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News Releases and Advisories

​​​​​​​View recent News Releases and Advisories issued by the County of Simcoe.​

 

 

County implements plan to redeploy staff to essential roleshttps://www.simcoe.ca/CorporateCommunications/Pages/county-implements-plan-to-redeploy-staff-to-essential-roles.aspx4/9/2020 3:54:55 PMCounty implements plan to redeploy staff to essential roles<p><strong>Midhurst/April 9, 2020 –</strong> The County of Simcoe declared an emergency on March 18, initiating a number of measures and protocols to help the region respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the critical measures being implemented is the County's Business Continuity of Operations Plan, or Surge Plan, which enables the County to address labour shortages in essential service areas through redeployment of County staff.  </p><p>The County of Simcoe provides a wide range of essential and critical services, including the operation of four large long-term care and seniors services facilities, paramedic services, social and community services (Ontario Works, housing, children's services and homelessness prevention), waste management, and other critical supports such as transit, roads, communications/customer service, business/partner support, information technology/network services, and human resources. Conversely, a number of County services and programs have been closed to the public or have a reduced workload due to the Provincial and County declarations of emergency, nature of work and other public health guidelines, including the museum, library, and some functions within social and community services, environmental services and tourism, among other areas. </p><p>Staff who are able to perform their duties from home, are currently working virtually full-time or on a rotation, which allows for proper physical distancing and aligns with gathering protocols. To-date, the County has not made any direct staff layoffs related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Of our 1,900 employees, approximately 85 to 90 per cent are directly employed in essential services departments, and the remaining employees are indirectly supporting the provision of these important services or are being considered for redeployment as part of surge planning.  <br></p><p>Currently, a number of staff have been redeployed, or are in the process of being redeployed, to essential service roles through a voluntary process. These staff are assisting continuity of operations to support our essential services, or are directly assisting with new COVID-19 staff protocols in our four long-term care homes. As the pandemic continues, the expectation is that the needs for redeployment of staff will become a necessity and the strategy to address these needs is fluid, as per the County's surge plan. To-date, a small portion of staff members have decided to take an unpaid leave of absence instead of being redeployed.<br></p><p>Staff being redeployed are receiving initial training and where necessary are being provided full PPE and instructed on public health guidelines and regulations. Currently, no County long-term care home has had a confirmed COVID-19 case, and extensive measures are in place to help ensure the safety of all staff working in these facilities and the residents they serve. Since mid-March the County's homes have been closed to public/family visitation and extensive screening measures for staff and residents are in place. Physical distancing protocols are in effect and any items coming into the facility, such as paper, are being isolated for 72 hours before being distributed. As with any long-term care home, strict hygiene and sanitization measures are in place, and have been enhanced further to protect everyone in the facility. Staff being redeployed are quickly learning why these facilities and their staff make these amazing places to work. <br></p><p>“Labour shortages will likely become an issue during this developing situation, and we are doing everything we can to not only keep our tremendous staff safe, but maintain our service levels in these essential areas through staff redeployment," said Mark Aitken, Chief Administrative Officer. “The feedback we've been receiving from staff supporting these critical areas of need, including those redeployed at our long-term care homes, has been very positive. We cannot rule out layoffs in the future for non-essential staff; however, we know that we will continue to face labour shortages in areas of need, and we will do everything we can to adapt and address these needs during these unprecedented times. We are dedicated to all our staff, our residents, and our communities and we thank everyone for doing their part to help us get through this difficult time and work towards a strong recovery. Please stay at home to help our healthcare workers to continue to help you and your loved ones." <br></p><p>The County and its partners are reminding residents that even though it is the Easter long weekend, with various traditions of getting together for meals and group activities, that now more than ever, isolation, physical distancing and adherence to group gathering guidelines are critical steps in controlling the spread of COVID-19 and protecting your loved ones. Please do your part to help influence positive outcomes.<br></p><p>County of Simcoe is composed of sixteen member municipalities and provides crucial public services to County residents in addition to providing paramedic and social services to the separated cities of Barrie and Orillia. Visit our website at <strong>simcoe.ca</strong>.</p><p style="text-align:center;"><strong>- 30 -</strong></p><p><strong>CONTACTS</strong></p><p><span style="font-size:1em;">Chris Hedley<br></span><span style="font-size:1em;">Public Relations Consultant <br></span><span style="font-size:1em;">County of Simcoe, Service Simcoe Branch<br></span><span style="font-size:1em;">705-715-7654 (mobile)<br></span><span style="font-size:1em;"><a href="mailto:Chris.Hedley@simcoe.ca" style="font-size:1em;">Chris</a></span><span style="font-size:1em;"><a href="mailto:Chris.Hedley@simcoe.ca" style="font-size:1em;">.Hedley@simcoe.ca</a><a href="mailto:Chris.Hedley@simcoe.ca"></a></span><span style="font-size:1em;"><br></span></p><p style="text-align:left;">Collin Matanowitsch<br><span style="font-size:1em;">Manager, Public Relations<br></span><span style="font-size:1em;">County of Simcoe, Service Simcoe Branch <br></span><span style="font-size:1em;">705-734-8386 (mobile)<br></span><a href="mailto:Collin.Matanowitsch@simcoe.ca" style="font-size:1em;">Collin.Matanowitsch@simcoe.ca</a><span style="font-size:1em;"> </span></p>
County to adjust LINX Transit Service scheduleshttps://www.simcoe.ca/CorporateCommunications/Pages/county-to-adjust-linx-transit-service-schedules.aspx4/7/2020 6:32:23 PMCounty to adjust LINX Transit Service schedules<p><strong></strong></p><p><strong>Midhurst/April 7, 2020 – </strong>Based on ridership, the County of Simcoe is adjusting LINX Transit Service hours of operation to continue to deliver the most efficient transit options throughout this challenging period. The County continues to review all essential and critical service areas to meet the needs of residents and businesses.</p><p>Starting Monday, April 13, LINX Transit is making the following adjustments:<br></p><ul style="list-style-type:disc;"><li>Route 1 – Penetanguishene/Midland to Barrie – frequency of service will be reduced from hourly to every 90 minutes</li><li>Route 2 – Wasaga Beach to Barrie – this service will remain unchanged</li><li>Route 3 – Orillia to Barrie – frequency of service will be reduced to every 100 minutes between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.; service will remain every 50 minutes between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. and between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. </li><li>Route 4 – Wasaga Beach to Collingwood – this service will remain unchanged</li><li>LINX+ (accessible transit) is not affected by these schedule changes</li></ul><p>Reminder: There is <span style="text-decoration:underline;">no</span> transit service on Good Friday. To find out when your next bus is arriving, go to <a href="http://www.nextlinx.simcoe.ca/">www.nextlinx.simcoe.ca/</a> or use Transit app, available at <a href="https://transitapp.com/">https://transitapp.com/</a>.</p><p>Staff will continue to monitor ridership and adjust services accordingly during the COVID-19 pandemic.<br></p><p>LINX Transit will be working with any riders that require specific transportation for essential needs. <br></p><p>In keeping with public health guidelines, the County is requesting that <span style="text-decoration:underline;">ALL</span> riders:</p><ul style="list-style-type:disc;"><li>Keep 2 meters (6 feet) between them and other passengers and the driver</li><li>Remove all personal belongings and waste upon departure</li><li>Sneeze into their elbow and use hand sanitizer and wash hands properly</li></ul><p>Please avoid non-essential travel and follow public health guidelines to stay home and help us flatten the COVID-19 curve.</p><p>County of Simcoe is composed of sixteen member municipalities and provides crucial public services to County residents in addition to providing paramedic and social services to the separated cities of Barrie and Orillia. Visit our website at <strong>simcoe.ca</strong>.<br></p><p style="text-align:center;"><strong>​- 30 -</strong></p><p style="text-align:left;"><strong>CONTACTS​</strong></p><p style="text-align:left;"><span style="font-size:1em;">Chris Hedley<br></span><span style="font-size:1em;">Public Relations Consultant​<br></span><span style="font-size:1em;">County of Simcoe, Service Simcoe Branch<br></span><span style="font-size:1em;">705-715-7654 (mobile)<br></span><a href="mailto:Chris.Hedley@simcoe.ca" style="font-size:1em;"><span style="font-size:1em;">Chris</span><span style="font-size:1em;">.Hedley@simcoe.ca</span></a><span style="font-size:1em;"><br></span></p><p style="text-align:left;">Collin Matanowitsch<br><span style="font-size:1em;">Manager, Public Relations<br></span><span style="font-size:1em;">County of Simcoe, Service Simcoe Branch <br></span><span style="font-size:1em;">705-734-8386 (mobile)<br></span><a href="mailto:Collin.Matanowitsch@simcoe.ca" style="font-size:1em;">Collin.Matanowitsch@simcoe.ca</a><strong style="font-size:1em;"><br></strong></p>
County asks seasonal residents to put safety first to limit the spread of COVID-19https://www.simcoe.ca/CorporateCommunications/Pages/county-asks-seasonal-residents-to-put-safety-first-to-limit-the-spread-of-COVID-19.aspx4/6/2020 7:58:12 PMCounty asks seasonal residents to put safety first to limit the spread of COVID-19<p><strong>Midhurst/April 6, 2020 – </strong>The County of Simcoe greatly values its seasonal residents as members of this region and is asking cottagers, secondary homeowners, and seasonal residents to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 by urging residents to shelter in place in your primary residence. Please consider the impact that early or unexpected off-season relocations can have on rural communities and smaller local healthcare networks. </p><p>Many cottagers make May long-weekend plans for their return and opening of their recreational property and may be considering doing this earlier this year due to self-isolation or other COVID-19 related restrictions. However, rural communities may have reduced capacity in attempting to respond to early increases in supply demands, especially impacts on local healthcare systems. <br></p><p>Federal, provincial and local public health officials are all imploring the public to curb travel because of the increased chances for the spread of COVID-19. Ontario is now in a critical two-week period where all citizens must heed public health warnings in order to reduce the impending impact on the healthcare system. Taking decisive steps now to flatten the curve and slow community transmission is the best way to protect residents' social and physical well-being, as well as ensure an effective recovery. <br></p><p>It is crucial that everyone follows the advice of medical experts to limit the opportunity for community transmission. The County of Simcoe operates Long Term Care homes throughout our region and residents in these homes are particularly vulnerable as shown in daily news reports. If Ontario residents shelter in place, especially during this critical two-week period, it will be further meaningful steps to help stop local transmission. We also point to the provincial requirements mandating that residents over 70 years of age self-isolate. This means no travel, even to seasonal dwellings.  <br></p><p>“It is critical that all our residents, seasonal and full-time, understand the importance of following the advice of health care experts including the recommendation for everyone to stay home to shelter in place in your primary residence," said Warden George Cornell. “Seasonal property owners may feel inclined to return early to distance themselves from urban centres amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. We ask seasonal property owners to carefully consider the impact that an early return will have as they make their decision."</p><p>Every year, the population of certain municipalities grow during the summer months. As COVID-19 continues to impact everyone's ability to maintain levels of critical services, this rapid increase in population during this worldwide pandemic could impair our ability to provide for all residents during this time. <br></p><p>To those seasonal residents who have already returned to Simcoe County such as snowbirds returning from the south, please act responsibly to protect your community by physically distancing, practicing proper hygiene, and self-isolating as required. When self-isolating, do not leave your residence. Community resources are available to assist you with accessing essential supplies from home. Dial 2-1-1 for assistance accessing these resources. <br></p><p><em>Resources: </em></p><p><strong>Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit<br></strong><a href="http://www.simcoemuskokahealth.org/" style="font-size:1em;">www.simcoemuskokahealth.org</a><strong><br></strong></p><p><strong>Federation of Ontario Cottagers Association<br></strong><a href="http://www.foca.on.ca/covid-19-update-from-foca" style="font-size:1em;">www.foca.on.ca/covid-19-update-from-foca</a><span style="font-size:1em;"> </span><span style="font-size:1em;"> </span><strong><br></strong></p><p>County of Simcoe is composed of sixteen member municipalities and provides crucial public services to County residents in addition to providing paramedic and social services to the separated cities of Barrie and Orillia. Visit our website at <strong>simcoe.ca</strong>.</p><p style="text-align:center;"><strong>- 30 -</strong></p><p><strong> CONTACTS</strong></p><p><strong></strong><span style="font-size:1em;">Chris Hedley<br></span><span style="font-size:1em;">Public Relations Consultant <br></span><span style="font-size:1em;">County of Simcoe, Service Simcoe Branch<br></span><span style="font-size:1em;">705-715-7654 (mobile)<br></span><a href="mailto:Chris.Hedley@simcoe.ca" style="font-size:1em;">Chris.Hedley@simcoe.ca</a><span style="font-size:1em;"> </span><span style="font-size:1em;"><br></span></p><p style="text-align:left;">Collin Matanowitsch<br><span style="font-size:1em;">Manager, Public Relations<br></span><span style="font-size:1em;">County of Simcoe, Service Simcoe Branch<br></span><span style="font-size:1em;">705-734-8386 (mobile)<br></span><a href="mailto:Collin.Matanowitsch@simcoe.ca" style="font-size:1em;">Collin.Matanowitsch@simcoe.ca</a><span style="font-size:1em;"> ​</span><strong style="font-size:1em;"><br></strong></p>
County continues to provide critical waste collection services to residentshttps://www.simcoe.ca/CorporateCommunications/Pages/County-continues-to-provide-critical-waste-collection-services-to-residents.aspx4/3/2020 8:04:52 PMCounty continues to provide critical waste collection services to residents<p><strong>Midhurst/April 3, 2020 – </strong>The County of Simcoe continues to adapt and adjust its critical and essential services to meet the needs of residents during the COVID-19 pandemic, while adhering to public health recommendations. </p><p>While essential services continue, the County strongly recommends that residents stay home, practice physical distancing, self-isolate if instructed to, as per provincial guidelines, and do everything they can to help slow the spread of COVID-19. </p><p><strong>Waste Service Updates:</strong></p><p><em>Curbside Leaf and Yard Waste:</em><strong> </strong>In an effort to meet the needs of residents conducting spring yard clean-ups and to help alleviate non-critical visits to landfills for yard waste drop offs, the County will be starting its Curbside Leaf and Yard Waste Collection <span style="text-decoration:underline;">early</span> on Monday, April 6<sup>th</sup> with a reduced crew. The early start means we won't be able to put as many trucks on the road as normal, however service will be provided to as many households as possible between April 6 and 17, focusing on high volume urban areas. While you may contact the County at anytime, we encourage residents to leave leaf and yard waste items at the curb on weekdays, as high-volume neighbourhoods will be prioritized. As per the County's waste collection calendar and Simcoe County Collects app, regular bi-weekly spring leaf and yard waste collection will start on April 20 with a set schedule running until June. </p><p><em>Landfills:</em> Four County landfills (Oro, West Gwillimbury, Nottawasaga and North Simcoe) remain open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for urgent business and resident drop off. </p><p><em>General curbside waste collections:</em> We continue to monitor the status of curbside waste collections and commend our waste collection workers for continuing to provide this critical service to our residents in times of need. We also continue to monitor staffing, as collection crews are being impacted with self-isolation requirements. We are doing everything we can to ensure this service is maintained, and collection crews appreciate the support they're receiving from the community. </p><p>We recognize that while families and residents are home they may generate more waste, here's a few helpful tips to assist residents with waste disposal: </p><ul><li>Use your green bin as much as possible</li><li>Utilize the bi-weekly two garbage bag limit</li><li>Remember that residential green bin and recycling quantities are unlimited </li><li>If using your green bin properly, there should be no odours in your garbage. Please find a way to store additional garbage and spring cleaning items until things return to normal</li><li>Diapers can be placed in a clear plastic bag and set out separately on garbage weeks and do not count towards garbage limits </li><li>If you have purchased bag tags already, you are permitted to use up to 4 tags bi-weekly for a total of 6 bags.</li></ul><p>County of Simcoe is composed of sixteen member municipalities and provides crucial public services to County residents in addition to providing paramedic and social services to the separated cities of Barrie and Orillia. Visit our website at <strong>simcoe.ca</strong>.</p><p style="text-align:center;"><strong>- 30 -</strong></p><p style="color:#444444;text-transform:none;text-indent:0px;letter-spacing:normal;font-family:"droid sans", sans-serif;font-size:16px;font-style:normal;font-weight:400;word-spacing:0px;white-space:normal;orphans:2;widows:2;background-color:#ffffff;text-decoration-style:initial;text-decoration-color:initial;"><strong>​CONTACTS</strong></p><p style="color:#444444;text-transform:none;text-indent:0px;letter-spacing:normal;font-family:"droid sans", sans-serif;font-size:16px;font-style:normal;font-weight:400;word-spacing:0px;white-space:normal;orphans:2;widows:2;background-color:#ffffff;text-decoration-style:initial;text-decoration-color:initial;"><strong></strong><span style="font-size:1em;">Chris Hedley<br></span><span style="font-size:1em;">Public Relations Consultant <br></span><span style="font-size:1em;">County of Simcoe, Service Simcoe Branch<br></span><span style="font-size:1em;">705-715-7654 (mobile)<br></span><a style="color:#00539b;font-size:1em;text-decoration:underline;"><span style="font-size:1em;">Chris</span><span style="font-size:1em;">.Hedley@simcoe.ca</span></a><span style="font-size:1em;"><br></span></p><p style="text-align:left;color:#444444;text-transform:none;text-indent:0px;letter-spacing:normal;font-family:"droid sans", sans-serif;font-size:16px;font-style:normal;font-weight:400;word-spacing:0px;white-space:normal;orphans:2;widows:2;background-color:#ffffff;text-decoration-style:initial;text-decoration-color:initial;">Collin Matanowitsch​<br><span style="font-size:1em;">Manager, Public Relations<br></span><span style="font-size:1em;">County of Simcoe, Service Simcoe Branch <br></span><span style="font-size:1em;">705-734-8386 (mobile)<br></span><a style="color:#00539b;font-size:1em;text-decoration:underline;">Collin.Matanowitsch@simcoe.ca</a><span style="font-size:1em;"> </span></p>
County launches Stronger Together: Showcasing acts of kindness across the regionhttps://www.simcoe.ca/CorporateCommunications/Pages/county-launches-stronger-together-showcasing-acts-of-kindness-across-the-region-20-4-2.aspx4/2/2020 6:31:50 PMCounty launches Stronger Together: Showcasing acts of kindness across the region<p><strong>Midhurst/April 2, 2020 </strong>– On April 2, the County of Simcoe formally launched <strong><em>Stronger Together</em></strong>, an online campaign to help showcase the many acts of kindness, support and appreciation that our communities, businesses and front-line staff are showing during these unprecedented times. </p><p>What began as a few social media posts highlighting the County's Long-Term Care Pen Pal Program, has taken off due to the ongoing support and kindness being shown by individuals and businesses across Simcoe County.</p><p>“Our communities, our businesses, our residents and our dedicated County staff have all risen to the occasion as we work together to not only flatten the COVID-19 curve, but support our vulnerable residents, family members, loved ones, neighbours and colleagues," said Warden George Cornell. “We will get through this pandemic, and by sharing positive stories of kindness, support and appreciation, we hope to generate even further optimism. Please continue to work together, do your part to limit the spread of the virus, and say thank you to those who continue to provide the services we need, now more than ever."  </p><p>The County's Stronger Together campaign showcases acts of kindness, support and appreciation for all sectors and services, while having a strong focus on supporting long-term care residents living in County facilities.</p><p>To see the many ways residents are showing kindness and positivity during COVID-19, visit <a href="https://simcoe.ca/strongertogether">simcoe.ca/strongertogether</a> or follow <a href="https://www.instagram.com/countyofsimcoe/">@countyofsimcoe</a> on Instagram, <a href="https://twitter.com/simcoecounty">@simcoecounty</a> on Twitter or “like" <a href="https://www.facebook.com/CountyofSimcoe/">@CountyofSimcoe</a> on Facebook.</p><p>Please help us share the spirit of positivity by sending your Stronger Together photos through social media using the hashtag #strongertogether. </p><p>County of Simcoe is composed of sixteen member municipalities and provides crucial public services to County residents in addition to providing paramedic and social services to the separated cities of Barrie and Orillia. Visit our website at <strong>simcoe.ca</strong>.</p><p style="text-align:center;"><strong>- 30 -<br></strong></p><p style="text-align:left;"><strong>CONTACTS:</strong></p><p>Jennifer Straw<br> Public Relations Consultant<br>County of Simcoe, Service Simcoe Branch<br>705-790-5979 (mobile)<br><a href="mailto:Jennifer.Straw@simcoe.ca">Jennifer.Straw@simcoe.ca</a></p><span style="text-align:left;"><p>Collin Matanowitsch<br>Manager, Public Relations<br>County of Simcoe, Service Simcoe Branch <br>705-734-8386 (mobile)<br> <a href="mailto:Collin.Matanowitsch@simcoe.ca">Collin.Matanowitsch@simcoe.ca</a></p></span>
Area partners launch donation campaign for urgently needed PPE and supplies for local health care providershttps://www.simcoe.ca/CorporateCommunications/Pages/area-partners-launch-donation-campaign-for-urgently-needed-PPE-and-supplies-for-local-health-care-providers.aspx3/30/2020 5:28:29 PMArea partners launch donation campaign for urgently needed PPE and supplies for local health care providers<p><strong>​Midhurst/March 30, 2020 – </strong>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. </p><p>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.<br></p><p><strong>Any donations of the following new and unused items would be greatly appreciated:</strong></p><ul style="list-style-type:disc;"><li><strong>N95 masks</strong></li><li><strong>Surgical masks</strong></li><li><strong>Face shields, protective goggles or safety glasses</strong></li><li><strong>Nitrile gloves (latex-free)</strong></li><li><strong>Reusable or disposable gowns</strong></li><li><strong>Medical thermometers</strong></li><li><strong>Hand sanitizer</strong></li><li><strong>Disinfectant wipes with a DIN# or with bleach cleaner</strong></li></ul><p>Any businesses or community members looking to donate items can email <a href="mailto:EmergencyManagement@smdhu.org"><strong>EmergencyManagement@smdhu.org</strong></a>. Information about how and where to send donations is available at <a href="http://www.smdhu.org/donations"><strong>www.smdhu.org/donations</strong></a>. 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.</p><p><strong>Quotes</strong></p><p>“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." – <em>County of Simcoe</em> <em>Warden George Cornell</em></p><p>“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." – <em>District of Muskoka Chair John Klinck</em></p><p>“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." – <em>SMDHU Medical Officer of Health Dr. Charles Gardner</em></p><p>County of Simcoe is composed of sixteen member municipalities and provides crucial public services to County residents in addition to providing paramedic and social services to the separated cities of Barrie and Orillia. Visit our website at <a href="http://www.simcoe.ca/"><strong>www.simcoe.ca</strong></a>. </p><p>The District of Muskoka provides many essential services to residents across six Area Municipalities including: paramedic service, social services, long-term care, water and wastewater, waste management and more. For more information about the key service responsibilities of the District and Area Municipalities in Muskoka's two-tier municipal system, please visit:<strong> </strong><a href="http://www.muskoka.on.ca/"><strong>www.muskoka.on.ca</strong></a></p><p style="text-align:center;"><strong>​- 30 -</strong></p><p style="text-align:left;"><strong>CONTACTS​</strong></p><p style="text-align:left;"><span style="font-size:1em;">Chris Hedley<br></span><span style="font-size:1em;">Public Relations Consultant<br></span><span style="font-size:1em;">County of Simcoe, Service Simcoe Branch<br></span><span style="font-size:1em;">705-715-7654(mobile)<br></span><span style="font-size:1em;"><a href="mailto:Chris.Hedley@simcoe.ca" style="font-size:1em;">Chris</a></span><span style="font-size:1em;"><a href="mailto:Chris.Hedley@simcoe.ca" style="font-size:1em;">.Hedley@simcoe.ca</a><a href="mailto:Chris.Hedley@simcoe.ca"></a></span><span style="font-size:1em;"><br></span></p><p style="text-align:left;">Molly Ross<br><span style="font-size:1em;">Communications Officer<br></span><span style="font-size:1em;">District of Municipality of Muskoka<br></span><span style="font-size:1em;">705-644-1055 (mobile)<br></span><span style="font-size:1em;"><a href="mailto:molly.ross@muskoka.on.ca" style="font-size:1em;">molly.ross@muskoka.on.ca</a></span></p>
County of Simcoe to reopen select landfills and transfer stations to the public for essential usehttps://www.simcoe.ca/CorporateCommunications/Pages/county-of-simcoe-to-reopen-select-landfills-and-transfer-stations-to-the-public-for-essential-use.aspx3/26/2020 7:08:18 PMCounty of Simcoe to reopen select landfills and transfer stations to the public for essential use<p><strong>Midhurst/March 26, 2020 </strong>– The County of Simcoe is reopening select landfills and transfer stations to the public to support our small essential businesses and our residents' urgent/essential waste disposal needs during this uncertain time.  </p><p>Four geographically strategic County waste sites (North Simcoe, West Gwillimbury, Nottawasaga and Oro) are scheduled to reopen on Monday, March 30<sup>th</sup> at 9 a.m. These four facilities will be fully operational Monday to Friday from 9 am to 3 pm only, until further Government restrictions occur or staffing challenges arise. Sites will be closed to the public on Saturdays and all other site locations will remain closed to the public for the foreseeable future. The County and our front-line staff ask that residents follow all Public Health recommendations and use the landfill for critical or essential drop-offs only. If you are in self-isolation, stay at home. Please store materials at your home if possible; don't make any unnecessary visits to the sites.</p><p>“We made the initial decision to close these sites to the public in order to comply with public health and safety recommendations, as well as in response to an alarming number of non-essential visits to the sites by residents who were in clear violation of public health recommendations to stay home," said Warden George Cornell. “We can't stress enough how important it is for residents to stay at home to help flatten the curve of COVID-19 by limiting the spread of this virus. If you are self-isolating due to any symptoms or have recently returned from travel outside the country, please don't put our staff, other residents and our communities at risk. Stay home, utilize our continuing curbside collections and do your best to find a place to store non-urgent household items that require diverting or disposal until we return to regular operations."  <br></p><p>In the past week, the County has significantly enhanced procedures at these four sites to provide additional safety and physical distancing measures for staff and customers. In addition, the County is responding to provincial requests to maintain essential services, especially those for small and vulnerable businesses. To maintain curbside waste collections for all households in the County, our staffing levels at some select landfills and transfer stations must be maintained for drop-off, landfilling and haulage of curbside materials. To avoid jeopardizing the health of staff, other customers and the continuation of curbside waste collection services for all, please adhere to these restrictions and Public Health recommendations. <br></p><p><strong>Safety measures and restrictions: </strong></p><ul style="list-style-type:disc;"><li>The safety of our staff and customers is paramount, and the County is taking extra precautions with its front-line staff, including:  <br></li><li>Speaker systems installed at weigh scales to allow for staff/customer transaction through a closed window  </li><li>Increased sanitization and PPE requirements for staff    </li><li>Implementing a $10.00 minimum flat fee limit for all residential car and truck drop-offs to reduce scale contact with customers and discourage small, non-urgent/critical loads (mattresses and fridges will be charged separately as always)  </li><li>Debit and credit only from an exterior terminal - tap is the preferred option  </li><li>Removing split load charges, thus reducing multiple interactions between customers and staff at the weigh scale; however, customers must separate materials into designated areas  </li><li>Limiting vehicles entering the facility at any given time to reduce contact among customers and employees - this could lead to longer wait times</li><li>Staff will no longer support individuals with unloading items from customers' vehicles   </li><li>Additional social/physical distancing measures will be put in place for all interactions between customers and staff   </li><li>Increased safety and instructional signage must be obeyed  </li></ul><p>Residents are reminded to utilize curbside organics and recycling, and the two-bag garbage limit on garbage collection weeks as the best means to dispose of their usual household materials. Organics and recycling quantities for curbside collection are unlimited. Please continue to use your green bin as much as possible, and bag and seal your organics and garbage to protect the well-being of collection crews. Diapers can also be set out in sealed clear bags on garbage weeks and won't be counted against garbage bag limits.</p><p>We encourage residents to download the Simcoe County Collects app, as hours and operations may fluctuate based on staffing levels. Service Simcoe is also open to field inquiries by phone and email Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 705-735-6901 or <a href="mailto:serivce@simcoe.ca">serivce@simcoe.ca</a>. </p><p>County of Simcoe is composed of sixteen member municipalities and provides crucial public services to County residents in addition to providing paramedic and social services to the separated cities of Barrie and Orillia. Visit our website at simcoe.ca.<br></p><p style="text-align:center;"><strong>- 30 -</strong></p><p><strong>​CONTACTS</strong></p><p><strong></strong><span style="font-size:1em;">Chris Hedley<br></span><span style="font-size:1em;">Public Relations Consultant <br></span><span style="font-size:1em;">County of Simcoe, Service Simcoe Branch<br></span><span style="font-size:1em;">705-715-7654 (mobile)<br></span><a href="mailto:Chris.Hedley@simcoe.ca" style="font-size:1em;"><span style="font-size:1em;">Chris</span><span style="font-size:1em;">.Hedley@simcoe.ca</span></a><span style="font-size:1em;"><br></span></p><p style="text-align:left;">Collin Matanowitsch​<br><span style="font-size:1em;">Manager, Public Relations<br></span><span style="font-size:1em;">County of Simcoe, Service Simcoe Branch <br></span><span style="font-size:1em;">705-734-8386 (mobile)<br></span><a href="mailto:Collin.Matanowitsch@simcoe.ca" style="font-size:1em;">Collin.Matanowitsch@simcoe.ca</a><span style="font-size:1em;"> </span><strong style="font-size:1em;"><br></strong></p>
County and area partners launch survey to support regional businesses during COVID-19 pandemichttps://www.simcoe.ca/CorporateCommunications/Pages/county-and-area-partners-launch-survey-to-support-regional-businesses-during-covid-19-pandemic.aspx3/24/2020 12:37:27 PMCounty and area partners launch survey to support regional businesses during COVID-19 pandemic<p><strong>Midhurst/March 23, 2020 – </strong>The County of Simcoe Economic Development Office (EDO), in collaboration with its member municipalities and partners, is actively and collectively working to support our business community during these unprecedented times. </p><p>The County's EDO department is committed to helping our local business community receive the most accurate and up-to-date information related to the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that business owners can make informed and responsible decisions for their employees and the general public through this challenging time.</p><p>The County's EDO is currently helping to facilitate collaboration between companies and aid connections to new suppliers, as well as collectively sharing information such as supply shortages and how to adapt to Public Health recommendations, including ongoing virtual business opportunities. </p><p>To understand the impact on local businesses in our region across all sectors and areas of need, area partners have launched a <em>COVID-19 Business Impact Survey</em>. To participate, please visit <a href="https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BusImpact">https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BusImpact</a>. We want to hear from you so we can further support you during this challenging economic time. </p><p>The County is committed to providing relevant resources to assist Simcoe County businesses via its website, as well as helping to promote and organize virtual information sessions amongst industry and experts. Information is continuously updated on the County's EDO website as it becomes available <a href="https://edo.simcoe.ca/covid-19-business-resources">https://edo.simcoe.ca/covid-19-business-resources</a>.  </p><p>The County is also sharing the call-out to the business community that can provide products and services to combat the COVID-19 outbreak. The Provincial and Federal Governments are seeking manufacturers that can retool to produce widely needed medical products that are in short supply. The EDO is encouraging interested companies to contact us for assistance with connections to partners to help in this regard.</p><p>“As we all do our part to flatten the curve of the spread of COVID-19, we want our businesses and residents to know that we are here for you and working to identify responsible opportunities to assist and support you," said Warden George Cornell. “The most important message we can share is to take the recommendations from our Public Health agencies seriously. By working together, and supporting our neighbours and local businesses, we will get through this pandemic and can reduce the impacts on our economy and health-care system."</p><p>The County of Simcoe EDO is here to support our businesses and labour force. We are all in this together. For more information, contact us at <a href="mailto:edo@simcoe.ca">edo@simcoe.ca</a>. </p><p>County of Simcoe is composed of sixteen member municipalities and provides crucial public services to County residents in addition to providing paramedic and social services to the separated cities of Barrie and Orillia. Visit our website at <strong>simcoe.ca</strong>.</p><p style="text-align:center;"><strong> - 30 -</strong></p><p style="text-align:left;"><strong>CONTACTS</strong></p><p style="text-align:left;">Jennifer Straw<br>Public Relations Consultant <br>County of Simcoe, Service Simcoe Branch <br>705-790-5979(mobile)<br><a href="mailto:Jennifer.Straw@simcoe.ca">Jennifer.Straw@simcoe.ca</a><br></p><p style="text-align:left;">Collin Matanowitsch​<br>Manager, Public Relations<br>County of Simcoe, Service Simcoe Branch <br>705-734-8386 (mobile)<br><a href="mailto:Collin.Matanowitsch@simcoe.ca">Collin.Matanowitsch@simcoe.ca</a><br></p>
County of Simcoe declares COVID-19 emergencyhttps://www.simcoe.ca/CorporateCommunications/Pages/county-of-simcoe-declares-covid-19-emergency-20-3-18.aspx3/18/2020 8:01:35 PMCounty of Simcoe declares COVID-19 emergency<p>​<strong style="font-size:1em;">Midhurst/March 18, 2020</strong><span style="font-size:1em;"> -</span><span style="font-size:1em;"> Today, March 18, 2020 at 3 p.m., County of Simcoe Warden George Cornell has declared an emergency as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic developments in our region.</span></p><p>Declaring an emergency affords the County additional powers to protect the health and safety of all individuals, families and businesses as well as the vulnerable populations that we serve. This declaration also aligns with the Government of Ontario's Declaration of Emergency made March 17, 2020. <br></p><p>“The County of Simcoe is taking the important step of declaring an emergency through the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act," said Warden George Cornell. “Recognizing these extraordinary circumstances, we need to ensure we can use all available resources to protect the health and well-being of our residents. We thank front-line staff who are working diligently to ensure our most vulnerable residents remain safe." <br></p><p>The declaration also supports Public Health recommendations that reinforce the importance of acting now to help flatten the curve of the spread of COVID-19, including: </p><ul><li>Avoid gatherings <br></li><li>Practice adequate social distancing</li><li>Wash your hands for 15-20 seconds with soap and sanitize</li><li>Cough or sneeze into your arm </li><li>If you have any symptoms, self-monitor and self-isolate and contact a healthcare professional if symptoms persist</li><li>If you have travelled outside Canada recently, ensure you self isolate for 14 days</li><li>If you have, or suspect you have COVID-19, contact healthcare authorities and please do all you can to self-isolate and avoid contact with people </li><li>The County of Simcoe strongly reminds our residents that the risks of COVID-19 are very real and in our region. It is paramount that residents undertake all public health recommendations and the directions of our health care facilities and assessment centres to not exceed the capacity of our local health-care system. </li></ul><p>As a reminder, the following County public contact services and facilities remain closed to the public until further notice:<br></p><ul><li>Simcoe County Archives<br></li><li>Simcoe County Museum</li><li>Simcoe County Library Co-operative</li><li>Tourism Simcoe County Information Kiosk</li><li>County Administration Centre – including the Service Simcoe Desk (phone lines and other means of contact remain open)</li><li>County of Simcoe Landfills and Transfer Stations – closed to the public.<br> (Industrial, Commercial and Institutional customers who have no alternative disposal options are encouraged to contact Service Simcoe at <a href="mailto:service@simcoe.ca">service@simcoe.ca</a> or 1-800-263-3199)</li><li>All County events and gatherings, including in-person Council and Committees are cancelled for March and into April ​<br></li></ul><p>The County will continue to provide regular public updates through social media, website content and press releases to ensure residents are well informed. For up-to-date information on the status of County services, residents can visit simcoe.ca, or call <strong>1-800-263-3199 </strong>or <strong>705-726-9300</strong>. For health-related information, go to <a href="https://www.simcoemuskokahealth.org/">simcoemuskokahealth.org</a>, or call the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit directly. <br></p><p></p><p style="text-align:center;"><strong>- 30 -</strong></p><p><strong>CONTACTS</strong><br></p><p><strong>Chris Hedley</strong><br><strong>Public Relations Consultant<br></strong><strong style="font-size:1em;">County of Simcoe, Service Simcoe Branch<br></strong><strong style="font-size:1em;">705-726-9300 ext. 1030<br></strong><strong style="font-size:1em;">705-715-7654 (mobile)<br></strong><strong style="font-size:1em;"><a href="mailto:Chris.Hedley@simcoe.ca">Chris.Hedley@simcoe.ca</a></strong><strong style="font-size:1em;"><br></strong></p><p><strong></strong><strong style="text-align:right;font-size:1em;">Collin Matanowitsch<br></strong><strong style="text-align:right;font-size:1em;">Manager, Public Relations<br></strong><strong style="text-align:right;font-size:1em;">County of Simcoe, Service Simcoe Branch <br></strong><strong style="text-align:right;font-size:1em;">705-726-9300 ext. 1430<br></strong><strong style="text-align:right;font-size:1em;">705-734-8386 (mobile)<br></strong><a href="mailto:Collin.Matanowitsch@simcoe.ca" style="text-align:right;font-size:1em;"><strong>Collin.Matanowitsch@simcoe.ca</strong></a>​​<br><br></p><p><br></p>
County of Simcoe continues to take measures to help contain the spread of COVID-19https://www.simcoe.ca/CorporateCommunications/Pages/county-of-simcoe-takes-measures-to-help-contain-the-spread-of-covid-19.aspx3/17/2020 9:09:47 PMCounty of Simcoe continues to take measures to help contain the spread of COVID-19<p><strong></strong> </p><p><strong>Midhurst/March 17, 2020 – </strong>The County of Simcoe continues to respond to the fluid situation around COVID-19. The County understands and appreciates that our residents depend on County services, many of which are considered essential services, and we are working to ensure continuity of operations while keeping our residents, staff and partners as safe as possible. This is critical, particularly given the recent news that the first potential COVID-19 Ontario death has occurred in our region. </p><p>“These are unprecedented times and we remind residents to strongly adhere to recommendations from public health agencies to exercise social distancing, cancel gatherings and follow proper hand-washing and sanitization measures," said Warden George Cornell. “We are all in this together, and by following protocols and supporting one another, we can all help curb the spread of COVID-19 and support our most vulnerable residents, loved ones and neighbours. The County has a number of essential services that will continue to be provided; however, we are taking critical steps to promote social distancing by closing many of our non-essential services, programs and facilities to the public, while working to redeploy staff and implement flexible working arrangements as per the recommendations from the provincial and federal governments. County staff will diligently continue to work and provide our essential services, with provisions in place to support residents, staff and our partners."</p><p>In view of recent provincial and federal directives, including today's Ontario Government's declaration of an emergency, the County of Simcoe is undertaking the following immediate actions to limit the spread of COVID-19. Effective 4:30 p.m. on March 17, 2020, the following services and facilities are being closed to the public until further notice:</p><ul><li>Simcoe County Library Co-operative</li><li>Simcoe County Archives</li><li>Simcoe County Museum</li><li>Tourism Simcoe County Information Kiosk</li><li>County Administration Centre – including the Service Simcoe Desk (phone lines and other means of contact remain open)</li><li>County of Simcoe Landfills and Transfer Stations – closed to the public. <br>(Industrial, Commercial and Institutional customers who have no alternative disposal options are encouraged to contact Service Simcoe at <a href="mailto:info@simcoe.ca">service@simcoe.ca</a> or 1-800-263-3199)</li><li>All County events and gatherings, including in-person Council and Committees are cancelled for March and into April </li></ul><p>Following current best-practices recommended by public health agencies, the County is maintaining our key essential services with some restrictions, including:    <br></p><ul><li>County of Simcoe Paramedic Services</li><li>Long Term Care and Seniors Services – with access to these facilities restricted to staff and essential visitors only</li><li>Curbside Waste Collections </li><li>LINX Transit</li><li>Children Services appointments will be done by phone only</li><li>Social and Affordable Housing enquiries will be done by phone and online only </li><li><span style="font-size:1em;">Ontario Works Offices will remain open to the public at this time, but appointments will be done by phone only </span></li></ul><span style="font-size:1em;">​The County will continue to provide regular public updates through social media, website content and press releases to ensure residents are well informed. For up-to-date information on the status of County services, residents can visit </span><strong style="font-size:1em;">simcoe.ca, </strong><span style="font-size:1em;">or call</span><strong style="font-size:1em;"> 1-800-263-3199 </strong><span style="font-size:1em;">or</span><strong style="font-size:1em;"> 705-726-9300. </strong><span style="font-size:1em;">For health-related information, go to </span><strong style="font-size:1em;">simcoemuskokahealth.org</strong><span style="font-size:1em;">, or call the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit directly. </span><br style="font-size:1em;"><br style="font-size:1em;"><span style="font-size:1em;">County of Simcoe is composed of sixteen member municipalities and provides crucial public services to County residents in addition to providing paramedic and social services to the separated cities of Barrie and Orillia. Visit our website at </span><strong style="font-size:1em;">simcoe.ca</strong><span style="font-size:1em;">.</span><br><p style="text-align:center;"><strong>- 30 -</strong></p><p><strong> CONTACTS</strong><br></p><p><strong>Chris Hedley</strong><br><strong>Public Relations Consultant<br></strong><strong style="font-size:1em;">County of Simcoe, Service Simcoe Branch<br></strong><strong style="font-size:1em;">705-726-9300 ext. 1030<br></strong><strong style="font-size:1em;">705-715-7654 (mobile)<br></strong><strong style="font-size:1em;"><a href="mailto:Chris.Hedley@simcoe.ca">Chris.Hedley@simcoe.ca</a></strong><strong style="font-size:1em;"><br></strong></p><p><strong></strong><strong style="text-align:right;font-size:1em;">Collin Matanowitsch<br></strong><strong style="text-align:right;font-size:1em;">Manager, Public Relations<br></strong><strong style="text-align:right;font-size:1em;">County of Simcoe, Service Simcoe Branch <br></strong><strong style="text-align:right;font-size:1em;">705-726-9300 ext. 1430<br></strong><strong style="text-align:right;font-size:1em;">705-734-8386 (mobile)<br></strong><a href="mailto:Collin.Matanowitsch@simcoe.ca" style="text-align:right;font-size:1em;"><strong>Collin.Matanowitsch@simcoe.ca</strong></a><strong style="text-align:right;font-size:1em;"><br></strong></p>