June 23 COVID-19 Update


Today the Ontario Government announced a new elementary math curriculum to begin this September and the Federal government is extending temporary layoff periods.
As more people return to work and relevant news regarding COVID-19 is becoming more infrequent, we have decided to send you updates on Tuesday and Thursday only. We hope this helps you keep your inbox manageable while still delivering relevant news updates.
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

Today the Government of Canada announced changes to extend time periods for temporary layoffs to allow employers more time to recall laid-off employees. For employees laid off prior to March 31, 2020, the time period is extended by six months or to December 30, 2020, whichever occurs first. For employees laid off between March 31, 2020, and September 30, 2020, the time period is extended until December 30, 2020, unless a later recall date was provided in a written notice at the time of the layoff. You can read the full news release and background document on these changes online.

Provincial Government

Today Premier Doug Ford and Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced the creation of a new math curriculum for Ontario elementary students to be implemented this September. This is the first math curriculum update in 15 years and brings some significant changes, including the addition of coding and computer programming and financial literacy and responsibility. “For over a decade, too many students were lacking everyday math, financial literacy, and numeracy skills,” said Minister Lecce. “The new curriculum will help students solve everyday math problems, enshrine financial literacy in the early grades, and better prepare students for the jobs of tomorrow by ensuring every student learns how to code.” You can read the full news release online.
Yesterday the Ontario government announced that the City of Toronto and Peel Region will move into Stage 2 of the Province’s reopening framework tomorrow. This leaves Windsor-Essex as the sole remaining region in the province to remain in Stage 1. You can read the full news release online.

Local News

The Town of Huntsville has confirmed that all Town Canada Day celebrations have been cancelled for 2020 to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Residents are asked to monitor the Muskoka Fire Danger rating for use of private bonfires and fireworks on the Town’s Outdoor Burning page. You can view the full news release online which also includes links to virtual Canada Day celebrations.
Community Paramedics in Muskoka are now testing for COVID-19 if you are COVID asymptomatic and require a test to visit a long-term care home, retirement home or other congregate living setting. You do not need an appointment to be tested at the drive-through location. Drive-through wait times will vary depending on volumes. Testing will take place as follows:
Thursday, June 25 – 10:00 am –– 5:00 pm (closed 12 pm to 12:30 pm)
Friday, June 26 – 10:00 am– 5:00 pm (closed 12 pm to 12:30 pm)
Saturday, June 27 – 10:00 am – 5:00 pm (closed 12 pm to 12:30 pm)
Location: Canada Summit Centre – 20 Park Dr, Huntsville, ON
Testing is still available by appointment for symptomatic people and asymptomatic people not planning to visit a long-term care home, retirement home, or other congregate living setting by calling your primary care provider or the Muskoka Assessment Centre line at 1-888-383-7009.

Business & Tourism Report

Last week the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit and local partners presented an informative webinar entitled “Ask An Expert – COVID-19 Workplace and Business Safety in Simcoe Muskoka”. It featured Dr. Charles Gardner, Medical Officer of Health and Dr. Steven Rebellato, VP Environmental Health from the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit. Issues covered included COVID-19 stats for our region, risks of COVID-19 in the workplace and how to avoid/mitigate them as well as resources for reopening. You can watch the full webinar online.
The Canadian Business Resilience Network is hosting a view-on-demand webinar that will be available starting tomorrow, Wednesday June 24, in partnership with Facebook. Titled How to Build an Effective Advertising Strategy, the webinar will be available to view anytime after 1:00pm at the following link.
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.

Member Updates

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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