June 19 COVID-19 Update


Today the Ontario Government released a plan for the safe reopening of schools for the 2020-21 school year. The Province’s emergency orders have also been extended until June 30. This week Justin Trudeau announced that the CERB benefit has been extended by 8 weeks.
Even though businesses and patios are beginning to reopen, we ask that people use common sense and continue to follow public health guidelines. Even with new guidelines around social circles, when in public please remember to always practice physical distancing and 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

This week the Prime Minister announced that the Federal government will be giving a fiscal and economic update before Parliament on July 8. He also announced $500 million of extra funding for innovative research in Canada. This funding will be distributed through NSERC’s annual Discovery Grants Program. Trudeau said: “Researchers across the country make incredible discoveries every day, from rapid advances in understanding COVID-19 over the last few months, to years-long studies of climate change and cancer treatments. It’s in everyone’s interest that they continue doing their vital work.”
Also this week, Justin Trudeau announced that the government is extending the CERB benefit by 8 weeks. This extension will make the benefit available to eligible workers for up to a total of 24 weeks. Trudeau said, “By extending the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, Canadians will be able to continue to buy groceries and pay their bills as we work together to safely and effectively restart the economy.” You can read the full news release online.

Provincial Government

Today Premier Doug Ford and Education Minister Stephen Lecce unveiled a School Safety Plan for the 2020-21 school year. Ontario’s plan to safely reopen schools will provide options for parents – to send their children in-class or to enter online learning – with health, safety and well-being at its core. Boards will be asked to plan for the following three scenarios to be implemented in September, depending on the public health situation at the time:
  1. Normal school day routine with enhanced public health protocols – Students going to school every day, in classes that reflect standard class size regulations.
  2. Modified school day routine – Based on public health advice, an adapted delivery model has been designed to allow for physical distancing and cohorts of students. Under this model, school boards are asked to maintain a limit of 15 students in a typical classroom at one time and adopt timetabling that would allow for students to remain in contact only with their classmates and a single teacher for as much of the school day as possible. This model would require alternate day or alternate week delivery to a segment of the class at one time.
  3. At home learning – Should the school closure be extended, or some parents choose not to send their child back to school, school boards need to be prepared to offer remote education. Remote education should be delivered online to the greatest extent possible, including the establishment of minimum expectations for students to have direct contact with their teacher at the same time on a regular basis, also known as synchronous learning. Synchronous learning can be used as part of whole class instruction, in smaller groups of students, and/or in a one-on-one context.
You can read the Province’s full news release online.
This week the Ontario government has extended all emergency orders currently being enforced until June 30. Some of the orders still in effect include prohibiting restaurants and bars from providing indoor service, the closure of some outdoor recreation facilities and rules around long-term care homes, including limiting staff to working at only one home. You can read the full list of orders in effect online. You can also read the full news release online.

Local News

The Town of Huntsville has painted directional arrows on both sidewalks along Main Street from Lorne Street to the bridge to assist downtown visitors with physical distancing. If headed west, visitors are asked to use the south side of the sidewalk, with the north side reserved for pedestrians headed east. You can read the Town’s news release online.
The Town of Huntsville is now accepting applications from businesses to expand patio seating. The online application will allow business owners to request use of a portion of municipally owned sidewalk, public lands or private property for a patio or café as an extension of an existing restaurant, café, take-out restaurant, pub or tavern. Council will review delegated authority during the June 22nd Council meeting, which would then allow Town staff to finalize application requests. You can fill out an application online.
The Township of Lake of Bays is now accepting applications to request a temporary patio or patio extension. Township Council has authorized the waiving of any COVID-19 related building permit fees to a maximum of $360 (equivalent to a 430,000 construction value) and temporary structures will be exempt from zoning regulations and site plan approval upon a consultation with Township staff. You can apply here for a permit.
The Muskoka Virtual Job Fair is taking place June 22 at 1:30pm. Hear directly from employers such as Deerhurst Resort, Fowler Construction, Huntsville and Bracebridge Walmart and more. Employers can post jobs using the following link. This virtual event is free and you can register here.
The Huntsville Public Library will be opening its book drop Tuesday June 23 at 10am for thse interested in bringing their items back. At this time they will only be accepting books, DVDs, magazines, audiobooks, and CDs. These items will be quarantined for more than 72 hours to ensure they are safe before they rejoin the rest of the collection. You can find full details on the Library’s modified services online.

Business & Tourism Report

The Ontario government has released a resource document online titled Develop Your COVID-19 Workplace Safety Plan. The document includes information on reducing risk to employees and controls that should be put in place to ensure a safe workplace. Available online, you can also download a safety plan template for creating your own custom plan. You can view these resources online.
Beginning today, businesses are able to apply for the Canada Emergency Business Account under the expanded criteria that had been previously announced to allow more businesses to qualify. The CEBA is available through your primary financial institution. You can find out if you qualify by visiting the CEBA web page.
The Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO) maintains a comprehensive list of protocols and guidelines for tourism businesses and attractions set to reopen. The organization is also offering free, one-year memberships to all tourism businesses. You can access the protocols and guidelines online.
The Ontario government has launched 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

Member Updates

McLaren Press Graphics is now printing responsible restaurant menus. These safe, single-use menus can protect both staff and customers. They have created a document with all the relevant details.
Muskoka Seniors is now offering their Frozen Meals on Wheels delivery. The organization is also providing transportation services for local and out of town medical appointments. Muskoka Seniors also offers free friendly check-ins over the phone at 705-789-6676. You can also visit them at MuskokaSeniors.org.
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]ys.on.ca
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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