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News Releases and Advisories

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COVID-19 Positive Cases at Simcoe Manorhttps://www.simcoe.ca/CorporateCommunications/Pages/COVID-19-Positive-Cases-at-Simcoe-Manor.aspx10/3/2020 1:18:18 AMCOVID-19 Positive Cases at Simcoe Manor<span><h2>Update - October 19 (5:15 p.m.)<br></h2><p></p><p>We continue to see the impact of this virus on long term care homes and other congregate healthcare institutions across the province. In recent days, three (3) Toronto hospitals have reported outbreaks, including Toronto Western Hospital, St. Joseph's Health Centre and the Queen Street site of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. This is a reminder that everyone needs to follow public health guidelines as closely as we can, both at work and in our personal lives, to protect ou​r most vulnerable residents. Reducing community transmission is essential to preventing and minimizing outbreaks in long-term care homes. </p><p>We continue to monitor tracing and engage the Health Unit and the Province regarding timing issues in returning test results and prioritizing test results from long-term care and seniors services facilities.<br></p><h4>Case Update (October 19):<br></h4><p>As of today, 40 of Simcoe Manor's residents and 28 staff have been confirmed as COVID-19-positive. 18 of the positive COVID-19 resident cases are asymptomatic. We are saddened to share that one of our COVID-positive residents passed away this morning (October 19), bringing our total COVID-19-related resident deaths to seven (7). Our thoughts and sympathies continue to be with everyone impacted, and our condolences are with those who have lost loved ones.<br></p><p>​​<br></p><h2>Update - October 18 (5:30 p.m.)​<br></h2><div><span><br></span> </div>As of today, 40 of Simcoe Manor’s residents and 28 staff have been confirmed as COVID-19-positive. We have sadly lost six (6) residents with COVID-19 positive test results during the outbreak. Our thoughts and sympathies continue to be with everyone impacted, and our condolences are with those who have lost loved ones.</span><div><span>​<br>We are working with public health to ensure that we are receiving results from staff and resident testing as quickly as possible, so that we can take the necessary precautions to eradicate the virus in our home. This is also a reminder that we must continue to follow all PPE guidelines, including those outlined below, as PPE remains our best tool in the fight against this virus.<h2><br></h2><h2>Update - October 17 (5:30 p.m.)​<br></h2><p>As of today, 38 of Simcoe Manor’s residents and 26 staff have been confirmed as COVID-19-positive. Four (4) new staff received positive results yesterday, dating back to our rapid testing on October 15. We have sadly lost six (6) residents with COVID-19 positive test results during the outbreak. <span style="font-size:1em;">Our thoughts and sympathies continue to be with everyone impacted, and our condolences are with those who have lost loved ones.</span></p><p>​<br></p><h2 style="text-align:left;"></h2><h2>Update - October 16 (3:30 p.m.)​<br></h2><p><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong>Analysis of Test Results:</strong></span><strong> </strong>Upon detailed analysis of our positive cases, the vast majority of our staff and resident cases occurred on or before the mass testing dates at the beginning of the outbreak as test results were received over the next week due to a province-wide increase in test demand.<br></p><p>We have identified that 29 of our total positive resident cases were either confirmed or completed during our October 2 facility-wide testing. Seven (7) of the eight (8) additional positive resident tests occurred with re-testing residents who became symptomatic within a short period after October 2.<br></p><p>Similarly, 19 of our 22 positive staff test results occurred prior to or as part of the mandatory testing on October 5<sup>th</sup>. This demonstrates the silent nature of this virus and how quickly it spread within the home. In collaboration with public health, we are investigating and analyzing this data further; however, the quick actions taken, including immediate quarantine of all residents, cohorting of staff as able, increased PPE protocols, cancellation of visits and additional support from the team at RVH appear to have helped reduce the spread further in our home. We are grateful to our staff and healthcare partners, for their dedication and diligence as we continue to work to stop the spread and protect the home. <br></p><p><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong>Case Update – October 16:</strong></span><strong> </strong>As of today, 38 of Simcoe Manor's residents and 22 staff have been confirmed as COVID-19-positive. We are saddened to share that one of our COVID-positive residents passed away last evening, bringing​ the total COVID-19-related resident deaths to six (6). Our thoughts and sympathies continue to be with all impacted.</p><p><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong>Testing Update:</strong></span>  As an additional precautionary measure, Simcoe Manor residents who are currently COVID-19 negative were tested today (October 16). Staff at Simcoe Manor were tested yesterday (October 15), and we await the results from Public Health. This is being done in an effort to further stop the spread and identify any possible further asymptomatic cases. We are now utilizing RVH's rapid testing system to access results. <br></p><h2><br>Update - October 15 (4:30 p.m.)​<br></h2><p> </p><p>The case count at Simcoe Manor has remained stable over the past 24 hours. We are still reporting 37 of Simcoe Manor’s residents and 22 staff as COVID-19-positive, and five COVID-19-related deaths. Our thoughts and best wishes continue to be with everyone impacted. <br>​<br></p><h2>​Update - October 14 (11 p.m.)​</h2><p>To-date, 37 of Simcoe Manor’s residents and 22 staff have tested positive for COVID-19. Tragically, another resident who was COVID-19 positive passed away on October 13, bringing the total to five COVID-positive resident deaths related to this current outbreak.</p><p>Our thoughts continue to be with everyone impacted by this outbreak and we are thankful for the support of our partners ​at RVH for assisting in further protecting our home. <br></p><p>​​<br></p><h2>Update - October 13, 2020 (2:15 p.m.)<br></h2><p>​As a serious COVID-19 outbreak continues at the Simcoe Manor long-term care home in Beeton, the County of Simcoe is partnering with Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) to further ensure the safety of the home’s residents and staff. <br></p><p>To-date, 34 of Simcoe Manor's residents and 20 staff have tested positive for COVID-19. Tragically, four COVID-positive residents of the home have died. Residents are being tested routinely and all who test positive are safely quarantining in their rooms while being closely monitored by staff; employees who have tested positive are self-isolating and monitored by public health.</p><p>Earlier today, the Ministry of Long-Term Care issued a Mandatory Management Order appointing RVH to temporarily manage Simcoe Manor for 90 days. This follows last Friday's order by the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit directing RVH to oversee infection control response to the outbreak which was declared October 2<sup>nd</sup>. The County of Simcoe, which operates the home, will continue to provide day-to-day care to the home's residents. Stevenson Memorial Hospital in Alliston also continues to provide support. <br></p><p>For more details, view our <a href="/CorporateCommunications/Pages/county-partners-with-rvh-to-take-aggressive-action-to-support-simcoe-manor-20-10-13.aspx">new release</a> issued Tuesday, October 13.<br><br></p><h2>Update - October 10, 2020 (4:55 p.m.)<br></h2><p>County of Simcoe staff continue to do everything possible to limit the spread of COVID-19 at Simcoe Manor and protect residents. The Simcoe Muskoka District Health unit has confirmed 30 positive resident cases and 19 positive staff cases to-date. We are also saddened to report that four COVID-positive residents have unfortunately passed away. We can confirm that the resident who passed away on October 7, while receiving palliative care treatment, had a negative test result. Currently, 17 of the active resident positive cases are asymptomatic, exhibiting none of the associated symptoms.​​<br></p><p>Our thoughts continue to be with everyone impacted by this outbreak. View our <a href="/CorporateCommunications/Pages/county-seeking-partnerships-to-tackle-simcoe-manor-outbreak.aspx">news release​</a> issued Friday, October 9 for further details. ​<br></p><h2>​<br></h2><h2>Update - October 9, 2020 (5:30 p.m.)<br></h2><div><p class="MsoNormal">The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit continues to return our facility-wide resident test results. As of today, we have 29 confirmed COVID-19 positive resident cases, with 25 still active. 18 of the resident COVID-19 positive cases are asymptomatic. One (1) resident test result is pending and the balance have been returned as negative. 19 of our staff members have tested positive for COVID-19, and we continue to monitor for the remaining staff test results. To-date, of the 145 tests completed via mass testing, 122 negative staff results have been returned.  <br></p><p class="MsoNormal"> </p><p class="MsoNormal">As noted yesterday, the County is saddened to report that four (4) residents have now passed away with confirmed COVID-19 positive cases. Our thoughts and condolences are with the family members and friends of those we have lost, and we continue to hope for the best possible outcome for all affected. </p><p class="MsoNormal">The County is in regular contact with our residents, families and staff. Extensive safety measures (outlined in updates below) remain in place and the County is working with local and provincial health agencies to secure additional support and resources.</p><p class="MsoNormal">Extensive safety measures remain in place and the County continues to work with local and provincial health agencies. We are grateful to the families, local residents and staff who have shared their words of encouragement with all those working at Simcoe Manor to combat this terrible virus. <br></p><p class="MsoNormal">For more information on our ongoing efforts, <a href="/CorporateCommunications/Pages/county-seeking-partnerships-to-tackle-simcoe-manor-outbreak.aspx">click here​</a>.​<br></p></div><h2>​​​​​</h2><h2>Update - October 8, 2020 (12 p.m.)<br></h2><div> <p class="MsoNormal"><span>The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit continues to return our facility-wide resident test results. </span>At this time, of the​ resident tests completed, the Health Unit has advised that 26 have been confirmed COVID-19 positive, four (4) results are pending, the balance of the resident tests have been returned as negative. This has not changed since October 7. <span>So far, the </span>outbreak has affected four (4) resident care units, with three (3) still having confirmed active cases. </p><p class="MsoNormal">We now have 16 COVID-positive cases among staff (nine (9) new) and are working closely with the Health Unit while we await further test results from facility-wide staff <span>testing conducted on October 5. We are doing everything we can to support our staff, both with resourcing, supplies and wellness supports. </span></p><p class="MsoNormal">Our amazing and dedicated staff at the Manor, totaling more then 150, <span>are doing everything they can to create a wall to stop the spread, and protect our residents in our home.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span>Today, the County is saddened to report that a fourth (4<sup>th</sup>) resident who had been confirmed positive with COVID-19 passed away yesterday evening (Oct 7). A second resident, who had tested negative for COVID-19 and was previously receiving palliative care, also sadly passed away yesterday. </span><span>Our condolences are with the family members and friends of those we have lost, and we continue to hope for the best possible outcome for all affected.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal">The County is in regular contact with our residents, families and staff. <span>Extensive safety measures (outlined in updates below) remain in place and the County is working with local and provincial health agencies to secure additional support and resources.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span>We are grateful to the families, local residents and staff who have shared their words of encouragement with all those working at Simcoe Manor to combat this terrible virus.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span>Our extensive precautions are included in the updates below, and we continue to enhance these protocols to stop further spread, includes additional PPE requirements for staff caring for residents who have tested positive. </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span>We will get through this, together.<br><br> </span></p></div></span><h2>​​​​Update - October 7, 2020 (4:40 p.m.)<br></h2><p> </p><div><p style="text-align:justify;">The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (Health Unit) continues to return our facility-wide resident test results. We have a total of 26 positive resident cases (23 active), with 18 being asymptomatic at this time. More than 90 of the resident tests were return​<span style="white-space:nowrap;">ed</span> as negative. We remain at seven (7) confirmed positive cases among staff, to date. All staff were tested on October 5 and we continue to monitor for these results. </p><p>As reported on October 6, we have sadly lost three (3) residents who tested positi​ve for COVID-19 during the outbreak. Our condolences are with the family members and friends of those we have lost, and we continue to hope for the best possible outcome for all affected. <br></p><p>The Manor's amazing staff are doing all they can to create a wall to stop the spread in our home. Extensive safety measures (outlined in updates below) remain in place and the County is working with local and provincial health agencies to secure additional support and resources. <br></p><br></div><h2>Update - October 6, 2020 (5:40 p.m.)<br></h2><p> </p><div>The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (Health Unit) continues to return our facility-wide resident test results. As of this morning, we can confirm we have received a total of 24 positive resident cases. We have also received 94 resident tests confirmed as negative. Of the 24 positive resident test results, 17 of these residents are currently asymptomatic. Staff continue to monitor these residents closely.<br><br></div><div>We have also received confirmation of seven (7) positive cases among staff, to date. All staff were tested on October 5 and we continue to monitor for these results.<br><br></div><div>The outbreak is affecting four (4) units at Simcoe Manor. <br></div><div><br> </div><div>We are all saddened by the passing of our third resident during the night. We have also just received confirmation that both of the residents who we sadly lost over the weekend were confirmed as COVID-19 positive. Our condolences are with the family members and friends of those we have lost, and we continue to hope for the best possible outcome for all affected.<br><br></div><div>We know this is an extremely difficult time for everyone. We are grateful to our staff for their continued diligence, hard work and dedication, and to our families and friends for their kindness and messages of support. The wellbeing of our residents and staff continues to be our top priority.<br><br></div><div>We have been working closely with the Health Unit, our regional LHIN, Stevenson Memorial Hospital and the Province. Our area health care partners are stepping up to support and we hope to have additional information on the involvement of these additional agencies shortly.​<br></div><h2><br></h2><h2>Update - October 5, 2020 (6:20 p.m.)</h2><p> </p><p>Today, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (Health Unit) informed us that two (2) additional staff members who were home isolating with symptoms have tested positive for COVID-19 bringing our total number of positive staff cases to six (6). <br></p><p>Our facility-wide resident test results from Friday October 2 are now being returned individually from the Health Unit, and we can confirm a total number of 16 positive resident cases so far, including our resident who sadly passed away over the weekend.  We also received 21 resident test results today that were negative. <br></p><p>We are in the process of notifying family members of the results and will continue to provide further information as the test results are received. All positive resident cases remain isolated to the same three (3) resident care units at Simcoe Manor. <br></p><p>Staff have also completed testing today. </p><p>"On behalf of County Council, I send our best wishes to everyone impacted at Simcoe Manor, and our condolences to the families and loved ones of the two residents who sadly passed away over the weekend," said Warden George Cornell. "This is a serious virus, but I'm confident that the knowledge, skill and dedication of our staff and leadership team will see us through these difficult times. Stay strong, you have the full support of Council."<br></p><div>As we continue with extensive infection prevention and containment measures, we are also working closely and receiving additional support from Ontario Health’s Central LHIN, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit and our partners at the Stevenson Memorial Hospital.  <br></div><div><br> </div><div>Our dedicated staff continue to care for our residents and will not let up until we have defeated this terrible virus.<br></div><p>Full outbreak protocols and tactics are listed in the communication updates below.<br></p><p><em>*The adjacent Simcoe Village is not in outbreak. </em>​<br><br></p><h2>Update - October 4, 2020 (5 p.m.)<br></h2><p> </p><p>As of this morning, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (Health Unit) has confirmed that our outbreak remains at four (4) staff and four (4) resident COVID-19 positive cases at Simcoe Manor. A total of three (3) resident care units remain impacted by positive cases at this time. <br></p><p>It is with great sadness that we share the passing of two of our residents (one late yesterday evening and one early this morning). One of the individuals had tested positive for COVID-19, and t​he other was tested on Friday, with their results pending. Our heartfelt condolences are with the loved ones of the two residents we lost last night and this morning.<br></p><p>All long-term care residents have been tested and we continue to closely monitor for their results. All staff are being tested tomorrow, Monday October 5, and enhanced screening measures remain in place to ensure immediate symptom identification, testing, isolation and appropriate contact tracing are completed, in collaboration with the Health Unit. Extensive protocols remain in place to stop the spread within our home quickly; some of these precautions include:<br></p><ul><li><span style="font-size:1em;">T</span><span style="font-size:1em;">emporary cancellation of all Indoor/outdoor visits while we await further testing results and direction from the Health Unit, with the exception of essential visitors - inclusive of essential caregivers;</span></li><li>Heightened surveillance and monitoring for symptoms of all residents; </li><li>Enhanced cleaning measures;</li><li>Advanced screening; </li><li>Cohorting staff to individual units during each shift; <br></li><li>Temporary hold on all new resident admissions and internal transfers; </li><li>Additional requirement of all staff to wear full PPE (gloves, gown, mask, face shield) upon entering the resident care units. We are sourcing additional PPE supplies to ensure supplies are always available during this outbreak; and</li><li>All residents are isolated in their rooms for precautionary reasons, with tray service for meals. Use of disposable plates, cups and cutlery for the duration of this outbreak to provide additional infection control safety.</li></ul><p>Though this virus has silently made its way into our Home, we will fight harder than ever to stop it as quickly as we possibly can. Be reassured that we are all doing everything possible and we will get ahead of this. </p><p>​We continue to keep everyone directly impacted by this virus at Simcoe Manor in our thoughts and are extending heartfelt wishes for the best possible outcome.<br></p><p>Thank you to family members of our residents for your understanding and patience. Also thank you to our amazing staff for their continued dedication - those in long-term care and seniors services, as well as our redeployed employees, Paramedics and those assisting with the response. </p><p><em>​*The adjacent Simcoe Village is not in outbreak. <br><br></em></p><h2>Update - October 3, 2020 (4:30 p.m.)<br></h2><p> </p><div>As of this afternoon, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (Health Unit) has confirmed we now have four (4) staff and four (4) resident COVID-19 positive cases at Simcoe Manor. A total of three (3) resident care units are impacted by positive cases at this time. The adjacent​ Simcoe Village is not in outbreak. <br></div><div>​<br></div><div>All long-term care residents have been tested and we are awaiting results. All staff will be tested on Monday and enhanced screening measures are in place to ensure immediate symptom identification, testing, isolation and appropriate contact tracing are completed, in collaboration with our Health Unit.<br></div><div><br> </div><div>As an extra safety measure, all 126 residents have been temporarily placed under isolation precautions and will receive tray service for their meals. O<span style="font-size:1em;">ther outbreak protocols in place include:</span></div><div><ul><li>Temporary cancellation of all Indoor/outdoor visits, with the exception of essential visitors - inclusive of essential caregivers;<br></li><li> Heightened surveillance and monitoring for symptoms of all residents;<br></li><li> Enhanced cleaning measures;</li><li>Cohorting staff to individual units during each shift;<br></li><li>Temporary hold on all new resident admissions and internal transfers; and<br></li><li> Additional requirements for all staff regarding full PPE (gloves, gown, mask, face shield).​​<br></li></ul></div><div><span style="font-size:1em;">Our thoughts are with those directly impacted by the positive cases and we remain hopeful for the best possible outcomes for all.​​</span><span style="font-size:1em;">​<br><br><br></span></div><h2>Update - October 2, 2020 (9 p.m.)<br></h2><p><strong style="font-size:1em;"></strong><span style="font-size:1em;">On October 2, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) confirmed that that three staff members and three residents at Simcoe Manor Long-Term Care home, located in Beeton, are confirmed positive for COVID-19. The positive resident cases are isolated to two units.</span></p><p>​​As a result, the Health Unit has placed Simcoe Manor in outbreak status. The Village portion of the facility (Simcoe Village) is not placed in outbreak but will undertake enhanced surveillance and safety protocols. As per our standard protocol, we have implemented the following: <span style="font-size:1em;"> </span></p><ul style="list-style-type:disc;"><li>Temporary cancellation of all Indoor/outdoor visits while we await further testing results and direction from the Health Unit, with the exception of essential visitors - inclusive of essential caregivers; </li><li>Heightened surveillance and monitoring for symptoms of all residents; </li><li>Enhanced cleaning measures; </li><li>Cohorting​ staff to individual units during each shift; </li><li>Temporary hold on all new resident admissions and internal transfers; and </li><li>Additional requirement of all staff to wear full PPE (gloves, gown, mask, face shield) upon entering the resident care units. <br></li></ul><p>All Simcoe Manor and Village staff members were last tested ​on September 16, as part of our mandatory screening procedures, and all staff were confirmed COVID-free at that time. Given these confirmed positive cases, all staff will be re-tested on Monday, October 5, as part of our regular testing schedule. Further testing of all residents in Simcoe Manor is already underway. We will continue to work closely with the Health Unit to ensure the safety of all of our residents and staff.​<br></p><p>Our thoughts and best wishes extend to our staff, residents and their families who have ​been directly impacted by this virus. We are working to keep everyone updated and will provide more information as it becomes available.<br></p><p style="text-align:center;">-30-<br></p><h3>Media Contacts:<br></h3><span><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;">C</span><span style="font-size:1em;">hris.Hedley@simcoe.ca</span></p><p>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</span><span style="font-size:1em;"> (mobile)<br></span><span style="font-size:1em;">Collin.Matanowitsch@simcoe.ca</span></p></span></div>
County of Simcoe celebrates Waste Reduction Weekhttps://www.simcoe.ca/CorporateCommunications/Pages/county-of-simcoe-celebrates-waste-reduction-week.aspx10/19/2020 7:49:19 PMCounty of Simcoe celebrates Waste Reduction Week<p><strong>Midhurst/October 19, 2020 –</strong> In alignment with o​ur commitment to manage our waste responsibly, the County of Simcoe proclaims October 19-25 Waste Reduction Week in Canada here in Simcoe County. This annual event focuses on the principles of circular economy, resource efficiency, and waste reduction, celebrating environmental efforts and achievements while encouraging new innovative ideas and solutions. </p><p>“The County continues to work closely with our residents to help reduce, re-use and recycle materials for the benefit of our environment and to protect Simcoe County for future generations," said Warden George Cornell. “With Leaf and Yard Waste Collections underway and Battery Collection running November 2 to 6, Waste Reduction Week is a great opportunity to celebrate our record on diversion and explore more actions we can all take to reduce waste and conserve our landfill capacity."<br></p><p>Canadians produce more than 31 million tonnes of waste annually (2.7kgs per person per day). In Simcoe County, residents and staff are already working together to divert around 60 per cent of curbside materials and 70 per cent of material collected at our facilities away from landfills. By further reducing the amount of waste we produce, we can continue to increase our diversion, preserve the lifespan of our landfills, and support the environment.  </p><p>For additional information on Waste Reduction Week across Canada, visit <a href="https://wrwcanada.com/">https://wrwcanada.com/</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;"><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;">705-726-9300 ext. 1030<br></span><span style="font-size:1em;">705-715-7654 (mobile)<br></span><span style="font-size:1em;">Chris.Hedley@simcoe.ca</span></p><p style="text-align:left;"><span style="text-align:right;font-size:1em;">Collin Matanowitsch<br></span><span style="text-align:right;font-size:1em;">Manager, Public Relations<br></span><span style="text-align:right;font-size:1em;">County of Simcoe, Service Simcoe Branch <br></span><span style="text-align:right;font-size:1em;">705-726-9300 ext. 1430<br></span><span style="text-align:right;font-size:1em;">705-734-8386 (mobile)<br></span><span style="text-align:right;font-size:1em;">Collin.Matanowitsch@simcoe.ca</span><span style="text-align:right;font-size:1em;"> </span></p>
County partners with RVH to take aggressive action to support Simcoe Manorhttps://www.simcoe.ca/CorporateCommunications/Pages/county-partners-with-rvh-to-take-aggressive-action-to-support-simcoe-manor-20-10-13.aspx10/13/2020 5:34:14 PMCounty partners with RVH to take aggressive action to support Simcoe Manor<p><strong style="font-size:1em;"></strong></p><p><strong>Midhurst/October 13, 2020 - </strong>As a serious COVID-19 outbreak continues at the Simcoe Manor long-term care home in Beeton, the County of Simcoe is partnering with Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) to further ensure the safety of the home's residents and staff. </p><p>Earlier today, the Ministry of Long-Term Care issued a Mandatory Management Order appointing RVH to temporarily manage Simcoe Manor for 90 days. This follows last Friday's order by the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit directing RVH to oversee infection control response to the outbreak which was declared October 2<sup>nd</sup>. The County of Simcoe, which operates the home, will continue to provide day-to-day care to the home's residents. Stevenson Memorial Hospital in Alliston also continues to provide support. </p><p>“The County of Simcoe requested support in further controlling the outbreak, and we thank the Health Unit and our partners at RVH for stepping up and assisting our staff and residents at Simcoe Manor," said Warden George Cornell. “This is a global pandemic that has greatly impacted seniors facilities across Ontario and the world. The County has a long-standing partnership and relationship of collaboration with RVH, and their medical oversight and additional expertise gives us the best opportunity to assist our impacted residents at Simcoe Manor."</p><p>The safety of residents and staff are the County's top priority and, since the outbreak was declared, the County has implemented extensive safety measures including cancellation of visits (with the exception of those designated as compassionate visitors and caregivers), rigorous screening, residents are all safely quarantined in their rooms where they are served meals and monitored closely, increased PPE and sanitization, cohorting of staff to designated units, enhanced medical on-site assessments, heightened nutritional care, and other strict outbreak protocols. Over the weekend an RVH “Rapid Response Team" was deployed to Simcoe Manor and is now working closely with the County of Simcoe and the Health Unit to take further action, including enacting the following:</p><ul style="list-style-type:disc;"><li>Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) and workplace safety assessments</li><li>IPAC training, protocols, practices and audits</li><li>Comprehensive screening </li><li>Further deep clean of all rooms and high-touch areas, including further cleaning resources </li><li>Enhanced supply and management of Protective Personal Equipment (PPE) and safety equipment </li><li>Further restricting visitation to compassionate visits only</li></ul><p>Additionally, an Emergency Operations Centre, jointly led by RVH and the County of Simcoe, has been convened and an Action Plan is being developed to further ensure resident and staff safety.</p><p>To-date, 34 of Simcoe Manor's residents and 20 staff have tested positive for COVID-19. Tragically, four COVID-positive residents of the home have died. Residents are being tested routinely and all who test positive are safely quarantining in their rooms while being closely monitored by staff; employees who have tested positive are self-isolating and monitored by public health.</p><p>Simcoe Manor has been in direct contact with residents' families and an information line has been activated 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. at 705-812-3877. Families can also send a message to their loved ones in the home by emailing <a href="mailto:simcoefamilies@simcoe.ca">simcoefamilies@simcoe.ca</a>. The Public is encouraged to share messages of support through social media using the #StrongerTogether. </p><p><strong>Additional Quotes</strong> <br><span style="font-size:1em;">“Our staff continue to work hard for our residents whom they consider family, and to stop the spread of the outbreak within our home," said Jane Sinclair, General Manager of Health and Emergency Services, County of Simcoe. “This is a terrible and insidious virus, often spreading without signs or symptoms. The County is known as a provincial leader in long-term care and seniors services and this partnership allows us to focus on the care and support of our residents in need, while RVH provides additional medical oversight and support, as well as expertise on infectious disease control measures. As we continue to face staffing and resource challenges in the entire LTC sector, we welcome this support with open arms." </span></p><p>“Since the pandemic began, RVH's Rapid Response Team has provided support to 19 area long-term care and retirement homes, including infection control assessment, training and audits, screening, leadership and staffing," says RVH President and CEO Janice Skot. “The safety and protection of patients, long-term care home residents, their families, leaders, staff and our community is RVH's highest priority and we're pleased to lend our infection control expertise and skilled staff and physicians to support the County of Simcoe in battling this outbreak." ​<br></p><p><strong>About County of Simcoe</strong><br><strong> </strong>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.­­­­­­</p><p><strong>About RVH                                                     </strong><br>RVH is a regional health centre serving almost half a million people in Simcoe Muskoka. It provides specialized regional programs, including, cancer, cardiac, child & youth mental health and renal care.  For more information visit <a href="https://urldefense.com/v3/__http:/www.rvh.on.ca/__%3b%21%21MPCK0opJ%21vSXcj1PA433pATZDe85MA9qZYgEjPVDnsuaspNsa7pWchSD2x1JTQSY-C2SP5nL2c8LOwVQT7g$">rvh.on.ca</a>.<br></p><p style="text-align:center;"><strong>- 30 -</strong></p><p><strong>Media Contacts</strong><strong style="font-size:1em;"> </strong></p><p><strong><em>County of Simcoe</em></strong><strong>:<br></strong><span style="font-size:1em;">Collin Matanowitsch<br></span><span style="font-size:1em;">Manager, Public Relations, County of Simcoe<br></span><span style="font-size:1em;">705-734-8386 (mobile)<br></span><span style="font-size:1em;">Collin.Matanowitsch@simcoe.ca</span></p><p><em><b>​RVH:<br></b></em><span style="font-size:1em;">Jane Cocking<br></span><span style="font-size:1em;">Manager, Cor</span><span style="font-size:1em;">porate Communications, RVH<br></span><span style="font-size:1em;">705-728-9090<br></span><span style="font-size:1em;">cockingj@rvh.on.ca</span></p>
County seeking partnerships to tackle Simcoe Manor outbreakhttps://www.simcoe.ca/CorporateCommunications/Pages/county-seeking-partnerships-to-tackle-simcoe-manor-outbreak.aspx10/9/2020 9:16:26 PMCounty seeking partnerships to tackle Simcoe Manor outbreak<p><strong>Midhurst/October 9, 2020 – </strong>The County of Simcoe is seeking even more resources and assistance to combat the deadly Coronavirus outbreak at Simcoe Manor in Beeton, Ontario. </p><p>The County is working closely with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit and local health care providers to secure additional resources to combat the current COVID-19 outbreak at this Long-Term Care facility. In addition, the County is making arrangements to bring in additional staff to help with resident care needs, as we continue with extensive and enhanced infection control measures to protect our residents and staff and lock down our Home.</p><p><strong>Quote: </strong></p><p>“Since the start of the pandemic, the County has been doing everything within its powers to secure the necessary supplies and resources to manage the additional protocols required to keep the Coronavirus out of our four County Long-Term Care homes," said Jane Sinclair, General Manager of Health and Emergency Services. “The health and well-being of residents and staff has always been our Number One priority, and given the severity of COVID-19, County staff have worked within the organization and with partners to ensure our high standards are maintained."</p><p><strong>Current Home Status: </strong></p><p>Unfortunately, in spite of extensive increased protocols and procedures, including enhanced PPE and cleaning requirements, COVID-19 has made it into one of our Homes. Resident- and staff-wide testing, completed on October 2 and 5 respectively, has confirmed 29 positive cases among our 124 residents in the Home, and 19 active cases among staff. Over the past week, we were also saddened to report that four COVID-positive residents have unfortunately passed away. </p><p>The Coronavirus has proved challenging across the globe as many COVID-positive individuals do not suffer any symptoms, making it very difficult to contain. In fact, 18 of the currently active resident positive cases are asymptomatic, exhibiting none of the associated symptoms. Despite these challenges, Simcoe Manor staff are working around the clock, with frontline Long-Term Care and Seniors Services staff as well as assistance from redeployed staff and County of Simcoe Paramedic Services, to combat this deadly virus. We are also reaching out to local health care agencies daily, asking for their help to meet our residents' needs during this crisis.</p><p><strong>Across the Province: </strong></p><p>Province-wide staffing challenges in the Long-Term Care sector have been exacerbated by the Coronavirus. COVID-19 has demonstrated that we are stronger together, and by working with the Ministry of Long-Term Care, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit and other key stakeholders, we are hopeful that we will be able to utilize the skills and abilities of staff in different areas of the health care sector to deal with this outbreak.  </p><p>COVID-19 has been extremely devastating for Long-Term Care Homes, impacting seniors worldwide, and all efforts have been made to keep it out of our facilities. We are saddened that Simcoe Manor is one among numerous Homes in Ontario fighting an outbreak, and our thoughts are with all our colleagues across the sector battling this virus. However, based on our abilities to minimize COVID-19 cases in our four Homes over the past nine months, we are confident that we will once again eradicate this outbreak. </p><p><strong>Family and Resident Communications: </strong></p><p>The County of Simcoe remains committed to keeping families and residents up to date through Town Halls, website updates and email communications, while our first-class staff continue to go above and beyond to care for our residents, families, and loved ones.</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;"><strong></strong><span style="font-size:1em;">Collin Matanowitsch<br></span><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><span style="font-size:1em;">Collin.Matanowitsch@simcoe.ca</span><span style="font-size:1em;"> </span></p><p style="text-align:left;"><span style="text-align:right;font-size:1em;">Chris Hedley<br></span><span style="text-align:right;font-size:1em;">Public Relations Consultant <br></span><span style="text-align:right;font-size:1em;">County of Simcoe, Service Simcoe Branch<br></span><span style="text-align:right;font-size:1em;">705-715-7654 (mobile)<br></span><span style="text-align:right;font-size:1em;">Chris.Hedley@simcoe.ca</span></p>
Ask an Expert Business and Organization Series Extendedhttps://www.simcoe.ca/CorporateCommunications/Pages/ask-an-expert-business-and-organization-series-extended-20-10-8.aspx10/8/2020 3:43:04 PMAsk an Expert Business and Organization Series Extended<p><strong>Midhurst/October 8, 2020 </strong>–The County of Simcoe, the Small Business Centre of Barrie, Simcoe County and Orillia, South Georgian Bay Small Business Enterprise Centre, Orillia Area Community Development Corporation, Nottawasaga Futures, North Simcoe Community Futures Development Corporation and the Centre for Business and Economic Development are pleased to announce the extension of the Ask an Expert series. The series is designed to help business and organizational leaders address various issues impacting them during the pandemic and support them through the recovery. </p><p>On October 15, local businesses and organizations are invited to learn how to best prepare for cybersecurity challenges.</p><p>The webinar will be moderated by Dave Hyde, Small Business Consultant for the Barrie Small Business Centre, and will include experts AJ Khan, CEO of CyberStrategiez Inc, Carl Hayes, Partner and Vice-President of Business Development for Stratejm, and Sumit Bhatia, Director, Knowledge Mobilization and Communications with Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst. The event will provide insights on:</p><ul><li>Why cybersecurity is important to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)</li><li>How to do a cybersecurity assessment</li><li>Cybersecurity governance</li><li>Technology and next steps</li><li>Safety</li></ul><div><p><strong class="ms-rteFontSize-3">EVENT:</strong><strong class="ms-rteFontSize-3"> </strong><strong class="ms-rteFontSize-3">      </strong><strong class="ms-rteFontSize-3">Ask an Expert: Cybersecurity Business Information</strong><br></p><strong>Where: </strong>         Zoom (details for joining the Zoom meeting will be sent in advance)<br><br><strong>​When:  </strong>         October 15, 2020 ~ 3 to 4 p.m.<br><p><strong>Register:</strong>      Vi<span class="ms-rteFontSize-2">sit</span><span class="ms-rteThemeFontFace-1 ms-rteFontSize-2"> </span><span class="ms-rteFontSize-2" style="font-family:"times new roman", serif;"><a href="https://askanexpert-cybersecurity.eventbrite.ca/"><span class="ms-rteThemeFontFace-1 ms-rteFontSize-2">https://askanexpert-cybersecurity.eventbrite.ca</span></a> </span><br class="ms-rteFontSize-2"><span class="ms-rteFontSize-2">                      Participants can submit questions in advance when</span> registering or by<br>                      emailing <a href="mailto:edo@simcoe.ca">edo@simcoe.ca</a></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top:8pt;"><span style="font-family:"arial", sans-serif;">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. </span></p><p style="text-align:center;"><strong>- 30 -</strong></p><span><p><span class="ms-rteThemeFontFace-1 ms-rteFontSize-2"><strong>CONTACTS:​</strong></span></p><p>Collin Matanowitsch<br><span style="font-size:1em;">Public Relations Manager<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><span style="font-size:1em;"><a href="mailto:Collin.Matanowitsch@simcoe.ca" style="font-size:1em;">​Collin.Matanowitsch@simcoe.ca</a></span></p><p>Jennifer Straw<br><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;">705-790-5979 (mobile)<br></span><span style="font-size:1em;"><a href="mailto:Jennifer.Straw@simcoe.ca" style="font-size:1em;">Jennifer.Straw@simcoe.ca</a></span><span style="font-size:1em;"> ​</span></p></span></div>
County commemorates National Manufacturing Dayhttps://www.simcoe.ca/CorporateCommunications/Pages/county-commemorates-national-manufacturing-day-20-9-30.aspx10/2/2020 2:07:32 PMCounty commemorates National Manufacturing Day<p><strong>Midhurst/October 2, 2020 – </strong>On October 2, the County of Simcoe is recognizing National Manufacturing Day in honour of the region's tremendous businesses and workforce that continue to support our economy while adapting to support COVID-19 response and recovery. </p><p>Dedicated to highlighting the benefits of modern manufacturing careers and inspiring the next generation of manufacturers, the County is commemorating this day with the launch of a new video created as part of the 2020 Made in Simcoe County campaign. The video showcases the work of local manufacturers in retooling and responding to the COVID-19 medical pandemic to produce vital PPE products. To view this video, visit <a href="https://can01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https://youtu.be/v8JkEx0Omoo&data=02%7c01%7cHannah.Conroy%40simcoe.ca%7ccc64213698694a4e5c1c08d85bdc9d83%7cbaae52565a7340f28c4d76f3ae971463%7c1%7c0%7c637360350383790178&sdata=szACAp9SLMFuKMWDYcDPg6geBKCOZFOxV9vp0lWIOIc%3D&reserved=0">https://youtu.be/v8JkEx0Omoo</a>.</p><p>“Businesses, organizations and our workforce have come together in an extraordinary way to respond to this pandemic and meet regional, provincial, national and even global needs," said Warden Cornell. “We're proud of our local businesses and workers, and this latest <em>Made in Simcoe County</em> video is a celebration of our resilience and the tremendous collaboration occurring throughout our region."</p><p>Through innovative partnerships and grassroots leadership, companies across Simcoe County have swiftly pivoted to produce much needed PPE and sanitizers during this difficult time. Many manufacturers are still producing the products for national markets, some completely changing their operations from pre-COVID times. Collaboration between local industry, along with a number of organizations, has been a key component to success, helping to showcase the strength of Ontario's manufacturing sector right here in Simcoe County.</p><p>“Our local business community in North Simcoe and Simcoe County as a whole is tight knit and prior to COVID-19, there was always a sense of collaboration in this area, so it just seemed natural when the pandemic hit that collaboration would continue. The sense of wanting to help community is very much alive," said Dan Williams, CEO, Industrial Filter Manufacturing in Penetangui​shene.</p><p>For more information, visit <a href="https://workinsimcoecounty.ca/made-in-simcoe-county/">https://workinsimcoecounty.ca/made-in-simcoe-county/</a><br></p><p><strong><br>Additional Initiatives to Support the Manufacturing Sector</strong><br><strong> </strong>The County of Simcoe's Economic Development Office has worked with regional partners on a number of initiatives to support and promote local businesses that are offering innovative and rewarding opportunities in the hopes of inspiring workers to explore careers in Simcoe County's booming manufacturing sector. Key initiatives include:</p><ul><li>In collaboration with the cities of Barrie and Orillia and the Simcoe Muskoka Workforce Development Board, oversaw the launch of <a href="https://workinsimcoecounty.ca/">workinsimcoecounty.ca</a>, a new regional jobsite featuring local resources including interactive activities for various STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) careers and the ability to map job opportunities</li><li>In partnership with the County of Simcoe, the Small Business Centre of Barrie, Simcoe County and Orillia, South Georgian Bay Small Business Enterprise Centre, Orillia Area Community Development Corporation, Nottawasaga Futures, North Simcoe Community Futures Development Corporation and the Centre for Business and Economic Development, hosted virtual learning opportunities, including the ongoing “Ask an Expert" Series </li><li>Consulted directly with industry representatives through sector focus groups to guide projects and activities amidst the new economic reality and hosted sector roundtables for industry to share best practices. </li><li>The County of Simcoe, City of Barrie and City of Orillia have been selected to participate in MedTech 2020, in collaboration with the <a href="https://www.sourcefromontario.com/en/page/event/135063/ontario-medtech-conference-2020">Provincial Government's presence</a>. The Annual MedTech Conference is the leading conference in North America related to global medical technology and is organized by the Advanced Medical Technology Association. MedTech 2020 will provide an opportunity to showcase our robust MedTech cluster and innovation ecosystem, including medical devices</li><li>The County of Simcoe and area partners will host the 5th Annual Manufacturers Forum in a virtual format – Save the Date for November 17, 2020. </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>.­­­­­­<br></p><p style="text-align:center;"><strong>- 30 -</strong>​​<br></p><p><span class="ms-rteThemeFontFace-1 ms-rteFontSize-2"><strong>CONTACTS:​</strong></span></p><p>Collin Matanowitsch<br><span style="font-size:1em;">Public Relations Manager<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><span style="font-size:1em;"><a href="mailto:Collin.Matanowitsch@simcoe.ca" style="font-size:1em;">​Collin.Matanowitsch@simcoe.ca</a></span></p><p></p><p>Jennifer Straw<br><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;">705-790-5979 (mobile)<br></span><span style="font-size:1em;"><a href="mailto:Jennifer.Straw@simcoe.ca" style="font-size:1em;">Jennifer.Straw@simcoe.ca</a></span></p>
Get your nomination in today for the 2020 Virtual Newcomer Recognition Awardshttps://www.simcoe.ca/CorporateCommunications/Pages/get-your-nomination-in-today-for-the--2020-virtual-newcomer-recognition-awards-20-9-30.aspx9/30/2020 1:44:21 PMGet your nomination in today for the 2020 Virtual Newcomer Recognition Awards<p>​<strong style="font-size:1em;">Midhurst/September 30, 2020 – </strong><span style="font-size:1em;">The deadline for this year's 2020 Virtual Newcomer Recognition Awards has been extended but is still quickly approaching. Act now to recognize community champions in Simcoe County.</span></p><p>Application submissions should be returned via fax to 705-725-9539, or email to <a href="mailto:sclip@simcoe.ca">sclip@simcoe.ca</a> on or before <strong>October 7, 2020</strong>. Individuals and/or organizations/businesses can be nominated in the following categories: ​<br></p><ul><li>Community Champion</li><li>Immigrant Artist<br></li><li>Immigrant Entrepreneur</li><li>Immigrant Mentor</li><li>Service Excellence Award </li><li>Immigrant Youth</li><li>Youth Community Champion</li><li><em>*New - Ethno-cultural Group Award</em></li><li>Culturally Diverse Workforce (organization/business)</li><li>Welcoming Work Environment (organization/business)</li><li>Marketing and Outreach (organization/business)</li><li>Multiculturalism through Education (educator/school)</li></ul><p>For more information on the upcoming Newcomer Recognition Awards, or to download an application package, visit <a href="/_layouts/15/FIXUPREDIRECT.ASPX?WebId=a41fbfa1-82ca-4939-9932-d97b8d6ad3e9&TermSetId=fb933945-005d-43ad-bb62-b84ef1fa9284&TermId=0222310f-378d-4908-b350-41ab2859f34f">https://www.simcoe.ca/dpt/ccs/lip/newcomer-recognition-awards</a>. <strong> </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><span class="ms-rteThemeFontFace-1 ms-rteFontSize-2"><strong>CONTACTS:​</strong></span></p><p>Collin Matanowitsch<br><span style="font-size:1em;">Public Relations Manager<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><span style="font-size:1em;"><a href="mailto:Collin.Matanowitsch@simcoe.ca" style="font-size:1em;">​Collin.Matanowitsch@simcoe.ca</a></span></p><p></p><p>Jennifer Straw<br><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;">705-790-5979 (mobile)<br></span><span style="font-size:1em;"><a href="mailto:Jennifer.Straw@simcoe.ca" style="font-size:1em;">Jennifer.Straw@simcoe.ca</a></span></p>
Simcoe County Museum recognizes indigenous experiences throughout Canada’s historyhttps://www.simcoe.ca/CorporateCommunications/Pages/simcoe-county-museum-recognizes-indigenous-experiences-throughout-canadas-history.aspx9/25/2020 7:20:30 PMSimcoe County Museum recognizes indigenous experiences throughout Canada’s history<p><strong>Midhurst/September 25, 2020 </strong>– Simcoe County Museum is showcasing two traveling exhibits that promote awareness and understanding of the Canadian residential school system. The exhibit is featured at the Museum until November 30. During the pandemic, visits to the Museum must be booked in advance at museum.simcoe.ca.</p><p><strong>We were taught differently – the Indian residential school experience</strong><br><strong> </strong>This exhibit examines the Indian residential school experience, most particularly in two schools that were located in Kenora, Ontario – Cecilia Jeffrey and St. Mary's. The exhibit tries to reflect the residential school experience nationwide.</p><p>Powerful images, text, video, archival material and personal recollections combine to tell the story of residential school experiences. Visitors will learn background on the residential schools, what life in the schools was like, the legacy of the schools, as well as information about the recent settlement agreement, and Government and church apologies.</p><p>The primary objectives of this exhibit are to acknowledge this part of our history; to promote awareness about the residential schools and the long-term effect they had on the First Nations people; and to honour those whose lives have been touched by the schools. It is an exhibit for everyone. </p><p><strong>Witness Blanket</strong><br><strong> </strong>Inspired by a woven blanket, the Witness Blanket is a large-scale art installation, made out of hundreds of items reclaimed from the sites of former Indian residential schools, churches, government buildings and traditional and cultural structures including Friendship Centres, band offices, treatment centres and universities across Canada. The Witness Blanket stands as a national monument to recognize the atrocities of the Indian residential school era, honour the children, and symbolize ongoing reconciliation.</p><p>The original Witness Blanket is currently undergoing conservation at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg, after touring Canada extensively over the past few years. A full-scale reproduction of the original art installation is on display at the Simcoe County Museum until November 30. <a href="http://witnessblanket.ca/">http://witnessblanket.ca</a>.</p><p>Simcoe County Museum is opening with reduced operational hours and limited site access to allow for physical distancing. To reserve your visit, go to <a href="http://www.museum.simcoe.ca/">http://www.museum.simcoe.ca</a>, or call 705-728-3721.</p><p>For current exhibits, as well as online activities and information visit museum.simcoe.ca. You can also follow, like and share our profiles on Facebook (@simcoecountymuseum) and Twitter (@simcoecountyMUS.)</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;">Chris.Hedley@simcoe.ca</span></p><p><span style="font-size:1em;"></span><span style="font-size:1em;">Collin Matanowitsch<br></span><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><span style="font-size:1em;">Collin.Matanowitsch@simcoe.ca​</span></p>
County of Simcoe celebrates National Forest Weekhttps://www.simcoe.ca/CorporateCommunications/Pages/county-of-simcoe-celebrates-national-forest-week.aspx9/21/2020 7:22:16 PMCounty of Simcoe celebrates National Forest Week<p><strong>Midhurst/September 20, 2020 – </strong>September 20 to 26, 2020 is National Forest Week in Canada. In recognition of the vital role that forests play in Simcoe County, the County of Simcoe is encouraging residents to celebrate the 100<sup>th</sup> Anniversary of National Forestry Week by learning more about our rich forestry heritage and explore the vast and unique Simcoe County Forest for themselves.</p><p>"Simcoe County continues to own and operate the largest municipally-owned forestry network in Ontario thanks to our nationally leading forestry management practices," said Warden George Cornell. "As a self-sustaining asset, our Forestry program contributes greatly to our environment, economy, tourism, lifestyle and the overall quality of life of our residents. Join us in celebrating the long history of Simcoe County Forests and the centenary of National Forest Week."</p><p>The Simcoe County Forest dates back to 1922 when it became the first municipal government to opt into the Government of Ontario's Agreement Forest program. The County Forest is now more than 33,000 acres distributed on more than 150 properties throughout the County. Over 20 million trees have been planted within the County Forest since inception. The County's team of experienced foresters continues to implement important ecological forestry management techniques, including controlled burns and tree harvesting operations, to maintain and grow our forests, with all profits for lumber sales being reinvested into the Forestry program, including tree planting, education efforts and acquisition and protection of new forest properties.</p><p>This year's theme is 'Healthy Forests, Healthy Future.' The County of Simcoe has long since recognized the important role of forests in building vibrant, healthy and sustainable communities. In addition to supporting national efforts to protect endangered species, such as the Kirtland's Warbler, through projects like our Habitat Rehabilitation initiatives in the Packard and Museum Tracts, County-owned properties provide many recreational opportunities for local residents, including more than 700 kilometres of managed trails.  </p><p>As the largest municipally-owned forest in Ontario, there is so much to explore. The County's GIS team has created a leading-edge mapping system which is an ideal tool to explore new areas of the Simcoe County Forest. Check out the County of Simcoe's mapping tool by visiting: <a href="http://maps.simcoe.ca/Public/?MODE=theme&THEME=forestry">http://maps.simcoe.ca/Public/?MODE=theme&THEME=forestry</a>. Please continue to enjoy our Simcoe County Forests, while following public health guidelines. </p><p>Learn more about National Forestry Week by visiting <a href="http://www.cif-ifc.org/national-forest-week/">http://www.cif-ifc.org/national-forest-week/</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> <strong>CONTACTS</strong></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;">C</span><span style="font-size:1em;">hris.Hedley@simcoe.ca</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</span><span style="font-size:1em;"> (mobile)<br></span><span style="font-size:1em;">Collin.Matanowitsch@simcoe.ca</span></p>
Controlled burn in the Packard Tract in Essa Township to take place on Sunday, September 20, 2020https://www.simcoe.ca/CorporateCommunications/Pages/controlled-burn-in-the-packard-tract-in-essa-township-to-take-place-on-sep-20-20-09-18.aspx9/18/2020 3:49:09 PMControlled burn in the Packard Tract in Essa Township to take place on Sunday, September 20, 2020<p><strong style="font-size:1em;">​Midhurst/September 18, 2020 –</strong><span style="font-size:1em;"> On Sunday, September 20, 2020, the </span><span style="font-size:1em;">County of Simcoe will be executing a controlled burn on approximately 27 acres within the Packard Tract in the Township of Essa, located at 8398 Line 9 (at the end of the 9</span><sup>th</sup><span style="font-size:1em;"> Line of Essa, south of Highway 90). </span><span style="font-size:1em;">The controlled burn could begin as early as 9 a.m. and is expected to be completed in one day with the site closed Sunday through Tuesday, September 22, 2020.</span></p><p>The controlled burn will support the second phase of the County's Kirtland's Warbler Habitat Restoration project. For more information about the project, visit <a href="/Forestry/Pages/Packard-Tract.aspx">simcoe.ca</a>.</p><p>A highly experienced company has been retained to plan and conduct the burn, and trained personnel will be on site until the fire is completely extinguished. The impact of the smoke will be minimized by burning under specific wind and atmospheric conditions, however there will be times when large amounts of low-lying smoke will be present. At other stages in the operation, a smoke column may be seen for many miles. There is no cause for alarm, as this is all part of normal operations for the type of fuels being burned. The County does not anticipate any road closures or any major impact or disruption to residents.</p><p>While controlled burns differ from wildfires, in that they are managed to control smoke exposures to the public and are of much shorter overall durations than forest fires, concerns can arise regarding smoke exposure and health. Smoke exposure may pose a risk for more vulnerable individuals such as children, elderly and those with pre-existing respiratory conditions. Here are some simple steps you can take to minimize your exposure to smoke:</p><ul><li>If you live close to the controlled burn site and have chronic health conditions such as asthma and chronic lung disease, you may wish to minimize your exposure by staying indoors during the burn. If you have health concerns, follow up with your health care provider.</li><li>If you have concerns regarding exposure to smoke while outdoors, consider reducing your outdoor physical activities near the affected area.</li><li>To help reduce smoke in your homes and businesses, keep windows and doors closed.</li></ul><p>Public questions and inquiries can be directed to our County Forestry Department by contacting Service Simcoe at 1-800-263-3199 or service@simcoe.ca. For more information about the controlled burn, visit <a href="/Forestry/Pages/Controlled-Burn-Notification.aspx">simcoe.ca/Forestry/Pages/Controlled-Burn-Notification.aspx</a>.  </p><p>This project is being funded by Ganawenim Meshkiki - Henvy Inlet First Nations through The Eastern Georgian Bay Initiative with assistance from the Ontario Heritage Trust and the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority. </p><p>The 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><span class="ms-rteThemeFontFace-1 ms-rteFontSize-2"><strong>CONTACTS:​</strong></span></p><p>Collin Matanowitsch<br><span style="font-size:1em;">Public Relations Manager<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><span style="font-size:1em;"><a href="mailto:Collin.Matanowitsch@simcoe.ca" style="font-size:1em;">​Collin.Matanowitsch@simcoe.ca</a></span></p><p></p><p>Jennifer Straw<br><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;">705-790-5979 (mobile)<br></span><span style="font-size:1em;"><a href="mailto:Jennifer.Straw@simcoe.ca" style="font-size:1em;">Jennifer.Straw@simcoe.ca</a></span><span style="font-size:1em;"> ​​​</span></p><p><br></p>