With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to escalate and Orillia reporting its first community acquired case of the virus, the City of Orillia implores Orillians to practice social/physical distancing and rigorous hygienic practices.
The City has also closed access to the Kiwanis Skateboard Park at Veterans’ Park, basketball courts and off-leash dog parks at Clayt French and Kitchener parks effective March 25 in order to promote social/physical distancing and reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the community. Staff will also not move forward with its regular spring park opening procedures, including tennis courts, until it is deemed safe to do so. We ask that local school boards and private owners close public access to their basketball courts as well.
“With Orillia having its first community acquired case of COVID-19 reported, the City continues to look at measures we can put in place to reduce contact with high-touch surfaces and public spaces where it is difficult to practice social/physical distancing,” said Mayor Steve Clarke. “The next few weeks are critical and we must work together to flatten the curve and prevent the spread of this virus.”
Social/physical distancing, which helps flatten the curve of the COVID-19 virus, allows the healthcare community to respond to patient needs at a manageable pace.
“From what we are seeing, social distancing is truly the best method to help limit the potential spread of COVID-19,” said Mayor Clarke. “Ensuring you make the constant effort to create a safe distance between yourself and others is absolutely necessary. As I’m out in the community, I am seeing far too many who are not taking the proper precautions. This is irresponsible and reckless and we need to ensure we are doing everything we can as a community to slow the spread. This is not a drill for a pandemic; this is a pandemic.”
You must do the following to practice social/physical distancing:
- Recreational activities: If you visit a park or trail to take a walk or run, you must ensure you maintain a two-metre distance between you and others. Walking and running groups who continue to meet should take extra caution to ensure they are maintaining this distance.
- Waste collection services – You must keep a two-metre distance from waste collection operators. Remember: All garbage must be bagged and sealed properly. Anything not bagged will be left behind. All green bin organic materials must be placed in a certified compostable bag or liner.
- Transit Service – Passengers are to board and exit the bus from the rear doors. Passengers with accessibility requirements are permitted to use the front door if necessary. Fares are waived to further encourage social/physical distancing from the bus operator.
- Essential shopping: If you need to go shopping, you must follow social/physical distancing rules and respect the measures merchants and employees have put in place.
- Essential services: If you are still working as an essential service – thank you – and you must ensure you are practicing safe social/physical distancing in your workplace.
- Speak up: Feel empowered to speak up for yourself to maintain social/physical distancing. We are in this together (but two metres apart).
Everyone in Orillia needs to practice social/physical distancing and good hygienic practices at all times. You must do the following:
- Practice social/physical distancing of at least two metres (six feet)
- Frequently wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Cough or sneeze into your arm
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
- Avoid contact with people who are sick
- Stay home if you are sick
- If you have any symptoms, self-monitor and self-isolate and contact a healthcare professional if symptoms persist
- If you have travelled recently, ensure you self-isolate for 14 days
- If you have, or suspect you have COVID-19, complete a self-assessment, contact your local healthcare provider or visit a local assessment centre. Do not visit your local doctor or emergency room.
For more information visit: orillia.ca/COVID-19.
For more information on the COVID-19 Assessment Centre in Orillia visit: osmh.on.ca/covid-19/
For COVID-19 updates from the SMDHU visit: http://www.simcoemuskokahealth.org/Promos/Novel-Coronavirus