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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. This page is updated frequently.

Please refer to this month's Service Barrie FAQs for general questions that may not be related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

There will be a COVID-19 Virtual Community Town Hall on Thursday, January 21. Get the latest information you need to know about COVID-19 and how to protect yourself and your family.

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.
​Is City Hall open?

City Hall is not open to the public. Service Barrie is available by email and phone: ServiceBarrie@barrie.ca and 705-726-4242.

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

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, 2020, 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 has temporarily designated 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?

No, marriage licences are not being issued at this time.

Are planned road construction projects continuing?

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.

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.

Is wearing masks indoors mandatory?

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 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.

Some exceptions apply for activities within recreation centres. See barrie.ca​/RecUpdates for full details.​

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.

If you have questions about what is open or impacts to business or employment, plaase call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659.

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.

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 provincewide shutdown in effect?

As declared by the​ Province​, Ontario moved to a Provincewide Shutdown on December 26, 2020, to stop the spread of COVID-19. T​he shutdown will remain in effect for at least 28 days in Barrie.​

What are "social circles"?

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 and until futher notice, the Province has 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.

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.

Property Tax & Water Wastewater Bills
I am on a monthly pre-authorized payment (PAP) plan for my property taxes. How many payments will I have in 2021?​

 ​In 2020, if you were on a monthly PAP plan one sixth of the final billing amount was withdrawn on the la​st business day of each month from July to December 2020 inclusive. This was du​​​e to final tax bills being mailed later due to COVID-19 emergency measures. The payments were stretched over six months (instead of the usual five) to help provide some relief to taxpayers.

In 2021, the monthly PAP payment schedule will return to the regular schedule:

  • the PAP notification letter (issued in January, and based on 50% of the previous year’s annualized taxes) functions as a receipt for the previous year and outlines the first five withdrawals for current year, from January to May.
  • the final bill (issued in May) is divided into 5 equal installments from June to October. The final tax bill will indicate the amount of installments from June to October and is based on the total taxes due in 2021 less the interim amount billed.

PAP notification letters should arrive mid-January. No interim tax bill is issued. These letters function as a receipt for the previous year and outlines the first five withdrawals for current year (January to May). There is a $15 fee for a replacement receipt, so it is recommended that recipients keep this letter for their records.​

See more information about the PAP Plan for property taxes.​

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.

​ Garbage & Recycling
Is the landfill open?   

The landfill remains with a reduced capacity (10 vehicles at a time). Please wear a mask and keep 2 metres from anyone else while visiting the landfill. For full information please visit barrie.ca/landfill.

Are there any changes to curbside collection services?

Curbside collection is proceeding is normal, however there have been sorting and packaging changes due to COVID-19. In an effort to keep curbside collection drivers safe during this time, please: 

  • place facial tissues, paper towels and napkins in a securely tied garbage bag instead of the green bin.
  • place garbage in securely tied garbage/plastic bags, not loose in your garbage can.   ​​
  • place organics in securely tied compostable bags, not loose in the green bin.​
  • keep a distance of two metres from curbside collection drivers.

Reminder: Cleaning Wipes go in the Garbage! Cleaning wipes cannot go in the green bin and should not be flushed.

If not sure where an item goes, please check the item lookup tool.      

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 all special events/programming?

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

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 washrooms open in parks?

All park washrooms are closed for the season with the exception of heated washrooms within the Centennial Park building and Southshore Community Centre (located near Allandale Station Park and Military Heritage Park).​​​​​​

Are City recreation and cultural facilities open?

Allandale Recreation Centre, East Bayfield Community Centre and Holly Community Centre are closed until further notice as part of the provincial shutdown. Please visit barrie.ca/RecUpdates for detailed information.

City-run theatres remain closed until further notice​.

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. 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 (excluding holidays)
  • 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 (excluding holidays)
  • 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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