Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Impacts on Municipal Services

Posted on Monday April 06, 2020

UPDATE: April 6, 2020 - 1:00 p.m.

In response to the updated provincial order related to the closure of non-essential services, the Town of Penetanguishene wharf and launch ramp will remain closed until further notice.

The Town will continue to monitor direction provided by the province and consider a delayed opening.  The Town will provide ongoing communication to the public and slip renters as the status of the pandemic situation progresses. 

Any questions related to essential access will be addressed by leaving a voicemail at 705-549-7453 or email sdesjardins@penetanguishene.ca.

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UPDATE: April 3, 2020 - 4:00 p.m. 

We are all facing a unique and rapidly evolving situation with COVID-19.  The Town continues to monitor the circumstances closely to ensure we are able to provide our essential services in a way that is healthy for our staff and community. 

The following are some current updates:

  • If you need to find access to mental health support, food services, financial assistance or more call 211 – day or night. Their community navigators can help you find the supports you need. For more information visit: www.211.ca. It's as easy as dialing 211, the three digit phone number for referrals to community and social services across Ontario.
  • The OPP is requesting community compliance During COVID-19 Crisis. Let’s work together amid COVID-19 to keep our communities safe. http://ow.ly/djKG50z2rnY
  • Transit will continue to be free for riders throughout April. The reduced hours of service will also continue, with the buses running on the "Saturday" schedule Monday-Saturday.
  • Our Fire Chief has confirmed and clarified for us that there is currently NO fire ban for the Town of Penetanguishene (April 3, 2020). Currently, we are waiving the requirement for fire permits, but if you plan to have a small fire, be sure to follow our By-law restrictions http://ow.ly/2f5k50z4olB
  • All meetings, programming and events are suspended until further notice.  The Seniors Information Day and Bayside Summer Soiree throughout the month of June have officially been cancelled. 
  • We have extended the deadline for feedback on our Community Improvement Plan.   Check out this workbook to provide your thoughts and ideas. You can get it to us by dropping it off at Townhall, mail, or email.
  • Council approved some short-term financial relief measures for penalties and interest related to property tax and utilities.
  • We are awaiting guidance and decisions from the province in relation to the potential closure of the municipal boat launch and wharf.  Any closure information will be provided as necessary.
  • Our Staff and Council are available through our contact page on our website.  Although our offices are closed, we continue every effort to respond to our community’s questions and concerns. 

Visit www.penetanguishene.ca or call 705-549-7453 for more information.  

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March 30, 2020 - 7:00 p.m.

Transit Alert – Please be advised that beginning tomorrow (March 31) Mid-Pen Transit will be reducing hours of operation for at least the remainder of this week. The new operating schedule will be the same as the normal Saturday schedule. (first run at 8:45 a.m. for Midland South, last at 4:45 p.m., first run at 8:30 a.m. for Penetanguishene, last at 4:30 p.m.) For more details visit: http://bit.ly/ToM-COVID-19

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March 24, 2020 4:30 p.m.

As we are sure most of our community is already aware, Premier Doug Ford announced yesterday that all non-essential businesses will be shut down for a period of 14 days (minimum) starting today (March 24, 2020) at 11:59pm.  What does this mean for our Town of Penetanguishene services?   It means that all of our offices and facilities remain closed with staff now working remotely, but we will continue to offer essential services through our usual or alternative means as described below.

No matter what happens, rest assured, the Town of Penetanguishene will continue to provide essential services like Fire and Rescue, Police, Roads Maintenance, Transit, Water and Wastewater.

Instead of listing all of the services offered and whether or not we are continuing, we felt it would be more effective to communicate to you the services we are continuing to offer and the way we are offering them.  If you do not see a service listed here, it is to be presumed that it is not considered essential and will not be offered over the next two weeks minimum or until further notice. If you are uncertain, please contact our office by phone 705-549-7453 or email and staff will respond as soon as possible.

Please know that this decision was not made lightly; however, we are confident that a remote work protocol is the best way to ensure that staff and the community remain healthy and in a position to continue providing the essential services that our residents rely on.

Municipal Service           

Impact

Action

Fire & Emergency

The Fire Hall remains closed to the public and administrative staff will be further reduced.

Fire and emergency services will remain functional for response and request for fire inspections will be reviewed on an individual basis; however, access to the fire stations remain closed to the public.   We are temporally suspending the need for a fire permit for open air burning.  All other conditions of the open air burning by-law are still enforceable and in effect. The Fire Department can be contacted by email.

 

The Emergency Management Control group will continue to meet twice weekly to monitor the COVID-19 situation.

Municipal Administration

Townhall remains closed to the public.

The municipal office phone will allow for voice messages to be received which will be picked up daily and relayed to the appropriate department.   All Staff and Council continue to be available by email through our contact listing on our website.

Council meetings will be held electronically and we are researching options for public participation.  Meetings with links to agendas and minutes are listed on our website.  

Council will be meeting (electronically) in the coming weeks to discuss any and all opportunities for us to help at a municipal level regarding property tax and utility billing. 

For inquiries related to your pre-authorized payments, please contact the Tax Collector/Utility Accounting Clerk by email.

Public Works

Public Works building remains closed to the public.

Public Works services will remain functional.  Public Works office phone will allow for voice messages to be received which will be picked up daily and relayed to the appropriate department.  As always, for Roads, Water or Wastewater emergencies call: 705-527-8210. 

Recreation & Parks

Parks – Parks remain open however all park amenities such as play structures, courts and the dog park will be closed.

 

Programming – All recreational programming has been cancelled until further notice. 

Signage will be posted at applicable amenities advising of closures to encourage social distancing.   

 

Refunds will be issued for all Spring Programming (including swimming). 

Building Department

Building permit applications will be processed and mandatory building permit inspections can be coordinated by appointment with certain conditions.  We request that arrangements be made for inspections 48 hours in advance.

The Building Department can be contacted by email for more information. 

Permits and Licensing

Burial permits and Taxi Licences (both drivers and vehicles) will be processed as needed through alternative methods.

The Town Clerk can be contacted by email for information.

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March 23, 2020 - 9:00 a.m. 

The Mid-Pen Transit Service has now resumed it's normal service and will be free for all riders until further notice.

Not all Mid-Pen Transit Service buses have two doors, but riders are asked to please board and de-board using the rear entrance of the transit buses, when it's an option. This will help ensure more social distancing with our transit drivers. Riders with disabilities may still use the front door if needed.

The Town would also like to continue to stress the importance that all residents who have returned from travelling follow the self-isolation protocol for 14 days. Whether you are a snowbird or a spring breaker, regardless of your age you must follow this protocol to ensure that the virus doesn't spread throughout our community. Even if you have no symptoms, you can still pass the virus along to someone. If you've arrived home from travel and need groceries, call a friend or family member to drop some things off. We are in this together and we all need to work as a team! ?

For more information on the state of COVID-19 in our area, please visit the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit website at simcoemuskokahealth.org.?

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March 19, 2020 - 2:30 p.m. 

A message from the Town of Midland regarding Transit operations (which include the Penetanguishene Transit Bus)

“Please note that Mid-Pen Transit Service will be temporarily shut down. An employee working out of our Operations Centre reported that they have been in contact with someone (not a Town employee) who was directed to self isolate today, though it’s important to note that neither person has tested positive for COVID-19. Since the buses are stored at the Operations Centre, steps are being taken to disinfect them. Operations staff will not be reporting to the Ops Centre until Monday as further precaution. Transit is expected to resume on Monday Morning as scheduled.” - Town of Midland.

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March 17, 2020 - 4:30 p.m.

Status of the Municipal Administration Offices: Closed to the public

The Town of Penetanguishene holds the health and safety of our residents, visitors and staff as a top priority. To protect our stakeholders, all Town of Penetanguishene facilities are closed to the public until further notice as a precaution to help against the spread of COVID-19. This includes Townhall (10 Robert Street West – drop box available), the Public Works complex (22 & 24 Centennial Drive) and our Fire Hall (2 Robillard Drive). The Municipal facilities remain staffed on a reduced schedule and will continue with the provision of reduced municipal services through alternate means until further notice.

Where to find more information: 

Additional information about COVID-19 is available online at:  

Public Health 
(www.publichealthontario.ca)  

Government of Canada
(www.canada.ca/coronavirus)  

Government of Ontario
(www.ontario.ca/coronavirus)  

World Health Organization
(www.who.int/coronavirus

Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit
(www.smdhu.org/coronavirus

If you have any questions or concerns, we encourage you to contact the office via telephone at (705) 549-7453. We thank you for your patience and understanding during this time.  For any Roads, Water and Wastewater After Hours Emergencies please call: 705-527-8210

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March 13, 2020 at 3:00 p.m.

UPDATE: The Town of Penetanguishene is taking precautions to help protect our vulnerable residents. Following a meeting of the Senior Management Team the Town has made the difficult decision to cancel all programming and close some facilities, effective Friday, March 13 at 5:00 pm. The closures and cancellations will remain in effect until further notice. 

This is a fluid situation and the Town will continue to communicate with our residents and visitors regarding COVID-19.  Please continue to visit our Town website at www.penetanguishene.ca.  If you would like to recieve email updates directly in your inbox sign up here: https://www.penetanguishene.ca/en/news/subscribe.aspx?feedId=332cb99c-6528-48f3-98c1-4393b13712a8

Refunds will be issued to all program and rental registrants and will NOT be charged the admin fee.  Programs already underway will be issued a PRO RATED refund.  Refund Cheques will be sent through Canada Post.

Spring Programming – Further correspondence will be sent to program registrations through contact information provided during the registration process.  

Town staff are ensuring increased sanitizing practices on all common touch points and public spaces at all Town facilities. Public education focusing on hand washing and cough etiquette has been increased in high traffic locations and residents who do not feel well are being reminded to stay home.

We continue to encourage those with any of the identified symptoms to contact our office at 705-549-7453 for our staff to assist with any town services you may require.

For County of Simcoe related communications related to COVID-19, visit: https://www.simcoe.ca/CorporateCommunications/Pages/Coronavirus.aspx 

For public health related resources, visit http://www.simcoemuskokahealth.org/ or call 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520

For up-to-date information and resources pertaining to COVID-19, please regularly check the Ontario webpage:  https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus

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March 13, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. 

In light of the COVID-19 preparations, we wanted to communicate to our residents and visitors to let you know that we are continuing to monitor the status of COVID-19.  The federal government has warned the situation could quickly change, therefore this Public Notice webpage / email subscription will be updated as required.

You will see when visiting any of our Town facilities that we have posted information (poster attached) on the entry door encouraging those with any of the identified symptoms to not enter and to contact our office at 705-549-7453 for our staff to assist with any town services you may require.

We are staying in constant communication with our staff and partners on this and will be updating on our website and social media channels as required related to any impacted Town services.

For County of Simcoe related communications related to COVID-19, visit: https://www.simcoe.ca/CorporateCommunications/Pages/Coronavirus.aspx 

For public health related resources, visit http://www.simcoemuskokahealth.org/

For up-to-date information and resources pertaining to COVID-19, please regularly check the Ontario webpage:  https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus