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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.

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 will City services look like as Provincial regulations begin to open?
It is not business as usual as things reopen, and residents may see a reduced service level as the City ramps up service. It will take several weeks or longer to have service levels back up once the Province announces openings. 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), reopened on July 13 to provide in-person services to the public by appointment only. The hours of operation are Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Appointments must be booked in advance by calling Service Barrie at 705-726-4242.
Service Barrie can also be reached at  .   
How is the City ramping up service to reflect the provincial direction on reopening recreational amenities?

We were at approximately 50% of our normal staffing level for City of Barrie parks by mid-June. This allowed Parks staff to maintain more outdoor amenities (in line with Provincial orders on what can be open) and will help with litter and garbage pickup as well as grass cutting.

That said, with significantly less staff than normal for this time of year, service will look different and it will take more time to respond to service requests. We appreciate your patience as we work to balance financial restrictions with day-to-day maintenance needs.

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.), reopened on July 13 to provide in-person services to the public by appointment only. Please call Service Barrie 705-726-4242 to book an appointment.

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 new 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.

Has wearing masks indoors become 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 8 pm, 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?

On July 16, the Province announced an extension of the provincial Declaration of Emergency to July 29, 2020.

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

What businesses and workplaces are currently allowed to be open?

As the Province allows more businesses and workplaces to reopen, the Essential Business list is updated. For more information on how the Province is reopening visit ontario.ca/reopen

The government, in partnership with Ontario's health and safety associations, has developed more than 60 guidelines in response to COVID-19. These sector-specific measures will help employers prepare their workplaces so they can be reopened safely and ensure workers, customers and the general public are protected. For information on Provincial announcements visit ontario.ca/covid

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.

Property Tax & Water Wastewater Bills
When are my property taxes due? I haven't received my bill yet that's usually due at the end of June.

Due to COVID-19 emergency measures, final property tax bills were mailed out by July 3 with installments due on 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.

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.

Are 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
Are 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.

During heat warnings, are we to put items out early for curbside collection?

Yes. During Environment Canada-declared severe heat and humidity warnings in Barrie, the City's waste contractor will start collecting curbside garbage, recycling, green bin and yard waste materials at 5:30 a.m. Residents are asked to put their waste out for curbside collection the night before, any time after 7 p.m. or very early in the morning (before 5:30 a.m.) on collection day.

The City will post notification of early curbside collection start time on barrie.ca/CurbsideCollection, Facebook and Twitter by 5 p.m. on the day prior to each impacted collection day.

Since the Spring into Clean event was cancelled, 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 summer 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. No new special event permits will be issued until at least September 8.

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.

Is the City offering day camps this summer?

Yes. The City of Barrie is offering modified summer day camps this year called Camp Barrie, with limited space. Registration opened at 9am June 18 at play.barrie.ca

The Province released the guidelines for operating day camps safely. Staff reviewed the guidelines and developed modified programming for City camps. These additional health measures include physical distancing, smaller camp sizes, daily requirements for staff and camper health assessments, and extensive cleaning procedures.

For more information, please contact the City’s Recreation & Culture Services by calling 705-739-4223 or emailing recreation.information@barrie.ca.

Where is there resident only parking at Barrie beaches and parks?

City Council approved the extension (until October 15, 2020) of Barrie resident waterfront pass only restrictions within 500m walking distance on residential streets adjacent to the following beaches/parks:

  • Wilkins Park
  • Dock Road Park
  • Tyndale Park
  • Minets Point Park
  • Centennial Beach
  • Johnsons Beach

For more information visit barrie.ca/WaterfrontParking.

Have waterfront rates and regulations been applied to additional parking lots?

Yes. The Lakeshore Lot, North Marina and the Spirit Catcher parking lots have been reclassified as waterfront lots until October 15, 2020. The parking rates increase to $10 an hour and $50 a day for non-residents. Residents can now park for free in these lots with their Resident Parking Pass. View on map 

Are playgrounds open in Barrie?

Yes, all playgrounds are now 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.

When are City recreation and cultural facilities opening?

Allandale Recreation Centre and Holly Community Centre are scheduled to reopen on August 4, 2020. East Bayfield Community Centre is scheduled to reopen after September 8, 2020. Please visit barrie.ca/RecCancellations 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.

Are beaches open?

Yes, City of Barrie beaches are open. Visit barrie.ca/beaches for more information.

What is the City doing to ensure Barrie’s beaches and parks stay safe?

In addition to increased patrols by Municipal Law Enforcement Officers and additional signage to communicate beach rules, non-resident waterfront parking rates have been increased to $10 per hour (daily maximum of $50). City Council approved the extension until October 15, 2020 of Resident-Watefront-Parking-Pass-only restrictions within 500m walking distance on residential streets adjacent to the following beaches/parks.

In addition, the City of Barrie has Parks Ambassadors who travel along the City's waterfront to promote the community, provide directions, and answer general questions, as well as offer education and awareness related to City by-laws.

What is the City doing to help reduce crowds at smaller parks such as Wilkins and Tyndale?

Enforcement Services staff are ticketing at Wilkins Park and Tyndale Beach for any infractions. No verbal warnings are being given. Also, a staff beach clean-up crew is being added to the City's Operations department, with specific concentration on Wilkins Park and Tyndale Beach areas.

Are City splash pads open?

Yes. The City worked with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit to confirm that requirements were met for the splash pads at Heritage Park and Lampman Lane Park to reopen on June 20.

Are there public washrooms open at the waterfront?

The washrooms listed below are currently open daily 7am–7pm unless otherwise indicated. These are reduced hours due to COVID-19 impacts on staff levels.

• Centennial Beach (daily 7am–9pm)
• Southshore Centre (daily 8am–5pm) 
• Heritage Park (daily 7am–9pm)
• St. Vincent’s Park
• Johnson's Beach
• Minet’s Point Beach
• Tyndale Park

All seasonal washrooms are reopening in a phased approach, and began with Centennial Park and Heritage Park the week of June 15. Other park washrooms will reopen gradually as City staff are available.

Who do I call if I have concerns with how someone is using a public beach or outdoor space?

Please call the Enforcement Line 705-739-4241 or email enforcement.services@barrie.ca. A Municipal Law Enforcement Officer will investigate the complaint to ensure compliance and may lay charges when appropriate.

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?

As of Saturday, August 1, all Barrie Transit buses will have protective, plexiglass shields that provide a safety barrier between riders and bus operators. Fares will be 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?

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 has 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. There is also 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 is can I get tested for COVID-19 in Barrie? What are the hours?
  • If you have severe symptoms go to RVH’s Emergency Department or call 9-1-1.
  • If you have COVID-19 symptoms go to the Barrie COVID-19 Alternate Assessment Centre (490 Huronia Road)
    Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    Saturday and Sunday CLOSED 
  • If you DO NOT have symptoms but want to be tested go to the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre – "Clinic C" Drive-Thru (201 Georgian Drive – Atrium entrance)

    Appointments can be made by calling 705-728-9090 x49910. If you do have an appointment, do not join the line of cars; carefully drive past and proceed to the parking spots marked A or B.

    Monday to Friday 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
    Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

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