Update from the Barrie Chamber of Commerce

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Wednesday, March 03, 2021

We are very encouraged as we see the support from our MPPs, Andrea Khanjin and Doug Downey, and our Mayor, Jeff Lehman, for our recommendation to return Simcoe/Muskoka to the Red designation. We continue to urge Dr. Gardner to follow the numbers and use section 22 of the framework to request the Province and Dr. Williams put Simcoe Muskoka into a more equitable modified Red Zone at the very least.

Operating in a modified red zone rather than in grey will allow our restaurants and personal services businesses to reopen safely with all of the strict protocols they’ve put in place, while enabling our local health unit to impose the tighter capacity restrictions on the larger stores that will give the protection they were trying to achieve with the transition to grey.

We have been working diligently behind the scenes with all of the Chambers within the SMDHU region to request changes to the existing framework to address the serious threat from the variants of concern and the ever changing landscape as more of our population is vaccinated. We are also beginning meaningful discussion on encouraging Dr. Gardner and the SMHDU to consider sub-dividing our region to more effectively address the spread of Covid and limit damage to our small business community.

The Barrie Chamber has a seat on the Ontario Vaccine Support Council to continue to bring the private and public sectors together to more effectively work on solutions to deliver vaccines, support PHUs and end this pandemic sooner. https://occ.ca/events/ontario-vaccination-support-council/

The many many calls, emails, and social media comments we’ve seen from Barrie and region residents clearly demonstrate the public support for the survival of our local business community. We continue to urge all members and residents regardless of the current zone we are in to exercise caution by following masking and distancing protocols. When possible work from home, limit outings to only essential trips, and be relentless with hand washing.

If you would like to discuss our recommendation or provide feedback, please feel free to contact our Executive Director, Paul Markle, at 705-721-5000 x 5 or paul@barriechamber.com

COVID-19 Advisory

In response to evolving data around the Delta variant and based on the recent experiences of other jurisdictions, the government, in consultation with Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, is pausing the exit from the Roadmap to Reopen.

The Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts will continue to monitor the data to determine when it is safe to exit the Roadmap and lift the majority of public health and workplace safety measures currently in place.

Thank you for the work you have already done to protect our community by following public health protocols throughout these challenging times.

Stay strong, choose local, and please consider participating in our Rapid Screening Program to help reduce community spread.