April 9 COVID-19 Update


Heading into the Easter weekend, we at the Huntsville Lake of Bays Chamber of Commerce want to wish you a safe and happy holiday. We urge you to follow the advice of our medical officials and find ways to share this weekend safely from home and through social distancing. We would like to remind you that if you are feeling alone, overwhelmed or have questions about what services are available to you, 211 Ontario is a primary source of information on government and community based social services. Visit their website or call 211 anytime day or night.
Today both levels of government spoke of unemployment and job loss numbers and Doug Ford announced a new committee aimed and economic recovery. Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer announced sobering projections about Canada’s potential future case numbers including death projections.
This week we are striving to only send you new information not found in previous emails, with member updates and further links at the bottom. We hope this will make it easier to stay up-to-date with the most recent information.

Federal Government

This morning Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam and colleagues held a press conference to announce the Canada-wide COVID-19 modelling and projection data. The data shows that Canada’s growth rate has actually slowed slightly. Today Canada has approximately 19,500 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 435 deaths. Tam predicts that by April 16 those numbers are likely to be 22,580 to 31,850 cases with 500 to 700 deaths. The data reports that Canada has a slower rate of increase in total number of cases compared to many nations, including the US, Italy, China and France. Total projected Canadian deaths with maximum epidemic control measures is expected to be between 11,000 and 22,000 based upon current mortality rates. That number could have been 300,000 without any protective measures. Tam says the data shows that it will be critical to continue to enforce strict controls even after the growth rate begins to drop in order to prevent large secondary outbreaks.
Justin Trudeau spoke this morning about Dr. Tam’s projection data. He said that Canada is at a fork in the road between the best and the worst outcomes. He told Canadians to expect the end of the first outbreak at some point in the summer, with smaller secondary outbreaks after that. Trudeau said, “It will take months of continued, determined actions,” and that this “is the new reality until we find a vaccine.” The Prime Minister urged Canadians to stay home, distance ourselves and wash our hands this weekend. He said: “We’re pulling out all the stops to beat this virus and we will be there with you.”
Yesterday Justin Trudeau announced changes to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy in response to feedback provided by businesses. Businesses will now be able to use the months of January and February to show a 30% drop in revenue, and for March businesses will now only be required to demonstrate a 15% drop in revenue vs. the previously announced 30% for that month. To further assist charities and not-for-profits, these organizations will be given the choice to include or exclude government funding when calculating their revenue loss. He also announced changes to the Canada Summer Jobs Program. CSJ employers will be eligible to receive a 100% wage subsidy for hiring students. The Government will also extend the program’s season to include the coming winter and employers will now be able to hire students on as part-time workers under the program.

Provincial Government

Today Doug Ford shared that 400,000 jobs were lost in Ontario in March. He said, “Sadly this is only the tip of the iceberg.” Ford and Minister of Finance Rod Phillips announced the creation of the Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee. This committee contains Members of Parliament across all sectors and will focus on job creation and opportunities for growth once the immediate effects of the pandemic have slowed, as well as ways to protect the Province from future threats.
Yesterday the Provincial Government extended construction hours for essential projects to 24 hours a day. Work on projects such as new hospital builds, expansions and COVID-19 assessment centres will be accelerated through the ability to work day and night. The Province will also temporarily limit local noise bylaws from applying to these essential construction projects.
Heading into the long weekend it is also important to note that there is a province-wide fire ban in effect. Outdoor fires of any type, either for cooking or warmth are prohibited, as are fireworks.

Local News

The Town of Huntsville has issued a news release about the upcoming long weekend. The Town encourages residents to stay home and celebrate Easter with members of their own household only and to avoid visiting different households. Mayor Karin Terziano says, “Stay home as much as you can, limit essential shopping trips, avoid all group gatherings and obey posted closure signage.”
The Town of Huntsville has issued an update that Lion’s Lookout and Lookout Point Road have been closed until further notice due to the Province’s mandated closure of parks and recreation amenities.
The Town of Huntsville and the Township of Lake of Bays have issued a letter to the building industry to provide clarity on what services will still be available following the April 3 Provincial update of essential services. The letter also contains an updated list of essential services for the building industry.
The Ontario Provincial Police wants communities to know that they have the authority to assist with the enforcement of the Quarantine Act. To report gatherings of more than 5 people or the operation of a non-essential business call the OPP at 1-888-310-1122. You can find more details in their official post.

Tourism Report

Regional Tourism Operator, RTO-12/Explorers’ Edge is offering 2 webinars Friday April 10. Intro to Social Media Marketing will take place from 10am-11am and Marketing During COVID-19 will take place 11am-12pm.
Business consultant Stuart Morley and RTO-12 senior staff are holding a question and answer format webinar for the tourism industry Monday April 13 from 10am-12pm. The session will focus on, “a more candid examination of options for managing your cash flow and operations, especially if federal and provincial programs are not working for you.” You can sign up online for the session.

Member Updates

Muskoka Seniors is pleased to advise that the Frozen Meals on Wheels service is now available. There will be a staff member in their office on Mondays and Tuesdays only to support this program. Call the office at 705-789-6676 to register or for more details.
Fourth Pig Green and Natural Construction have ceased work for the time being but are working remotely and actively providing pre-construction services such as design consulting, estimating and other planning. Visit their website or email [email protected] for more details.
That Little Place by the Lights is taking orders for each week until Tuesday at noon to be delivered to Huntsville and surrounding area Thursdays and Fridays. They have added menu options on Facebook and Instagram.
Whimsical Bakery is currently taking regular online orders as well as orders for Easter. You can pick up your order at the store or they are delivering within the town of Huntsville. They will be closed Good Friday but adding Saturday pick up or delivery this week.
MHO Adventures is an outdoor adventure company with a full on-site commercial kitchen. Beginning this week, as a way to serve the community and keep staff employed, they are offering a healthy, prepared meal delivery service. The service has no commitment or contract. Shop online for delivery to Huntsville, Bracebridge, Port Sydney, Baysville and Dwight with free delivery and no minimum order. Order online through their web portal.
Pet Valu will be closed on Sundays. Tuesday this week they will only be open 12-5 and they will be closed Good Friday. The store is only offering curbside service. Please call your order in ahead at 705-789-0031.
Provide us with your business updates so we can feature them daily and get your information out to other members. Other important updates can be found on our COVID-19 Information page. Send us your information to this email address: [email protected] or call us directly at 705-789-4771.

Further Resources

Moving Forward

In this time we need to work together as much as possible to enable Huntsville and Lake of Bays to weather this situation and to position ourselves as the tourism leader once we are able to re-open our businesses and services to the public. If you have questions or need help finding the appropriate resources to assist you or your business, please reach out to us at the following address: [email protected]
From all of us at the Huntsville/Lake of Bays Chamber of Commerce team we urge you to stay safe and promise to do everything in our power to assist you in this difficult time.

Chamber of Commerce members can expect the best!

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