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COVID-19 Information

*Page Updated: November 20, 2020

The following page has been provided as a resource to residents and business owners regarding COVID-19.

For details about the current status of COVID-19 in our community, and ways you can protect yourself, visit the Grey Bruce Public Health website.

To report an Emergency Order violation, please contact The Town By-Law Department by calling 1-519-599-3131 ext. 249

This section contains the most recent Town news, updates and press releases as related to COVID-19. 

A new business resources is now available: Commercial Business Adaptive Operations Standards and Tools

To view all press releases and notices issued by the Town, please visit the Newsroom

Press Release Date Issued

Notice- Town Seeks Public Feedback for Proposed Mandatory Face Covering By-law

November 19, 2020

 

This section contains all COVID-19 press releases issued by the Town of The Blue Mountains. 

To view all press releases and notices issued by the Town, please visit the Newsroom

Press Release Date Issued
Notice- Town Hall Reopening on July 14 with Safety Measures in Place July 10, 2020
Notice- Update Regarding Town Facilities, Parks, Trails & Beaches - June 19, 2020  June 19, 2020
Notice- Community Reopening & Safety Measures on Bruce Street South June 12, 2020
Notice- Update of Closures of Town Facilities, Parks, Trails & Beaches (June 12, 2020) June 12, 2020
Notice- Update of Closures of Town Facilities, Parks, Trails & Beaches (May 29, 2020) May 29, 2020
Notice- Update of Closures of Town Facilities, Parks, Trails & Beaches - May 22, 2020 May 22, 2020
Notice- Update of Closures of Town Facilities, Parks, Trails & Beaches May 15, 2020
Notice- Town Launches Community Donation Challenge May 1, 2020
Notice- Closure of Town Facilities Extended Until May 25, 2020 May 1, 2020
Notice- Town Shows Support to Essential Front Line Workers  April 29, 2020
Notice- Opening of Fishing Season & Enhanced Patrols and Enforcement April 24, 2020
Notice- Town Landfill Re-Opening for Urgent Public Access on April 28  April 24, 2020
Notice- $5000 Available in Grants to Create E-Commerce Websites to Support Local Businesses & Free Shopify E-Commerce Coaching April 22, 2020
Notice- Town Launches ExploreBlue.ca Website and Campaign April 16, 2020
Notice- Closure of Town Facilities Extended Until May 4, 2020  April 9, 2020
Notice- Enforcement of Provincial Orders Over Easter Weekend April 9, 2020
Notice- Community Recovery Task Force Initiatives April 8, 2020
Notice- Residential and Commercial Property Tax & Utility Payments Extended Until June 30, 2020 April 7, 2020
Notice- Violation of Provincial Emergency Orders Can Carry Large Penalties  April 1, 2020
Notice-Town Forms COVID-19 Recovery Task Force March 31, 2020
Media Release from Grey Bruce Public Health Unit March 26, 2020
Notice- Closure of Playground Structures, Athletic Fields, Skateboard Park March 25, 2020
Notice- Property Taxes and Utility Payments Extended Until June 30, 2020 March 25, 2020
Notice- Town of The Blue Mountains Declares State of Emergency March 24, 2020
Notice- Town to Assist with Local Businesses with Deliveries March 20, 2020
Notice- Residents and Visitors are Reminded to Stop Flushing Wipes March 19, 2020
Notice- Mayor Soever Expected to Return on March 23, 2020 March 18, 2020

 

The following are COVID-19-related News Releases issued by the Grey Bruce Public Health Unit up to October 18, 2020.

For the Health Unit's most recent press releases, from October 19, 2020 onwards, please visit the Public Health website.

 News Release Date
COVID-19 Associated with School Students October 18, 2020
Mandatory Face Covering in Indoor Public Places October 6, 2020
COVID-19 Testing in Grey Bruce September 22, 2020
School screening and return to school September 18, 2020
No Known COVID-19 Cases or Outbreaks in any Grey Bruce Schools September 18, 2020
Open Letter from Medical Officer of Health Dr. Ian Arra for Parents, Grandparents and Guardians of Children in Grey Bruce September 15, 2020
Medical Officer of Health Renews Order - Face Coverings in Indoor Public Places in Grey Bruce September 9, 2020
Medical Officer of Health Open Letter to Parents and Guardians of School-Aged Children August 17, 2020
Medical Officer of Health Renews Order for Face Coverings in Indoor Public Places in Grey Bruce August 13, 2020
COVID-19 Contact Tracing - More than a Phone Call August 13, 2020
Fake COVID-19 Face Mask Medical Exemption Card July 16, 2020
Grey Bruce Top Doctor Giving Notice of Intent to Mandate Face Covering Order in Grey Bruce July 7, 2020
Grey Bruce's Top Doctor Recommends Wearing Face Coverings June 11, 2020
COVID-19 and Anti-Racism Rallies June 5, 2020
COVID-19 False Positives- What do they mean May 26, 2020
Expanded Community Testing COVID-19 May 15, 2020
Beach Closures in Grey Bruce May 14, 2020

 

The Town of The Blue Mountains has launched a community donations challenge with a goal of raising $10,000 to support our community through this time of need.

If you are interested in making a donation, please click the "Make a Donation" button below.  A charitable receipt will be issued for all donations of more than $20.00. 

Make a Donationhttps://www.exploreblue.ca/donate

Weekly Video Message from the Mayor, Alar Soever

- November 13, 2020: Direct video link: https://youtu.be/3KIfxyS8lyk

- November 6, 2020: Direct video link: https://youtu.be/2rG4CxQu0S8

- October 30, 2020: Direct video link: https://youtu.be/XoTBNSFU7vA

- October 23, 2020: Direct video link: https://youtu.be/_v3R3AojaOY

- October 16, 2020: Direct video link: https://youtu.be/Q60AZUOOy3Q

- October 9, 2020: Direct video link: https://youtu.be/pym8P3ATDHE

- October 2, 2020: Direct video link: https://youtu.be/CpSE5SEymeY

- September 25, 2020: Direct video link: https://youtu.be/RDq748qqwgA

- September 18, 2020: Direct video link: https://youtu.be/XHU3L-OwyGU

- September 11, 2020: Direct video link: https://youtu.be/4ZYC2NR7-SA

- September 4, 2020: Direct video link: https://youtu.be/59dqWQ_Dz-o

- August 16, 2020: Direct video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSqagN6jxc0

- August 7, 2020: Direct video link: https://youtu.be/C379uBTOM1c

- July 31, 2020: Direct video link: https://youtu.be/ycfxQQSyKeY

- July 23, 2020: Direct video link:  https://youtu.be/318Zl5bb98I

- July 17, 2020: Direct video link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3SENh-_42n4

- July 9, 2020: Direct video link: https://youtu.be/j5xgXWdxEVU

- July 3, 2020: Direct video link: https://youtu.be/M_2svulDaHc

- June 26, 2020: Direct video link: https://youtu.be/uBJe0pk-D0Q

- June 19, 2020: Direct video link: https://youtu.be/0O0AvW8uNxs 

- June 12, 2020: Direct video link: https://youtu.be/VoRSbn8IlxA?list=PLAqnWwESAu-U5I36-DwGgOpYLhgWp-nZB 

- June 5, 2020: Direct video link: https://youtu.be/iWMRXjLpbyo?list=PLAqnWwESAu-U5I36-DwGgOpYLhgWp-nZB

- May 29, 2020: Direct video link: https://youtu.be/VA2C91gWULI

- May 22, 2020: Direct video link: https://youtu.be/T0mMyjwsQhE   

- May 15, 2020: Direct video link: https://youtu.be/1YADdZ-SODU

- May 8, 2020: Direct video link: https://youtu.be/C3uXZkk2zGI

- May 1, 2020: Direct video link: https://youtu.be/WoRtoKzFBpU

- April 24, 2020: Direct video link: https://youtu.be/OZtM687bAoo

 

Message from the Mayor, Alar Soever

Dear Citizens,

Our Town is faced with an unprecedented challenge as we face down the coronavirus disease 2019 “COVID-19” pandemic. To date, we have seen very few cases in our area with 40 cases in Grey and Bruce Counties, 10 of whom have recovered, and 9 in Collingwood/Clearview Township, 5 of whom have recovered.  Given the extremely limited amount of testing (only slightly more than 500 tests in all of Grey Bruce), this does not mean it isn’t here.  It likely is.  COVID-19 is an extremely secretive, very contagious disease.  A person can have COVID-19 and be contagious while not having any symptoms.  The consequences when it spreads through a community are catastrophic. One only needs to look at what is happening in New York, Italy and Spain.

Therefore, even though we have very few identified cases in our area, we must be vigilant and not allow it to spread throughout our Town. The COVID -19 virus cannot spread unless we spread it ourselves by carrying it from person to person. It is extremely important that everyone follows the physical distancing and self-isolation guidelines, as well as the orders issued by the provincial and federal government.  The battle to keep COVID-19 from spreading through our community is one we must all contribute too. If we all do our part, we can stop this thing.

We have a truly exceptional community, which has come together like never before in fighting COVID-19. People are volunteering with food delivery, sanitizing shopping carts at Foodland and respecting Foodland’s request to limit the number of shoppers to one per family. Most people are also observing the social distancing and other advice and orders issued by the Provincial and Federal Governments.

Unfortunately, very few people have decided to ignore these orders. This is reckless and irresponsible behaviour, which puts the safety of our community at risk. One person acting irresponsibly could spread COVID-19 throughout our community.

Provincial offences officers and municipal law enforcement officers are now authorized to enforce all emergency orders made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA).

Any residents who are aware of a violation of any Emergency Orders should contact The Town By-Law Department by calling 1-519-599-3131 ext. 249. We all have a duty to protect our Town from the spread of COVID-19.

Details of the provincial orders can be found at: https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/03/ontario-extends-emergency-declaration-to-stop-the-spread-of-covid-19.html

The Town has taken a number of steps to sustain its essential operations and mitigate the effect of COVID-19 on our citizens and businesses. 

  • The Town declared a State of Emergency which provides the Town with all options available to protect the health and safety of individuals and families living in the Town, facilitates access to supplies and services and may provide access to Provincial and Federal funding should it become available.
  • A comprehensive review of all essential Town services has been completed to ensure the continued and safe operation of services.

Continuity and redundancy plans for Town services have been reviewed and completed

  • All municipal facilities have been closed to the public to encourage social distancing
  • Town staff are working and ready to help through email through the Towns Website  at www.thebluemountains.ca or by phone at 519-599-3131
  • Council continues to operate by having virtual meetings, which are live-streamed to the Town website.
  • Public participation remains available by submitting your comments to the Town Clerk prior to Council meetings.
  • Residential and commercial property taxes and utility payments have been deferred until June 30, 2020. This is an interim measure, and additional deferrals may be considered by Council.
  • Established a Community Recovery Task Force to lead the recovery efforts related to COVID-19
  • Allocated available staff resources to assist local businesses with deliveries at Goldsmiths Orchard Market

Further details on the above initiatives and other COVID-19 information can be found on COVID-19 page on the Town’s website: www.thebluemountains.ca/covid-19.cfm

I recognize that battle against COVID-19 has disrupted our lives and is difficult, both emotionally and financially. So far, we have all pulled together and succeeded, and I have every confidence we will continue to do so.  A big thank you to all of our First Responders, Volunteers, and all who have done their part in the fight to keep COVID-19 from spreading in our community. Success will require a diligent effort from all of us working together. We have a truly exceptional community. Let’s keep pulling together and stay safe.

If you require assistance or for more information please contact the Town at 519-599-3131 or by visiting www.thebluemountains.ca

Mayor Alar Soever

 

 

 

As of March 25, 2020, Mayor Alar Soever has declared a State of Emergency for the Town of The Blue Mountains in accordance with Ontario’s Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. The decision was made in conjunction with the Towns leadership team and Emergency Control Group in response to the impacts of COVID-19 on the community.

What does "State of Emergency Mean?

An emergency is defined under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act as “a situation, or an impending situation that constitutes a danger of major proportions that could result in serious harm to persons or substantial damage to property and that is caused by the forces of nature, a disease or other health risk, an accident or an act whether intentional or otherwise”  [Section 1, definition of an emergency].

Under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, only the head of council of a municipality (or his or her designate) and the Lieutenant Governor in Council or the Premier have the authority to declare an emergency. The Premier, the head of council, as well as a municipal council, have the authority to terminate an emergency declaration [Sections 4 (1), (2), (4)].

The declaration of an emergency provides the Head of Council with certain tools to address the situation including, but not limited to, those listed below.

General and Government:

  • [Section 4 (1) permits a head of council to “take such action and make such orders as he or she considers necessary and are not contrary to law” during an emergency.]
  • [Some situations may require extraordinary measures be taken or expenditures be made to maintain or restore essential services. A declaration of emergency may allow a head of council to expend funds outside of his or her spending resolutions and/or the regular approval process of the municipality.]
  • [Whether due to a loss of infrastructure or social unrest (e.g., a riot), a crisis situation has the potential to threaten a council’s ability to govern. In such cases, extraordinary measures may need to be taken. Section 4 (1) provides for extraordinary measures, not contrary to law. Section 55 (1) of the Police Services Act provides for the creation of special policing arrangements during an emergency.] 
  • [Experience demonstrates that the media and public often view the declaration of an emergency as a decisive action toward addressing a crisis. It must be made clear that an “emergency” is a legal declaration and does not indicate that the municipality has lost control. An emergency declaration provides an opportunity to highlight action being taken under your municipal emergency response plan.]
  •  [A declaration of emergency on the part of another level of government (e.g., lower-tier, upper-tier, provincial, federal) may indicate that you should declare an emergency within your municipality. For example, in the event of a widespread disaster affecting numerous lower-tier municipalities within a county, the county will likely need to enact its emergency response plan and should strongly consider the declaration of an emergency. In some cases, however, a declaration of emergency by a higher level of government may provide sufficient authorities to the lower-tier communities involved (e.g., municipalities operating under the authority of a provincial or federal declaration).]

Legal:

  • [Section 11 (1) states that “no action or other proceeding lies or shall be instituted against a member of council, an employee of a municipality, an employee of a local services board, an employee of a district social services administration board, a minister of the Crown, a Crown employee or any other individual acting pursuant to this Act or an order made under this Act for any act done in good faith in the exercise or performance or the intended exercise or performance of any power or duty under this Act or an order under this Act or for neglect or default in the good faith exercise or performance of such a power or duty.” Section 11 (3), however, states “subsection (1) does not relieve a municipality of liability for the acts or omissions of a member of council or an employee of the municipality….”]
  • [The Workplace Safety and Insurance Act provides that persons who assist in connection with a declared emergency are considered “workers” under the Act and are eligible for benefits if they become injured or ill as a result of the assistance they are providing. This is in addition to workers already covered by the Act.]

Operational:

  • [Section 4 (1) permits the head of council to “take such action and make such orders as he or she considers necessary and are not contrary to law to implement the emergency plan.” Section 13 (3) empowers a municipal council to “make an agreement with the council of any other municipality or with any person for the provision of any personnel, service, equipment or material during an emergency.”]
  • [In the event of a large-scale crisis, such as an epidemic or prolonged natural disaster, municipal resources may not be able to sustain an increased operational tempo for more than a few days. This is particularly true if emergency workers are injured or become ill as a result of the crisis. In such a case, the municipality may need to utilize outside emergency response personnel. Section 13 (3) provides for mutual assistance agreements between municipalities.]
  • [Provincial response (e.g., air quality monitoring, scientific advice, airlift capabilities, material resources, etc.) may involve numerous ministries and personnel. Activation of the municipal emergency response plan, including the opening of the Emergency Operations Centre and meeting of the Community Control Group, can greatly facilitate multi-agency and multi-government response. ]
  • [Section 13 (2) authorizes the Solicitor General, with the approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council, to make agreements with the federal government. In Canada, federal emergency assistance is accessed through, and coordinated by, the province. The declaration of an emergency may assist a municipality in obtaining federal assistance.]
  • [Evacuee and reception centres often use volunteers as staff. As noted above, the declaration of an emergency enacts certain parts of the Workplace Insurance and Safety Act related to volunteer workers. Secondly, an evacuation or sheltering of citizens has the potential to generate issues pertaining to liability. Section 11 of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act may provide municipal councilors and employees with certain protections against personal liability.]

Economic and Financial:

  • [The rerouting of people and vehicles poses a potential liability risk. Keeping persons from their homes and delaying commercial traffic are both sensitive issues. Section 11 of the Act may provide certain protection from liability. Section 4 (1) allows for extraordinary measures to be taken, providing they are not contrary to law.]
  • [The declaration of an emergency may facilitate the ability of the municipality to respond to economic losses.]

This section contains an overview of the status of Town operations as related to COVID-19. The Towns leadership team is meeting regularly to assess the situation. The Town of The Blue Mountains would like to assure residents and visitors that all critical and essential municipal services will continue to operate as normal.

All Town departments remain operational and Town staff are available by phone or email during regular business hours (Monday - Friday from 8:30am - 4:30pm). Town Hall has re-opened during regular business hours for simple transactional matters. Customers are reminded that for in-depth service needs, such as planning services, building services, applying for a marriage licence and the commissioning of documents, appointments are required. Appointments will need to be scheduled in advance by contacting the appropriate department. In addition, a variety of services are available online 24/7 and can be accessed by visiting the online services page on the Town website. 

The following list highlights the status of municipal services at this time:

  • Waste Collection 
    • Curbside waste collection will continue to operate as normal and on your regularly scheduled collection day.
    • All personal hygiene and sanitary products that would typically be put in the Green Bin, including used tissues, must now be disposed of in the garbage.
    • Ensure that all material placed in your garbage is bagged, specifically cleaning products such as wipes, tissues/napkins and other sanitary/hygiene products.
    • Place all used gloves, masks and other protective equipment in the garbage – they are not recyclable.
  • Waste Disposal Site (Landfill)
    • Town landfill will be operating under the following temporary schedule:
      • Monday Closed
      • Tuesday: 8:00am – 4:00pm
      • Wednesday: Closed
      • Thursday: 8:00am – 4:00pm
      • Saturday: 8:00am – 12:00pm 
      • Sunday: Closed
  • Property Tax & Utility Payments
    • Penalty/Interest for April to September 2020 inclusive is waived on tax and utility accounts
    • 2020 Annual Tax Bills will be mailed mid-August with two instalments due dates September 30 and November 30
    • Property tax and utility payments can be paid online or by phone through your financial institution; by regular mail; or by the drop box at Town Hall (east doors) [credit cards not accepted]
    • The tax and utility pre-authorized payment plans (PAP) will be processed as usual unless written instructions to suspend the payment are received three (3) days prior to the withdrawal date
*To change your tax and/or utility PAP please contact the Finance department or call 519-599-3131 ext. 221
 

 

  • Public Parks, Trails and Greenspaces
    • Residents and visitors are asked to adhere to all Public Health recommendations including social distancing.
    •  
  • Building Services
    • Building Services will continue to receive digital applications and revisions to issued permits via the submission methods already in place, i.e. ShareFile system or registered Portal Users may submit via the Online Portal page on the Town’s website.
    • Permit applications, inquiries and reviews will continue to occur and comments will be provided via email using build@thebluemountains.ca
    • Zoning inquiries and Zoning and Building Compliance Report processing will continue to occur to the with our response provided by email.
    • For payment in excess of $2000 a cheque may be sent by regular mail, courier or via the Town Hall mail drop box.
    • Fees under $2000 may be paid by Visa or MasterCard by phoning in credit card information to 519 599 3131 extension 239. 
  • Building Permit Inspections
    • To request an inspection, please e-mail inspections@thebluemountains.ca
    • A site representative shall be on site and available if needed.
    • Building inspections will not be conducted within occupied dwellings. Furnished Buildings are considered occupied.
  • Planning & Development Engineering
    • Planning/Zoning inquiries and development preconsultations will continue to occur to the greatest extent possible via alternate means (TCC, etc.). However, the Development Review Committee meeting schedule has been postponed until further notice.
    • At this time, the Town does not have full capability to receive purely digital submissions and fee transfers. 
    • New Planning Act applications can be submitted to the Town by submitting the required applications, reports & materials in hardcopy.  Hardcopy materials can be delivered via mail or courier and will be handled carefully by staff using the proper precautions.  Staff will contact the applicant to facilitate the exchange of digital copies of all materials.
    • Applicants are advised that there will be some delay in the processing of Planning Act applications until public meetings, committee meetings, and Council meeting are rescheduled
    • Deferring the submission of new Planning Act applications will avoid situations where the Town is unable to process new applications within the timeframes outlined in the Planning Act.
    • For existing applications that are already under review, new planning and/or development engineering submissions (i.e. drawings, reports, etc.) will be received via digital file sharing mechanisms. Project consultant staff are encouraged to continue to contact the assigned Town staff to facilitate this review. 
    • Any review fees that are payable to the Town will be received via cheque in the Town Hall mailbox and will be handled carefully by staff using the proper precautions. As much file activity and work will occur as possible in the meantime so that things are prepared to move forward when meetings are rescheduled, and Council can reconvene again to make Planning Act decisions.
  • By-law Enforcement Issues / Complaints
    • Municipal By-law enforcement will continue to operate as normal.
    • By-law enforcement complaints can be submitted through the Town website or by calling 519-599-3131 ext. 249. The phone line is monitored 24/7.
  • Parking Ticket Payments
    • Residents and visitors are reminded that parking tickets can be paid by credit card over the phone (519-599-3131 ext. 249) or online by visiting: www.paytickets.ca/start
  • Waste Collection 
    • Curbside waste collection will continue to operate as normal and on your regularly scheduled collection day.
    • All personal hygiene and sanitary products that would typically be put in the Green Bin, including used tissues, must now be disposed of in the garbage.
    • Ensure that all material placed in your garbage is bagged, specifically cleaning products such as wipes, tissues/napkins and other sanitary/hygiene products.
    • Place all used gloves, masks and other protective equipment in the garbage – they are not recyclable.
  • Waste Disposal Site (Landfill)
    • Town landfill will be operating under the following temporary schedule:
      • Monday Closed
      • Tuesday: 8:00am – 4:00pm
      • Wednesday: Closed
      • Thursday: 8:00am – 4:00pm
      • Saturday: 8:00am – 12:00pm 
      • Sunday: Closed

Residents are reminded that a variety of Town services are available online.

Online services include:

To access online services, please visit: www.thebluemountains.ca/online-services.cfm

The Town is working with government agencies, industry partners and local business leaders to be able to effectively identify actions to support businesses in response to the economic impacts of COVID-19. 

The following section contains links to various business resources and financial support information: 

Business Operations Standards and Tools

Local Organizations

Preparedness Toolkits

Government Programs and Support

A resource that summarizes the available government economic response initiatives can be found by visiting: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html

The Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses has launched a Small Business Help Centre to help business owners understand the support programs that are available: https://www.cfib-fcei.ca/en/small-business-resources-dealing-covid-19

Provincial Programs

Details regarding Provincial program are available by visiting: https://www.ontario.ca/page/stopping-spread-covid-19

Federal Programs

Details regarding Federal programs are available by visiting: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan/covid19-businesses.html

At the March 30, 2020 Special Meeting, Council endorsed the establishment of a Community Recovery Task Force. The Task Force will be responsible for coordination and implementation of recovery and relief efforts including the consideration, development and implementation of programs to support and assist the Community and its stakeholders in reinvigorating our local and regional economies throughout the COVID – 19 Pandemic and its recovery process. The Task Force is not a Committee of Council.

Task Force Terms of Reference

For more information on the Task Force, visit the dedicated webpage.

Everyone should practice good basic hygiene as a preventative measure to protect against the novel coronavirus and other viruses in this cold and flu season.

  • wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • sneeze and cough into your sleeve
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
  • avoid contact with people who are sick
  • clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
  • stay home if you are sick

For details about the current status of COVID-19, and ways you can protect yourself, visit the Grey Bruce Public Health website.


Contacts

Shawn Everitt
Chief Administrative Officer
519-599-3131 x234

Tim Hendry
Manager of Communications & Economic Development
519-599-3131 x282