordinary individual during the difficult times, please let us know. Please write to Director of Outreach Richard Varty to richard@tift.ca and tell him what would help you the most. This, of course, is a free opportunity.

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Michael Prowse, Barrie CAO

The City of Barrie is making changes to a number of services in an attempt reduce the burden caused by COVID-19 and encourage social distancing.
Effective March 20, Barrie Transit will be free until April 6, 2020. Riders will board and exit the bus from the rear door only. People with accessible needs can continue to board using the front doors. Please consult MyRideBarrie.ca before departing on your trip to track your bus.
Barrie Transit may be experiencing intermittent service issues on some routes. The Downtown Transit Terminal remains open and City staff continues to increase sanitizing practices in the terminal and on all Barrie Transit buses.
“One thing that is critical for people at this time is the ability to ride the bus to get basic things like groceries or get to jobs that we rely on at this time,” said Michael Prowse, Chief Administrative Officer. “Offering free transit creates opportunity to have riders board from back door, which reduces risk to transit operators and further supports social distancing.”
In addition to free transit, the City will be implementing the following changes effective March 20:
• No new late fees or City imposed non-sufficient funds (NSF) charges for tax and water/wastewater bills until June 30, 2020. Residents and property owners can opt out or suspend pre-authorized payment plans (PAP) for property taxes and water wastewater bills.  Complete an online form atwww.barrie.ca/WaterServices.
• No water shutoffs will be carried out until June 30, 2020.
“The City recognizes that since residents are social distancing and staying in more, there are several impacts to our day to day life,” said Mayor Jeff Lehman. “Where possible, we will look for ways to help reduce these impacts by changing policies and operations. These are extraordinary times, but I want all residents to know that your City will continue to respond to this crisis with compassion.” 
The City will continually update its website at barrie.ca as the situation changes. For updates and information on COVID-19, visit simcoemuskokahealth.org/.

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As part of the City’s response to coronavirus (COVID-19), Barrie will be reducing enforcement of parking and the noise bylaw, effective immediately until further notice.
Overnight parking restrictions will no longer be enforced to encourage and support residents to stay at home to prevent further spread of COVID-19.  If there is a winter event, the City will ask all residents to remove vehicles from the road to allow snow maintenance vehicles to properly clear the roads. The City will communicate a winter event on barrie.ca/snow, the City’s Facebook, and Twitter channels, and share with local media.
Parking enforcement staff will be redeployed to safety and complaint matters. Enforcement staff will continue to enforce parking too close to or blocking intersections, driveways, fire hydrants, accessibility spaces, sidewalks as well as facing the wrong direction on the roadway. These parking restrictions are in place to ensure emergency vehicles access, public safety and appropriate traffic management.
In addition to parking, provisions in the noise bylaw related to deliveries will not be enforced. This will allow grocery and other stores to receive deliveries of essential services and/or perishables at any time. The City will continually update its website at barrie.ca as the situation changes. For updates and information on COVID-19, visit simcoemuskokahealth.org/.

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There are confirmed cases in Ontario. The Ministry of Health updates the status of cases in Ontario daily at 10:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.

Given the latest provincial declaration of a state of emergency in Ontario,  the City of Barrie is taking additional action to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Further to the changes already announced by the City, effective noon today (Tuesday, March 17), the following City facilities are closed to the public until further notice. The buildings remain open to staff for essential service delivery.  Service Barrie will continue to be operational for Email or Phone service ServiceBarrie@barrie.ca) or by phone (705-726-4242).Barrie City Hall (70 Collier St.)
• Provincial Offences Act Offices (45 Cedar Pointe Drive and 575 West St. in Orillia)
• Operations Centre (165 Ferndale Dr. N.)
• Landfill and Environmental Centre (272 Ferndale Dr. N.) Curb-side Collection is occurring as scheduled. The contractor will continue to have access to the landfill.
• Surface Water Treatment Plant (20 Royal Parkside Dr.)  
• Wastewater Treatment Facility (249 Bradford St.)
The City is continuing to work closely with the Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit and other community partners to monitor the global and local COVID-19 situation and respond accordingly. The City’s Emergency Control Group (ECG) continues to meet regularly. The group includes senior leadership from various departments across the City including Fire and Police. 

Current status of City Services: March 17, 2020

Recreation: City Recreation/Community facilities (including arenas), theatres and library branches remain closed until further notice.
City Hall and City Services: The City’s customer service centre, Service Barrie, can be reached via email (ServiceBarrie@barrie.ca) or by phone (705-726-4242). Service Barrie representatives are available Monday to Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Residents are encouraged to visit barrie.ca/OnlineServices to apply for small building permits and to pay for parking or speeding tickets. Property taxes and water/wastewater bills can be paid through telephone/internet banking, through a drop box at City Hall, or via a post-dated cheque by mail.
Barrie city council and committee meetings have been cancelled up to and including the week of April 6.
Barrie Courts: All Provincial Offences Act matters scheduled from Monday, March 16 through to and including Friday, April 3 will be adjourned and rescheduled to a later date. If you have a matter scheduled during this time, you do not need to attend court.  Questions regarding court matters may be directed to Phone: (705) 739-4291 (Barrie) or Phone: (705) 326-2960 (Orillia).
Barrie Transit: Please consult MyRideBarrie.ca before departing on your trip to track your bus. Barrie Transit may be experiencing intermittent service issues on some routes. The Downtown Transit Terminal remains open.
City staff are ensuring increased sanitizing practices on all common touch points and public spaces at City facilities that remain open, as well as Barrie Transit buses. The City will continually update its website at barrie.ca as the situation changes. For updates and information on COVID-19, visit simcoemuskokahealth.org/.

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There are confirmed cases in Ontario. The Ministry of Health updates the status of cases in Ontario daily at 10:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.

The City of Barrie says it continues to work closely with the Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit and other community partners to monitor the global and local COVID-19 situation, and respond accordingly.
The City’s Emergency Control Group (ECG) met over the weekend and Monday to discuss further contingency plans and impacts to city services. The group includes senior leadership from various departments across the City including Fire and Police. The team consulted the Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Gardner, for direction on what the City can do to help slow the spread of COVID-19. As a result, the City will be implementing further changes to services.
City staff are ensuring increased sanitizing practices on all common touch points and public spaces at City facilities that remain open, as well as Barrie Transit buses. Public education focusing on hand washing and cough etiquette has been increased in high traffic locations and residents who do not feel well are being reminded to stay home.
Information for travellers returning to Canada
• As directed by the Government of Canada, residents have been advised against all international travel. Travellers who have returned from Hubei Province (China), Iran or Italy need to contact the health unit within 24 hours of arriving in Canada and MUST self-isolate (i.e. stay at home and avoid close contact with others, including those in their home) for a total of 14 days.
• Travellers who have returned from anywhere else outside Canada, including the United States, should self-isolate for a total of 14 days.
Call Telehealth Ontario or your primary care provider’s office if you experience symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g. fever, cough, difficulty breathing).
• Call ahead prior to visiting any healthcare provider, a hospital or local assessment centre and let them know about travel history and symptoms so that they can make arrangements to see you quickly, provide testing, and ensure that they use proper infection control measures. 
• Before visiting the assessment centre, individuals should seek guidance on whether it is appropriate for them to do so. Ontarians can do so by using a new online self-assessment tool, calling Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 or calling the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit at 705-721-7520, from 8:30 am – 8 pm and weekends 8:30 am – 4:30 pm. People should not go to an assessment centre unless they have symptoms of the COVID-19.
Current status of City Services: March 16, 2020
• City Recreation/Community Facilities (including arenas), Theatres and Library branches remain closed until further notice.
• City Ward meetings and planning meetings remain cancelled until further notice.
City Hall and City Services
• City Hall remains open, but we encourage the public to contact the City remotely if possible. The City’s customer service centre, Service Barrie, can be reached via email (ServiceBarrie@barrie.ca) or by phone (705-726-4242). Service Barrie representatives are available Monday to Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
• For in-person interactions at City locations, we ask residents to consider debit or credit cards as payment instead of cash. Residents may also visit barrie.ca/OnlineServices to apply for small building permits and to pay for parking or speeding tickets. Property taxes can be paid through telephone/internet banking, through a drop box at City Hall, or via a post-dated cheque by mail.
• All room bookings at City Hall, including the Barrie Farmers’ Market, have been cancelled until further notice.
• Barrie City Council and Committee meetings have been cancelled up to and including the week of April 6.
• City staff visits that involve entering residents’ homes (site inspections, by-law enforcement, water meter reading, etc.) are now restricted to emergency visits only. Any non-emergency visits or inspections are suspended until April 5.
• The City’s Landfill remains open and curb-side collection is occurring as scheduled.
Barrie Courts
• All Provincial Offences Act matters scheduled from Monday, March 16 through to and including Friday, April 3 will be adjourned and rescheduled to a later date. If you have a matter scheduled during this time, you do not need to attend court.
Barrie Transit
• Please consult MyRideBarrie.ca before departing on your trip to track your bus. Barrie Transit may be experiencing intermittent service issues on some routes.
Emergency Services
• Barrie Police’s new headquarters at 110 Fairview Road is now operational, but they encourage the use of theironline services where possible for requesting records checks and reporting crime online.
• Barrie Fire stations are no longer open to the public, and education events and activities including station tours are suspended.
The City will continually update its website at barrie.ca as the situation changes. For updates and information on COVID-19, visit simcoemuskokahealth.org/

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Charles Gardner, Medical Officer of Health

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) has received notification that the death of an individual at the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) in Barrie was potentially related to COVID-19. 
The individual, a man in his 70s, was under investigation by the health unit as a close contact with the region’s third confirmed case of COVID-19, as reported on Sunday March 15. The third case remains in hospital.
“We are saddened by this news and are offering our condolences to the family. Unfortunately, given the gravity of the current situation in the country and Ontario, we are not surprised by this news,” said Dr. Charles Gardner, SMDHU’s medical officer of health.
“It’s further evidence that we need to continue, as a community, to work together and follow public health measures so that we protect the people who are most vulnerable and flatten the curve of this disease.” 
RVH President and CEO Janice Skot expressed condolences on behalf of the hospital.
“On behalf of Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre, we express heartfelt condolences to the family of our deceased patient. His death further underscores the seriousness of this virus. RVH has carefully tracked the patient’s movements throughout the health centre and has notified staff and physicians as appropriate. RVH is well-prepared to respond to COVID-19 cases and take all precautions necessary to keep our team, our patients and the community safe.”
The health unit is reminding people that they can protect themselves a number of ways, including staying at least two metres distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing. Stay at home if you are sick, avoid people who are obviously ill and continue to practice diligent hand washing.
For more information call Health Connection at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520, which has extended hours, or see www.smdhu.org.

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COVID-19 assessment centre opens in Barrie

There are confirmed cases in Ontario. The Ministry of Health updates the status of cases in Ontario daily at 10:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.

The Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre has opened a COVID-19 assessment centre at 490 Huronia Road, located in the rear building of the Eagle Ridge complex, and is not at the Huronia Urgent Care Clinic.
Hours are Monday, March 16, 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.;  Tuesday, March 17 to Sunday, March 22, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
The hospital says that before visiting an assessment centre, individuals should first seek guidance on whether it is appropriate for them to do so. Ontarians can do so by using a new online self-assessment tool, calling Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 or calling the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit at 705-721-7520, 8:30 a.m. – 8 p.m. and weekends 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. People should not go to an assessment centre unless they have symptoms of the COVID-19.
At the assessment centre, you will be seen by a healthcare professional, who will provide you with the necessary care and instructions for follow up, if required. The swab test for COVID-19 is not being provided at the assessment centre; however, should the healthcare team determine that you require a swab, you will receive further information. 
The centre is provided through a partnership between the Barrie Community Health Centre, Barrie and Community Family Medicine Clinics, Barrie and Community Family Health Team, Huronia Urgent Care Clinic, County of Simcoe, Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, and Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre.

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Janice Skot, RVH President and CEO

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) has received notification of the region’s first confirmed case of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) in a local resident who recently returned from Germany and Spain. The individual is self-isolating and recovering at home.
A man in his 40s presented to and was tested at Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre in Barrie on Monday, March 9. The hospital took all necessary infection and control measures for COVID-19.
“The role of public health is to manage the spread of infectious diseases like this one and keep our residents safe and well,” said Dr. Charles Gardner, SMDHU’s medical officer of health. “These are early hours in our investigation, and we are working closely with the individual to follow up on known contacts who may have potentially been exposed to the virus and possible exposure sites.”
RVH President and CEO Janice Skot said the hospital is mobilized and well-prepared to respond to COVID-19.
“Our frontline staff took all necessary precautions and strictly followed all infection prevention and control protocols in order to care for the patient effectively, while keeping themselves and others safe. I want to assure our region that RVH is very safe for patients and visitors. Our health centre remains open, and clinics and procedures continue to operate as normal.”
The Public Health Agency of Canada and the Ministry of Health advise all travellers to monitor their health for fever, cough, and difficulty breathing for 14 days after arriving back in Canada from affected countries. If symptoms develop within 14 days, returning travellers are directed to self-isolate as quickly as possible and immediately call their health care professionals or public health to make arrangements for possible testing.
If you are very sick and planning on going to the emergency room, please call ahead at 705-728-9090 and press 0. 
The health unit is reminding people that they can protect themselves a number of ways, including staying at least two metres distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing. Stay at home if you are sick, avoid people who are obviously ill and continue to practice diligent hand washing.
“This is not unexpected given the spread of the virus around the world, and it is something that the health unit and our health care partners have been planning and preparing for,” said Dr. Gardner. “Our focus now is to break the chain of transmission to limit the spread of infection.” 
The health unit has a preparing for a pandemic page with tips for individuals, families, businesses, an organizations on how to prepare for this type of situation. Updates can be found here. 
For more information call Health Connection at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520. Health Connection’s hours are extended to 9 p.m. tonight and to 9 p.m. Friday night. Hours are also extended to Saturday and Sunday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (phone only). Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.

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Health unit reports two new confirmed COVID-19 cases

There are confirmed cases in Ontario. The Ministry of Health updates the status of cases in Ontario daily at 10:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) is following up with known contacts of two new confirmed cases of COVID-19. The region’s first case was identified at a press conference on Thursday.
“Our infectious and communicable diseases team is working diligently to identify and follow up with known contacts of these new cases who may have potentially been exposed to the virus,” said Dr. Charles Gardner, SMDHU’s medical officer of health. “The focus of the team is to ensure that we reach out and determine who should be directed to self-isolate.” 
A woman in her 40s presented to Southlake Regional Health Centre on Friday, and is self-isolating and recovering at home. This case is related to travel. 
A man in his 70s presented to Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) in Barrie on Wednesday, March 11. The patient is being treated at RVH which has tracked the movement of the patient throughout the health centre, and have notified staff and physicians who may have been exposed to the patient. The individual was in close contact with a second RVH patient who died March 11. This situation is currently under investigation by SMDHU. 
The SMDHU is investigating the patients’ contacts in the community and will provide appropriate follow-up with people who may have been in contact with them. 
The confirmed Barrie case stayed in the Hampton Inn, Barrie, March 5-11. The health unit is asking those who stayed or worked at this location during these times to self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days from March 11. If symptoms develop, people are advised to self-isolate for 14 days and contact the health unit, Telehealth Ontario (1- 866-797-0000) or their healthcare provider.
Call ahead prior to visiting any healthcare provider and let them know about exposure history and symptoms so that they can make special arrangements to see you quickly, provide testing, and ensure that they use proper infection control measures. 
The health unit is reminding people that they can protect themselves a number of ways, including staying at least two metres distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing. Stay at home if you are sick, avoid people who are obviously ill and continue to practice diligent hand washing.
For more information call Health Connection at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520. Health Connection’s hours are extended today 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (phone only) and will be extended next week as well. Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19. 

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The City of Barrie is working closely with the Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit and other community partners to monitor the global situation and respond accordingly.
Following the announcement from the Province yesterday that all schools will be closed until April 5, the City is making changes to Recreation and Culture Services out of an abundance of caution. Those impacted by cancelled programs will be contacted directly. The following changes will be effective as of 4 p.m. today:

Allandale Recreation Centre, East Bayfield Community Centre, Holly Community Centre:
• All rental (ice, pool, gym, etc.) permits will be honoured at this time. Organizations/sports governing bodies can decide whether to move forward with cancellations or restrictions.  If any choose to cancel, they will be issued a full refund. 
Adult registered programs are running. If individuals wish to withdraw, they will receive a prorated refund and will NOT be charged the admin fee. Registered programs for youth (18 and under) are cancelled. 
• Drop-ins/Fitness Centres will remain open to the public and can be used as patrons deem appropriate.  Memberships can be cancelled with no admin fees charged. 
• Gyms and pools remain open for scheduled permits. Any cancellations will receive a full refund. 

March Break Camps:  
• All registered programs/camps planned for next week are cancelled. Full refunds will be processed as soon as possible.

Sadlon Arena: 
• All venue rentals will be honoured.  Anyone wishing to cancel will receive a full refund. 

Theatre Rentals: 
• All rentals will be honoured. Anyone wishing to cancel will receive a full refund. 

Parkview & Allandale 55+: 
• These facilities will be closed until further notice.

Preschool/Child Care: 
• Programs are cancelled until further notice.

The City has business continuity plans in place to ensure essential City services continue to be delivered. City staff are ensuring increased sanitizing practices on all common touch points and public spaces at all City facilities and Barrie Transit buses. Public education focusing on hand washing and cough etiquette has been increased in high traffic locations and residents who do not feel well are being reminded to stay home.
The City will continually update its website at barrie.ca with any changes to city services as a result of COVID-19. 

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Simcoe County’s plan to build three new transfer stations to accommodate a shift from weekly to bi-weekly waste collection will cost over $6.2 million. Design costs for the three stations is estimated to come in at $185,000. It’s anticipated each station will cost $2 million to construct.
The stations are required, according to the County, because vehicles collecting waste on a bi-weekly basis will have double the load of trucks collecting weekly and will therefore have to empty more than once a day. Trucks on the weekly schedule can run the entire day before being emptied.
The trucks reach capacity part way through the day and will need to empty at a transfer station and then return to the route to complete collections. Since the county is geographically large, using one central transfer station … would cause significant off-route time, increasing costs for collections and possibly increasing the likelihood of the route not being completed. Organics collection will remain on a weekly basis.
“Our plans to introduce new transfer centres at current County waste management facilities also has the environment, as well as long-term cost savings in mind, as we look to reduce the number of trucks needed on the road each day, limit the kilometres these trucks have to travel to unload materials, and manage these services internally to avoid rising contractual costs,” said  Rob McCullough, Director of Solid Waste Management.
Currently, the County pays a private contractor to provide transfer services for curb-side collection. Creating its own infrastructure, the three transfer stations, and the planned Environmental Resource Recovery Centre (ERRC), will allow the County to provide collection services more cost-effectively and efficiently.
For more on this, click here.

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Brian Beal is set to retire this summer..

Brian Beal, Director of Education for the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board (SMCDSB), has announced his retirement, effective July 31, 2020.
Beal has served as director of education for the past nine years and began his career in 1984 as a teacher at York Catholic District School Board. In 1989, he moved to SMCDSB where he has served for more than 30 years at many locations and in various roles, including chair of the English department, vice-principal, principal, superintendent of schools, executive superintendent of program and services and director of education.
He has accepted a position as the new general secretary for the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario (ACBO). He will begin this position in September 2020. 
“I consider it a tremendous privilege to have been able to work in Catholic education for so many years. I will certainly miss the everyday opportunities to witness the amazing work that we do in education to support the learning, development, spiritual growth and well-being of our most precious asset – our children,” said Beal.
“I am excited about my new role with ACBO and the ability to further the work of faith, education and community. I am incredibly proud of the work we have done over the years at SMCDSB and heartened to know that it will continue in the months and years ahead.” 
Joe Zerdin, chair of the board of education, said that as a parent of children who have attended schools within the board, he has always been impressed by the quality of education they have received.
“But since I became a trustee, I found out that one of the major reasons this is possible is due to our director of education, Brian Beal. “(His) leadership and dedication to all aspects of our board including academics, faith development, diversity and inclusion, has been second to none. He has established a bar of excellence within the board’s operations which I greatly admire.
“I have also personally witnessed the respect Mr. Beal has garnered from all facets of the SMCDSB community during times of both celebration and challenges. Brian will be dearly missed by all and his legacy will stand on its own merit. It has been a pleasure working with him and the board wishes him all the best in his retirement and any future endeavours.”

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With the apartment building and the townhouses, the 0.7 hectares site would accommodate 164 residential units.

The site of an antique store in Barrie may become the new location of a 17-story apartment building with a townhouse podium if the City approves a requested zoning change needed to allow the development.
A memo from Michelle Banfield, Director of Development Services, advised council that the application was received and considered complete on Jan. 9, and that a neighbourhood meeting  last Nov. 27 garnered a number of comments and questions from residents, including: traffic impacts and required road improvements, potential impact of nearby train tracks, construction timing and construction-related noise, architectural character and height of the development, amenity space and parking.
The current occupant of the address, 272 Innisfil Street, is the Barrie Antiques Centre. If the project gets the green light, the “building will be removed to permit the redevelopment of the subject lands,” writes Banfield.
“The site is largely occupied by a building and paved areas which have been historically used for a variety of commercial and light industrial activities.”
With the apartment building and the townhouses, the 0.7 hectares site would accommodate 164 residential units. The special provisions requested to facilitate the current design include removing the requirement for 50 per cent of the lot area to be commercial uses, increasing the building height from 45 metres to 52 metres, and reducing the landscape buffer strip around the perimeter from three metres to a range between 0.5 metres and 1.3 metres.
For more on this, click here.

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