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COVID-19 Pandemic

Frequently Asked Questions

We've compiled frequently asked questions received via social media and by Service Barrie representatives in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.

General
What does the State of Emergency mean?

Declaring an emergency provides the City of Barrie with additional powers and resources to protect the health and safety of Barrie residents and streamlines the decision-making process for expediency through the City’s Emergency Control Group.

In a State of Emergency, the City is exempt from standard procurement requirements and labour restrictions, allowing the City to act quickly and put all resources to dealing with the crisis. By declaring an emergency, the City also has the potential to receive additional funding or support from other levels of government should it be announced.

What City services have been impacted by COVID-19?
The City of Barrie has business continuity plans in place to ensure essential City services continue to be delivered. However, the COVID-19 has impacted some City services. For a current list of affected services visit barrie.ca/services.
What do City services look like as Provincial regulations open?
It is not business as usual as things reopen, and residents may see a reduced service level as the City ramps up service. The City of Barrie will continue to maintain all essential services citizens rely on every day. For the latest updates to City services, visit barrie.ca/services.
Is City Hall open?

Service Barrie, the City's customer service centre located on the first floor of City Hall (70 Collier Street), is open for in-person services* Monday–Friday 8:30am–4:30pm. 

For resident convenience and to skip the line, Appointments can also be booked in advance by calling Service Barrie at 705-726-4242. 

​The Worsley Street parking lot provides the closest access to the open entrance at City Hall.

Please view the safety precautions before visiting City Hall.

Payments for invoices, bills, and property taxes are also accepted through the drop boxes located at the front and back of City Hall.

*For business licences, marriage licences and commissioning of documents, the public is required to book an appointmen​t for Tuesdays and Thursdays by calling Service Barrie at 705-726-4242. 

Are outdoor fires restricted in Barrie during COVID?

There is currently no fire ban in Barrie for residents with permits. Residents are reminded to restrict attendance at outdoor fires to members of their immediate household only as per the Provincial order. For up-to-date information on the fire danger rating for Barrie visit barrie.ca/BurnPermits.

Outdoor burning permits are available for purchase online only during COVID-19 via barrie.ca/BurnPermits.

How does curbside pickup for customers work in Downtown Barrie?

Effective Tuesday, May 12, changes to downtown parking along Dunlop St. were implemented to make it easier for downtown businesses and their customers to take advantage of curbside pickup. The City is temporarily designating all on-street parking spaces along Dunlop St. from Poyntz St. to Toronto St. as “loading only zones” under the Traffic By-law. This change limits parking to standing for 10 minutes or less and will help maintain traffic flow in the area. The change is in effect until further notice.

How many City workers can be in a work vehicle at one time?

During COVID-19 the City has put measures in place to ensure the maximum number of employees permitted in a city vehicle at one time is one, with the exception of Barrie Fire and Emergency Service.

Is the City issuing marriage licences?

Yes. Service Barrie, the City's customer service centre located on the first floor of City Hall (70 Collier St.), is open and marriage licences are being issued. 

For this service the public is required to book an appointment for Tuesdays or Thursdays by calling Service Barrie at 705-726-4242.

Are planned road construction projects continuing this year?

City road design and construction projects are generally proceeding as scheduled. Please refer to the specific projects via barrie.ca/roadwork for up-to-date information as it’s confirmed.

Is the City allowing restaurants to open patios in parking lots?

The Patios Everywhere Program was approved for the 2020 summer season. This program is in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and is intended to support local restaurants by providing flexibility to restaurant owners while at the same time ensuring safety standards and measures remain in place.

Physical Distancing, Self-Isolation, & Mask Use
Does the City have a by-law to enforce physical distancing? What are the fines for not following the by-law?

The Barrie COVID-19 Emergency Measures By-law helps protect the health and safety of residents. The by-law prohibits certain activities and regulates physical distancing to help contain the spread of COVID-19 in the community. Individuals not adhering to physical distancing regulation can be fined a minimum of $500 and maximum of up to $100,000 for each offence. Visit barrie.ca/bylaws for more information.

Is wearing masks indoors mandatory?

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit issued a directive for all of Barrie, Simcoe and Muskoka that effective Monday, July 13, 2020, when you enter into a public indoor space a (e.g. grocery store, community centre, shopping mall, hair salon, library, place of worship, etc.), or use a public transit you are required to wear a face covering.

Please visit the SMDHU website for full details, including FAQs, about mandatory mask use.

A face covering means a medical or non-medical mask or other face covering such as a bandana or scarf that covers the mouth and nose.

Children under the age of 2 or those under 5 who cannot be persuaded, are not required to wear a face covering, as well as individuals whose health or ability, or cultural or religious reasons would prevent them from doing so. No proof of exemption is required.

Enforcement of mandatory mask wearing may be conducted by police officers as well as provincial offences officers (which includes municipal bylaw offers and public health enforcement personnel).

Does the Barrie COVID-19 Emergency Measures By-law apply to businesses?

The municipal order requires businesses to maintain the 2 metre distancing both inside and outside the store if they have a queue.

When is the City patrolling for compliance to the Barrie COVID-19 Emergency Measures By-law?

Municipal Law Enforcement Officers (MLEOs) are proactively patrolling the City’s approximately 150 parks with existing enforcement resources as well as addressing complaints upon receipt. Municipal Law Enforcement Officers are available to respond between 8 am and 11 pm. Phone call volumes have required residents to leave a message at times. As well, calls or emails received after 8pm may be actioned the next day depending on available resources. They can be reached by phone or email: (705) 739-4241 or enforcement.services@barrie.ca.

How is Barrie addressing the gathering of people in open spaces, school fields and those letting dogs run unleashed during COVID-19?

The Municipal Law Enforcement Officers always attempt to achieve voluntary compliance whenever possible through education and awareness first. When compliance is achieved by people leashing their dogs, moving apart or leaving the site, the MLEOs proceed to their next call or the next park on their proactive patrol.

Is there enough space to practise safe physical distancing on Dunlop Street sidewalks with the construction barriers?

The fences have been moved to allow a minimum of 2m sidewalk width. Where the safe physical distancing cannot be achieved (i.e. tree pit construction) signs have been fastened to the fence to “Yield to oncoming Traffic” to encourage safe physical distancing during construction.

What should I do if I see someone who is not self-isolating when they should be?

Please take proper precautions and distance yourself from them to limit your risk of exposure. Remind the person that not following public health guidelines puts all people at risk and encourage the person to reach out to community services if they need help to self-isolate.

Provincial Orders & Essential Businesses
How long are the Province's emergency orders in effect?

A full list of emergency orders can be found on the Province's e-Laws website, under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.

What are "social circles" that the province announced on June 12?

Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health, updated public health advice to come into effect immediately province-wide to allow a social "circle" of no more than 10 people who you can interact and come into close contact with one another without physical distancing. To learn more on how to create a safe social circle in five easy steps visit: https://www.ontario.ca/page/create-social-circle-during-covid-19

On October 2, the Province paused social circles and advised residents to limit close contacts to those in your household only. Please keep a distance of 2 metres from everyone else. Related link: Ontario Implementing Additional Public Health and Testing Measures to Keep People Safe (Oct. 2 news release, Office of the Premier).

Who do I call if a business is operating in contravention of the Provincial orders?

Municipal Law Enforcement Officers are available to respond between 8am and 11pm. They can be reached by phone (705) 739-4241 or email enforcement.services@barrie.ca. Phone call volumes may require you to leave a message. Please note that calls or emails received after 8pm may be actioned the next day depending on available resources.

Residents may also contact the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit to report a concern about a local business by calling the SMDHU Health Connection line at 705-721-7520 (1-877-721-7520) or filling out the secure online form: https://www.simcoemuskokahealth.org/HealthUnit/About/Contact/ContactHealthConnection

Property Tax & Water Wastewater Bills
When are my property taxes due?

Due to COVID-19 emergency measures, final property tax bills were mailed out by July 3 with installment due dates extended to August 31 and October 30, 2020. If you are on a monthly pre-authorized payment plan, your payment dates were impacted. View the full notice.

If you usually pay your taxes in person, we recommend taking advantage of other payment options to avoid line-up at City Hall's Service Barrie counter.

Is the City providing relief for water wastewater bills?

Yes. Residential water/wastewater account holders who have suffered from financial hardship as a result of COVID-19 can apply to eliminate the fixed charge for water and wastewater on their next bimonthly bill.

To apply, visit Water Wastewater Billing and complete the Residential Water and Wastewater Covid-19 Pandemic Relief Request form. Residents are encouraged to apply as soon as possible, as there is limited funding available for this program. Landlords are required to pass the water bill relief on to tenants if water charges are included in their rent.

Were there extensions on payment dates for water/wastewater bills?

Yes. Payment due date grace periods were extended for all residents and businesses for two billing periods. Please visit Water Wastewater Billing for more detail.

Garbage & Recycling
Were there changes to Barrie’s landfill as part of Phase 3 reopening?

Effective July 17, the City implemented the following changes at Barrie’s landfill:

  • Landfill operating hours will be 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Tuesday to Saturday.
  • The Household Hazardous Waste Facility is open Saturdays only from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • Compost will now be available for sale. Please remember to bring a shovel and containers for loading your own compost.
  • We recommend that all customers wear face coverings and continue to practice physical distancing when disposing of materials.

The Environmental Centre remains closed. Residents can request home delivery of recycling boxes and green bins by calling 705-739-4219.

Visit barrie.ca/landfill for more information.

Since the Spring into Clean event was cancelled earlier this year, will the City pick up extra bags of garbage collected in my neighbourhood?

To ensure the safety of residents and employees, we are unable to provide resources for community cleanups at this time.

Can I get someone to pick up my bulky items?

Bulky item collection is not being offered. Any updates will be posted to barrie.ca/CurbsideCollection.

Events, Amenities & Activities
Has the City cancelled special events/programming?

All special events and theatre shows and events are cancelled until further notice. City of Barrie Theatres will remain closed until January 2021.

The City is issuing some event and film permits with additional approvals and COVID-19 safety measures in place, based on current regulatory requirements. Please direct inquiries to the Special Events Office at (705) 739-4285 or events@barrie.ca.

Cancellations/closures will be regularly reviewed by the City’s Emergency Control Group and could be extended based on the most current advice of Public Health.

The City will continually update barrie.ca/services as the situation changes.

Are playgrounds open in Barrie?

Yes, all playgrounds are open. Please refer to the Parks Listing or search the Parks and Rec Finder for playground locations. Playground equipment is not sanitized, and parents are encouraged to wash their children’s hands and use hand sanitizer after play.

Are City recreation and cultural facilities open?

Allandale Recreation Centre, East Bayfield Community Centre, and Holly Community Centre are partially open by appointment only. Please visit barrie.ca/RecUpdates for detailed information.

City-run theatres will remain closed until January 2021.

Is the outdoor fitness equipment open at the waterfront?

Yes, the outdoor fitness equipment located at Barrie’s waterfront are open. Equipment is not sanitized, and users to use hand sanitizer on site.

Can I fish at the waterfront?

To fish on the waterfront (off a dock, etc.) you must have a valid fishing licence and must practise safe physical distancing.

Can I host a yard sale?

Yes. Please refer to tips from the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit regarding how to handle and exchange second-hand goods.

Transit
Is Barrie Transit offering free service?

No. As of Saturday, August 1, all Barrie Transit buses have protective, plexiglass shields that provide a safety barrier between riders and bus operators. Fares are being collected again as riders can now safely board the bus from the front doors. Mask use on public transit is mandatory. For full details please visit barrie.ca/TransitNotices.

What is Barrie Transit doing to ensure the safety of riders?

The City has added increased safety measures to protect drivers and riders during this time. Safety measures include:

  • daily sanitization of buses and facilities
  • increased educational information on buses about COVID-19 precautions
  • personal protective equipment for drivers
  • installation of hand sanitizer dispensers on buses
  • plexiglass protective operator shields 
  • rear-door-only boarding for passengers
  • spaced out seating and limited maximum capacity of 15 passengers
  • mandatory wearing of non-medical masks while riding public transit.

Please visit barrie.ca/TransitNotices for full information, including FAQs.

Do I have to wear a face mask on Barrie Transit?

Yes. The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit issued a directive for all of Barrie, Simcoe and Muskoka that effective Monday, July 13, 2020, when you enter into a public indoor space or use public transit you are required to wear a face covering if possible. Please visit barrie.ca/TransitNotices for more detail specific to Barrie Transit.

COVID-19
Where can I access healthcare information in the Barrie area during the COVID-19 emergency?

A website launched for residents to access information on common healthcare needs and local information about COVID-19, such as where to go in the Barrie area if you have symptoms, and how to get your COVID-19 test results. The site also provides general health information regarding how health care is modified during the pandemic. Visit barriehealth.ca.

What should I do if I think I have COVID-19 symptoms?

If you think you have COVID-19 symptoms use the online assessment tool and follow those instructions.

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit has advised that anyone who has new cold-like/respiratory symptoms (regardless of travel history), and has not been tested for COVID-19, is to self-isolate at home for 14 days, or until their symptoms have resolved, whichever is longer.

How many people in Simcoe County currently have COVID-19?

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit updates the amount of cases daily. See the latest information at http://www.simcoemuskokahealthstats.org/topics/infectious-diseases/a-h/covid-19

Where can I get tested for COVID-19 in Barrie?

If you have severe symptoms go to RVH’s Emergency Department or call 9-1-1.

Residents are being asked to go to Assessment Centres only if they:

  • Are showing COVID-19 symptoms;
  • Have been exposed to a confirmed case of the virus, as informed by their public health unit or exposure notification through the COVID-19 app; or
  • Are a resident or worker in a setting that has a COVID-19 outbreak, as identified and informed by their local public health unit.

Clinics / Assessment Centres:

  • RVH Testing Centre
    29 Sperling Drive
    You must have a pre-booked appointment; see information about how to book appointments.
    Hours: 7 days a week, 8am–8pm
  • Prince William Way Walk-In Clinic
    829 Big Bay Point Road, Barrie, Unit D12
    You must have a pre-booked appointment; call 705-722-1199.
    Hours: Monday–Friday 8am–8pm; Weekends 9am–3pm
  • Barrie COVID-19 Assessment Centre
    490 Huronia Road - Rear Building
    (Behind Urgent Care Clinic)
    You must have a pre-booked appointment; schedule an appointment online.


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