June 8 COVID-19 Update


Today Doug Ford announced a regional approach to Stage 2 reopening. As of Friday, social gatherings of up to 10 people will be allowed and many businesses and amenities in our region will be permitted to reopen. See below for full details. Justin Trudeau announced that foreign nationals with immediate family members in Canada will be permitted to enter the country under strict conditions and will face a mandatory quarantine.
CORRECTION: Last week we reported that the Provincial Emergency Orders had been extended until June 30. This was not actually the case. The Declaration of Emergency was extended to June 30 however, this weekend the Ontario government extended the Emergency Orders until June 19. We are extremely sorry for any confusion this error may have caused.
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

Today 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.
Also today, Justin Trudeau once again addressed the issue of racism within Canada toward black Canadians and Indigenous citizens. He said, “We know that we need to do much more and we need to do it now.” He also said “I am committing to you that this work will continue to accelerate the pace of change.”

Provincial Government

Today 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. Businesses and services permitted to reopen with proper health and safety measures in place in regions entering Stage 2 include:
  • Outdoor dine-in services at restaurants, bars and other establishments, including patios, curbside, parking lots and adjacent properties;
  • Select personal and personal care services with the proper health and safety measures in place, including tattoo parlours, barber shops, hair salons and beauty salons;
  • Shopping malls under existing restrictions, including food services reopening for take-out and outdoor dining only;
  • Tour and guide services, such as bike and walking, bus and boat tours, as well as tasting and tours for wineries, breweries and distilleries;
  • Water recreational facilities such as outdoor splash pads and wading pools, and all swimming pools;
  • Beach access and additional camping at Ontario Parks;
  • Camping at private campgrounds;
  • Outdoor-only recreational facilities and training for outdoor team sports, with limits to enable physical distancing;
  • Drive-in and drive-through venues for theatres, concerts, animal attractions and cultural appreciation, such as art installations;
  • Film and television production activities, with limits to enable physical distancing; and
  • Weddings and funerals, with limits on social gatherings to 10 people.
Ford said that details will be released soon about child care, summer camps, post-secondary education, training centres and public transit. For more details you can visit the Stage 2 Framework web page or read today’s full news release online.
This weekend the Ontario government announced it is extending all emergency orders until June 19, 2020. Some of the orders were amended by today’s Stage 2 reopening announcement but others, including restrictions on outdoor playgrounds, play structures and equipment, will remain in effect. You can read the full list of emergency orders in the official news release posted online. We will keep you updated as to changes in the emergency orders announced for Friday.

Local News

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 Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit has shared a link about using cloth face coverings. The resource has information on the wearing, washing and even making of cloth face coverings. You can read this resource online.
The District of Muskoka has updated the progress of the King William Street construction project. For details of street closures and other measures, you can visit the Municipalities road construction web page.
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

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].
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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