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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 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 will not be business as usual when things begin to 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.
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.

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 still issuing marriage licences?

No. At this time the City is not issuing marriage licences. The service may resume for residents on an emergency basis. Please call Service Barrie 705-726-4242 for more information.

Will planned road construction projects be 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.

Will the City be allowing restaurants to open patios in parking lots?

To help restaurants with distancing when reopening the City is looking at helping convert parking spaces to patios. The intent is to use the principles of our downtown patio program in other areas of the city to allow for restaurants to open with patios, as a form of temporary relief. This would provide restaurants with additional space to assist with the requirements for physical distancing.

On Monday May 25, General Committee considered a motion that the application process and operating criteria for the Patios Everywhere Program be approved for the 2020 patio program, ending Oct. 15, 2020. Patio use could distribute restaurant capacity while meeting physical distance measures. Read the staff report re 2020 season for Patios Everywhere Program for detail.

The Patios Everywhere Program passed on consent at General Committee and is expected to be ratified at the June 1st City Council meeting .Meetings are streamed on the City's YouTube channel.

Is the City issuing refunds for summer day camps & registered programs?

Yes. The City of Barrie will be issuing refunds for all City-run summer day camps and registered programs. While the Province has announced that day camps may be able to proceed in July and August, the guidelines for operating these camps have not been released. Once the Province releases guidelines, staff will review and determine if summer day camps and registered programs are possible, and if so, what the format might be.

Refunds will be processed automatically. Customers will receive further notification once their refund is about to be processed. For more information, residents can contact the City’s Recreation & Culture Services by calling 705-739-4223 or emailing recreation.information@barrie.ca.

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

On May 27th, the Province announced that, to prioritize the public health and safety of Ontarians, emergency orders were extended until June 9, 2020. Current emergency orders include the closure of outdoor playgrounds, play structures and equipment, public swimming pools and outdoor water facilities, as well as bars and restaurants except for takeout and delivery. Additionally, there continues to be restrictions on social gatherings of more than five people.

Did the Province ease restrictions on construction?

Yes. The Province announced on May 6th it was expanding essential construction to allow for below-grade multi-unit residential construction projects like apartments and condominiums to begin and existing above-grade projects to continue.

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

Will the City designate additional “non-essential” businesses?

City is not considering shutting down any further businesses other than those announced by the Province of Ontario.

Why are food take-out restaurants still open?

Restaurants and other food facilities that prepare and serve food, only for delivery or takeaway are included in the Provincial Government’s list of essential services. Essential services may continue their operations to maintain supply chains and ensure the people of Ontario have access to necessities, including groceries, medicines and other essential products. The City encourages anyone visiting these establishments to use precaution by keeping your hands clean and maintaining a physical distance of at least 2m (6 feet) from others.

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
Is the City extending the payment periods 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 have been extended for all residents and businesses for two billing periods. Please visit Water Wastewater Billing for more detail.

How can I defer my property tax payment?

Please refer to Property Tax Payment Options for full information.

Garbage & Recycling
With the Spring into Clean event 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 spring clean ups at this time.

The City is offering three free garbage tags to eligible households who request them to help deal with the increased garbage that may be created from staying at home and practising physical distancing. Residents of multi-residential buildings are not eligible. To request garbage tags, email garbagetags@barrie.ca or phone Service Barrie at 705-726-4242. Please ensure you provide your name and address.

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.

Is the City of Barrie landfill open?

The landfill (located at 272 Ferndale Dr. N.) is now open from Tuesday to Saturday, 9am to 3pm, for urgent and essential use only. Residents should expect much longer than usual wait times, especially on peak days such as Saturday, as there will be a limit on how many customers will be allowed on site. Visit barrie.ca/landfill for full information.

The Household Hazardous Waste Facility is now open Saturdays only, from 9am to 3pm. Visit barrie.ca/HHW for full information.

I have extra garbage I need to get rid of, what are my options?

The City is offering three free garbage tags to eligible households who request them (this does not apply to residents of all multi-residential buildings and complexes). Please visit barrie.ca/CurbsideCollection for full details.

If you have additional garbage, there are alternative disposal options that are available for residents through private waste disposal sites, such as:

Barrie Recycling and Waste
412 Tiffin St., Barrie

Acceptance of solid non-hazardous waste consisting of municipal waste, construction and demolition waste and commercial and industrial waste. No subject wastes or HHW accepted.

South Barrie Transfer Ltd
572 Welham Rd., Barrie

Acceptance of Solid, non-hazardous waste from residential, industrial, commercial and institutional sources.

Georgian Waste
8903 Simcoe County Rd 56 Angus

Acceptance of solid non-hazardous waste consisting of municipal waste, construction and demolition waste and commercial and industrial waste. No subject wastes or HHW accepted.

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

All special events are cancelled until June 30, and no new event permits will be issued until at least that time. All theatre shows, bookings of sports fields, and events are cancelled until June 30.

The annual Canada Day event will take place virtually so residents can enjoy programming from the safety of their own homes. City staff are currently planning the virtual Canada Day programming. More details will be shared, once they are available.

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.

Where can I launch my kayak or paddle board into Lake Simcoe?

There are two designated non-beach areas along the waterfront for residents to launch their non-motorized watercraft, including kayaks, canoes and stand up paddle boards. One is the sandy area in Heritage Park, near the North Shore Trail. The other is the area north of the Ossie Rowe pedestrian bridge in Centennial Park. See photo for reference or view on map.

When is the City going to open playgrounds and city facilities?

While it is positive news that the numbers are slowing, based on the Provincial order city playgrounds and most city facilities remain closed until further notice (at this time, Community Centres are closed until June 30). We will wait for direction from the Province and Public Health for when it is appropriate to re-open.

For a complete list of City services impacted by COVID visit barrie.ca/services.

How will the City’s rain barrel sales event be run this year?

The city's annual rain barrel sale has been moved online so residents don't have to leave their homes. To learn more and to purchase a rain barrel visit barrie.ca/WaterConservation.

Are there public washrooms open in Downtown Barrie?

While we recognize the public would like access to the washrooms, as an employer we are unable to realistically ensure a safe working environment for our employees if we attempt to sanitize the washrooms on a regular basis. If we open the washrooms without regular sanitation, we are unable to provide the public with a safe washroom facility to utilize. Either one of those outcomes puts the broader community at risk.

As such the closures will have to remain in place until such times as some of the restrictions may be lifted by the Province.

Are beaches in Barrie closed because of COVID-19?

Yes, beaches in the City of Barrie remain closed until further notice. If residents wish to launch a kayak/stand up paddle board it is recommended that you do so from a grassy shoreline not from a beach.

Are there public washrooms open at the waterfront?

There are three public washroom facilities on the waterfront that operate year-round, and these are currently open. The open washrooms include the two family washrooms at Centennial Beach (west side of building), and the washroom accessible from the outside of the Southshore Centre.

The Centennial family washrooms are open 8:30am–5pm daily and the one at the Southshore Centre is open 8am–5pm daily. These are reduced hours due to COVID-19 impacts on staff levels.

The seasonal washrooms at Centennial Beach and all other waterfront and park buildings remain closed at this time.

Can I fish at the waterfront?

Although we are advising people to stay home as much as possible and only go out for essentials, if people are fishing on the waterfront (off a dock, etc.), they must have a valid fishing licence and must practise safe physical distancing.

Can I host a yard sale?

No. The City is banning all yard sales at this time to prevent people from gathering, which would be contrary to the Provincial government’s emergency orders.

Transit
Is Barrie Transit offering free service?

Yes. Barrie Transit has been offering free service since March 20, and will continue to offer free service until July 2, 2020. Buses run hourly from approximately 5:30am to 12:30am Monday to Saturday, and from approximately 9am to 11pm on Sundays.

The Downtown Bus Terminal is closed until further notice.

Free transit allows riders to board the bus from the back doors, which limits the contact between riders and drivers.

For full details please visit barrie.ca/TransitNotices.

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

Plexiglass shields to separate the operators from the passengers will be installed. Many safety measures have been implemented, including:

  • increased educational information on buses about COVID-19 precautions
  • daily sanitization of buses and facilities
  • installation of hand sanitizer dispensers on buses
  • personal protective equipment for drivers
  • rear-door-only boarding for passengers
  • limited seating capacity/reduced maximum capacity
Do I have to wear a face mask on Barrie Transit?

To assist in protecting transit staff and riders, the Ministry of Health is recommending the use of face coverings, particularly when physical distancing is not possible on public transit.

Physical Distancing & Self-Isolation
Does the City have a by-law to enforce physical distancing? What are the fines for nor 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.

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

The municipal order enacted on Friday April 3rd 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?

If staff see gatherings of more than 5 individuals that do not appear to be related or have been reported as a complaint, whether or not they are on private/school board property, they are addressing using the Provincial order. In addition, the Provincial order closes outdoor recreational amenities intended for use by more than one family regardless of whether they are privately or publicly owned. The Provincial order specifically does not preclude individuals from walking through or using portions of a park or recreational areas that are not otherwise closed.

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.

Who can I call if someone is accessing a closed amenity such as playground equipment at a City park?

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.

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. For more information, visit www.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 Barrie’s COVID-19 Assessment Centre? What are the hours?

The Barrie COVID-19 Assessment Centre is located at 490 Huronia Road in the building at the rear of the complex (not at the Huronia Urgent Care Clinic).

Hours: Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm, Saturday/Sundays/Holidays 10am to 4pm.


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