June 10 COVID-19 Update


Today the Provincial Minister of Colleges and Universities announced a new program to enable post-secondary students who were unable to complete in-class coursework, to finish these courses and graduate prior to commencement of the new school year. The Federal Government has created a new portal to match PPE buyers and suppliers Canada-wide.
Even though businesses are beginning to reopen, we ask that people use common sense and continue to follow public health guidelines. It is still best to stay at home except for short trips outdoors, remember to always practice physical distancing and try to wear a face covering when distancing is difficult.
You can still access the latest up-to-date information on our COVID-19 Update Page on our website.

Federal Government

Yesterday the Government of Canada launched a new web hub to bring together available resources for organizations buying and selling PPE. The Supply Hub connects Canadian organizations from coast to coast with federal, provincial, territorial and other resources and information about PPE, including consumer guidance. You can access the Supply Hub and read the government’s news release online.
This week Justin Trudeau announced changes to travel restrictions for immediate family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents. Beginning tomorrow, foreign nationals who are immediate family members of Canadian citizens or permanent residents and who do not exhibit COVID-19 symptoms or have had virus, will be allowed entry into Canada to be with an immediate family member. New entries will have to quarantine for 14 days. To learn more you can read the full news release online.

Provincial Government

Today Ross Romano, Minister of Colleges and Universities, announced a new initiative to allow post-secondary students who were unable to complete compulsory in-class courses to graduate this spring. Beginning July 2, students in programs such as trades and medical laboratory work will be able to complete their unfinished work in an in-class setting with safety protocols in place. Schools will have up to 8 weeks to complete the coursework and allow these students to graduate in advance of commencement of the new school year. Romano said more specific information will be coming soon.
Yesterday the Ontario Government announced its plan to reopen child care centres across the province. The government has created a strict set of health and safety guidelines centres will have to follow. Starting immediately, child care staff can begin preparation for actual opening which can begin as early as Friday June 12 provided “these operators have met all the strict and stringent guidelines for reopening.”  Centres will be required to adopt specific rules, including:
  • Cohorting ― putting children and staff in groups of 10 or less day over day;
  • COVID-19 response plan ― all child care settings will be required to have a plan in place if a child, parent or staff member/provider is exposed to COVID-19;
  • Screening ― all staff and children must be screened prior to entry to the child care setting. Anyone feeling unwell must stay home;
  • Daily attendance records ― child care settings must keep daily records of all attendees in order to support contact tracing;
  • Cleaning ― child care settings must be thoroughly cleaned before opening and frequently thereafter;
  • No visitors ― only essential visitors are permitted entry into the child care setting;
  • Implementing drop-off and pick-up protocols in a way that facilitates physical distancing.
You can read the full news release online for more details.
This week Doug Ford announced a regional plan to reopen more businesses and services. Effective province-wide as of Friday June 12 the limit on social gatherings will be increased to 10 people and places of worship will be permitted to open with physical distancing in place and at no more than 30% building capacity. As well, on Friday many regions across the province, including Simcoe Muskoka, will enter Stage 2 of the Province’s reopening framework. Many of our businesses and services will be permitted to reopen with proper health and safety measures in place. For more details you can visit the Stage 2 Framework web page or read today’s full news release online.

Local News

Parry Sound – Muskoka MP Scott Aitchison has posted his MP report in which he talks about mental health support. You can read his full report on the Huntsville Doppler website.
June is Recreation and Parks month, and the Township of Lake of Bays has published a calendar with an activity a day throughout the month. View the calendar online and take the challenge.
The Township of Lake of Bays has published their latest Economic Development Newsletter which includes details about Stage 2 reopening and Business Recovery resources. You can read the newsletter online.
The District of Muskoka has launched the 2020 Muskoka Community Grant Application. Available on the Engage Muskoka Platform, applications can now be made by community groups, not-for-profit organizations and registered charities. There are three grant opportunities available: The Pay it Forward program offers grants up to $2,500 for grassroots community groups, the Community Enhancement Fund is available to not-for-profit and charitable organizations in the form of grants up to $10,000 and the Social Service Relief Fund provides grants up to $5,000 for community groups offering essential services. You can read more about eligibility and apply for grants on the Engage Muskoka website.
The Huntsville Festival of the Arts is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the formation of the Group of Seven Artists with a special art project. Taking place throughout the summer, mural artist Gerry Lantaigne has been commissioned to paint 7 murals, each one of which will be painted on the underside of a canoe. The organization is reaching out to the community seeking donations of used canoes for the project. You can read the project’s news release online.

Business & Tourism Report

Today the Ontario government announced the launch of the Ontario Live virtual hub, designed to promote and support the province’s tourism and cultural industries. When complete, Ontario Live will allow all Ontarians to access concerts, online art experiences, gallery and museum tours, virtual tourism experiences and much more, from the safety of their own homes. To learn more or to register your business go online at www.ontario.live
FedEx Express Canada is offering 30 $5,000 grants to small businesses across Canada to help ease financial pressures from the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications should take no more than 10 minutes and are due June 30, 2020. You can read more about the grant and fill out the online application form on the FedEx Support Small Grants web page.
OpX Project + People Management has published a resource document titled Temporary Relief for Employers: Changes to Temporary Layoff and Termination Provisions. The document outlines new regulations for employers surrounding Infectious Disease Emergency Leave and Temporary Layoffs. You can read the full document here.
Muskoka Futures has launched the Muskoka Business Recovery Fund (MBRF) in partnership with FedNor and the Government of Canada. Small businesses who have been unable to qualify for current COVID-19 relief programs such as the Emergency Wage Subsidy, Emergency Business Account and Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance programs may qualify for a loan of up to $40,000 with 0% interest and no payments required until December 31, 2022. Applications are available online.
The Canadian Business Resilience Network is accepting applications for the CBRN Small Business Relief Fund. 62 Canadian small businesses will receive $10,000 grants to support recovery efforts. Applications must be submitted online by June 12 at 8pm. You can find eligibility criteria and the application form online on the CBRN website.

Member Updates

3 Guys and a Stove has opened the “On Focaccia” food truck directly beside their Huntsville restaurant. On Focaccia has a brand new menu featuring breakfast from 8-11:30am and an all day menu 11:30am-9pm. The restaurant is also open now with a special BBQ menu for curbside pickup. 3 Guys takes the safety of its customers and staff extremely seriously, so physical distancing and sanitizing measures are being enforced. Follow these links to learn more about either the On Focaccia truck or the restaurant menu online.
Find Your Wild Muskoka is getting ready to reopen to the public. The outdoor adventure company will begin offering axe throwing adventures June 13 and will be reopening their SUP paddling adventures on June 18. They will only be accepting groups of four (plus a guide) unless you have a larger family living under one roof. No equipment will be shared and physical distancing will be built in. For more information follow them on Facebook, call them at (705) 380-4479 or send an email to [email protected].
The Hub in Huntsville will be reopening Monday June 15. They will be fully open and ready to provide safe space to work, meet and network. The Hub has implemented safety protocols to ensure their clients can co-work safely.
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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