Face coverings to be mandatory while in indoor public placed beginning Monday, July 13, 2020
The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) has announced that persons within publicly accessible indoor locations, including public transit systems, will be required to wear face covergings/non-medical masks beginning on Monday, July 13, 2020.
In a statement, Dr. Charles Gardiner, Medical Officer of Health and Chief Executive Officer said:
"My rationale for proceeding with this course of action at this time is as follows: As we proceed through the stages of the province’s plan to open the economy there is an increasing risk of resurgence of COVID-19 transmission in our communities. There have been very worrisome examples of resurgence internationally, and we have had some experiences of limited resurgence in Ontario (including in recent weeks in Simcoe Muskoka).
With the summer upon us, Simcoe Muskoka is experiencing the arrival of a large and increasing number of visitors from parts of the province with a much higher incidence of COVID-19, and with resultant crowding in public spaces. There is emerging evidence, primarily based on ecological studies and modelling, suggesting that COVID-19 transmission rates can be reduced with a high level of population compliance of face covering/non-medical mask use in conjunction with physical distancing, hand sanitation, and self-isolation and testing when ill. Voluntary compliance with mask use in indoor public places appears to be suboptimal at this time in Simcoe Muskoka.
There has also been a high degree of support expressed from community partners, physicians, hospital leadership, some in the business community, and municipal CAOs and politicians for leadership from SMDHU to require face coverings/non-medical masks in indoor public places.
It is also important to ensure the availability of alcohol-based hand sanitizer at all entrances and exits for the use of all persons entering or exiting the business or organization.
It is important to know that while we will commence with an educational and supportive approach, as per the EMCPA, those who do not comply with the above noted requirements may be fined. Individuals may be liable for a fine of $750 -$1,000 up to a maximum of $100,000, while corporations may be liable for a fine of up to $10,000,000 for each day or part of each day on which the offence occurs or continues."
For more details on this announcement please visit:
2007-07 Businesses & Organizations EMCPA Letter
FAQs - Face Coverings in Indoor Spaces
Consumer Alert: Beware of scams during the COVID-19 emergency
The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) is aware of increasing efforts by scam artists attempting to take advantage of consumer uncertainty during this COVID-19 emergency. The OEB has taken steps to ensure that the power to your home or low-volume small business cannot be disconnected for non-payment by your utility until July 31, 2020. If you receive a message, text or phone call from someone posing as a utility representative and threatening to disconnect your power, do not respond to it - contact your utility directly using the telephone number displayed on your bill.
- Beware of messages with COVID-19 in the subject line and claiming to be from your utility. There have been several reports of emails, texts and websites sharing fake information about bill relief programs, refunds and alternative payment methods during the COVID-19 emergency.
- Protect your personal information – Do not feel compelled to share your personal information. Your utility bill is private. It contains personal information like your account number and energy usage.
- Remain vigilant and continue to use safe web browsing and email practices. Make sure you are accessing a safe and trusted source such as the utility's website or call centre telephone number exactly as displayed on your bill.
Consumers with questions or concerns about any suspicious communications claiming to be from their utility are also encouraged to contact the OEB.
- Call (Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.): 1-877-632-2727 (toll-free within Ontario) or 416-314-2455 (within Greater Toronto Area)
- Text: 1-844-621-9977 (toll-free within Ontario) or 416-544-5190 (within Greater Toronto Area)
- Email: email@example.com
Transit Update: Mid-Pen Transit to shut down over Easter Weekend
The Mid-Pen Transit Service will not be running on Good Friday (April 10), Saturday, April 11, Sunday, April 12 (as usual) or on Easter Monday (April 12). Normally the service runs on the Saturday of Easter Weekend, however, due to the reduced transit staff available the decision has been made to shut down service over the long weekend to give transit operators a much-needed break to spend with their families.
Service will resume on Tuesday, April 14 and will operate on the reduced hour "Saturday" service at least until Monday, May 4, 2020. Transit will remain free to use, but we ask that riders limit their use of the service to essential trips only.
Town of Midland closing all outdoor recreation amenities
With the Province announcing the extension of the Declaration of Emergency on March 30 (Ontario extends emergency declaration), all outdoor recreational amenities are to be closed immediately.
The Town is complying with this order by:
- Barricading entrances to sports field parking lots;
- Barricading entrances/parking lots to parks and picnic shelters;
- Removing picnic tables from parks;
- Taping off playground equipment;
- Signs will be installed advising that amenities are closed.
Green spaces in parks, trails and ravines will remain open for pass-through access, however visitors must continue to practice physical distancing.
Under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, there are fines set by the Province for any person who fails to comply and continues using these closed amenities. Enforcement of these closure orders can be carried out at the discretion of the Ontario Provincial Police and Municipal Law Enforcement Officers.
The Town of Midland urges all residents to please continue to follow recommendations of public health officials & practice proper physical distancing. It is important that we all do our part to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Council to consider Community Relief Measures for Taxes and Utility interest.
Council will receive staff report FIN-2020-05 at its meeting on Wednesday, April 1. This report outlines recommendations for providing community relief in the form of revised due dates for tax bill payments and interest deferrals on utility bills.
To view the full report please click here.
The Council meeting will be the Town of Midland's first all-electronic Council meeting, with all members of Council and staff participating using Teams so they can attend remotely. To watch the meeting, tune into RogersTV (cable 53) or watch on the live stream.
Mid-Pen Transit shifting daily schedule to reduced Saturday hours
Beginning tomorrow (March 31) Mid-Pen Transit will be reducing hours of operation for at least the remainder of this week. The new operating schedule will be the same as the normal Saturday schedule. This means the first run for Midland South will begin at 8:45 a.m., last run at 4:45 p.m., first run of the Penetanguishene route will begin at 8:30 a.m. and the last run will be at 4:30 p.m. Below is the new schedule starting March 31:
(Click to view larger image)
The reason for this change is a combination of lower ridership, and extra caution being taken for an employee at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19, resulting in fewer transit operators being available.
An update on how long this reduced schedule will be in effect will be provided later this week
Joint Media Release: Area partners launch donation campaign for urgently needed PPE and supplies for local health care providers
Midhurst/March 30, 2020 – Municipal and health partners in Simcoe and Muskoka, including the County of Simcoe, the District of Muskoka, and the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, are working together to launch a donation campaign for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and critical supplies that are essential for the provision of safe medical and community care to patients and residents in our region.
Health and emergency services, such as paramedicine, long-term care, home and community care, hospitals and public health, have been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak and have dramatically increased their use of PPE to protect residents, patients and health care workers. To counteract this rapid increase in demand for medical supplies and equipment, health partners are working collaboratively to implement a donation campaign to leverage strong local business and community ties and utilize all available stock within our community.
Any donations of the following new and unused items would be greatly appreciated:
- N95 masks
- Surgical masks
- Face shields, protective goggles or safety glasses
- Nitrile gloves (latex-free)
- Reusable or disposable gowns
- Medical thermometers
- Hand sanitizer
- Disinfectant wipes with a DIN# or with bleach cleaner
- Hand soap
Any businesses or community members looking to donate items can email EmergencyManagement@smdhu.org. Information about how and where to send donations is available at www.smdhu.org/donations. All donations received will be collected in central depots in Simcoe and Muskoka and will be issued to local health care providers in order of priority, as determined by the Province of Ontario. We will work with you to arrange pick-up or delivery. Businesses supplying goods for purchase can also reach out to individual partners.
“These are unprecedented times and we've already seen and heard about the tremendous generosity and sense of community that our residents and businesses have. While our residents must continue to adhere to Public Health recommendations to stay home, self-isolate and exercise physical distancing, our front-line workers are doing amazing work to continue to care for us, respond to this crisis and help us to recover as quickly as possible. If you can, please donate PPE to keep these amazing people healthy and safe." – County of Simcoe Warden George Cornell
“We are so fortunate to have our dedicated front line workers available to provide essential services to the community during this very challenging time. We are facing a time of unparalleled pressure on our health care system and it is essential our paramedic and long term care services have access to the equipment and materials necessary to continue to provide the excellent services they are recognized for. We are grateful for the community donations of PPE that will help keep our dedicated staff and their families safe and healthy." – District of Muskoka Chair John Klinck
“I want to express my appreciation to the healthcare workers across a number of sectors who are working tirelessly on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic response. We are calling on our community to help ensure the supply of PPE and medical supplies meets the demand over the coming weeks. Thank you to those businesses and residents who have already come forward to offer donations of these much needed supplies." – SMDHU Medical Officer of Health Dr. Charles Gardner
To read the full media release, click here.