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Essential services continue, but other services stopping: County

'We are taking critical steps to promote social distancing by closing many of our non-essential services, programs and facilities to the public,' warden says
2020-03-11 County JO-001
County of Simcoe council chambers. Jessica Owen/BarrieToday

MIDHURST – The County of Simcoe continues to respond to the fluid situation around COVID-19. The county understands and appreciates that our residents depend on county services, many of which are considered essential services, and we are working to ensure continuity of operations while keeping our residents, staff and partners as safe as possible. This is critical, particularly given the recent news that the first potential COVID-19 Ontario death has occurred in our region.

“These are unprecedented times and we remind residents to strongly adhere to recommendations from public health agencies to exercise social distancing, cancel gatherings and follow proper hand-washing and sanitization measures,” said Warden George Cornell.

“We are all in this together, and by following protocols and supporting one another, we can all help curb the spread of COVID-19 and support our most vulnerable residents, loved ones and neighbours," said Cornell. "The county has a number of essential services that will continue to be provided; however, we are taking critical steps to promote social distancing by closing many of our non-essential services, programs and facilities to the public, while working to redeploy staff and implement flexible working arrangements as per the recommendations from the provincial and federal governments. County staff will diligently continue to work and provide our essential services, with provisions in place to support residents, staff and our partners.”

In view of recent provincial and federal directives, including today’s Ontario Government’s declaration of an emergency, the County of Simcoe is undertaking the following immediate actions to limit the spread of COVID-19. Effective 4:30 p.m. on March 17, 2020, the following services and facilities are being closed to the public until further notice: ·       

  • Simcoe County Library Co-operative       
  • Simcoe County Archives        
  • Simcoe County Museum       
  • Tourism Simcoe County Information Kiosk        
  • County Administration Centre – including the Service Simcoe Desk (phone lines and other means of contact remain open)        
  • County of Simcoe Landfills and Transfer Stations – closed to the public. (Industrial, Commercial and Institutional customers who have no alternative disposal options are encouraged to contact Service Simcoe at or 1-800-263-3199)       
  • All County events and gatherings, including in-person Council and Committees are cancelled for March and into April

Following current best-practices recommended by public health agencies, the County is maintaining our key essential services with some restrictions, including:           

  • County of Simcoe Paramedic Services        
  • Long Term Care and Seniors Services – with access to these facilities restricted to staff and essential visitors only       
  • Curbside Waste Collections        
  • LINX Transit        
  • Children Services appointments will be done by phone only       
  • Social and Affordable Housing enquiries will be done by phone and online only        
  • Ontario Works Offices will remain open to the public at this time, but appointments will be done by phone only  

The county will continue to provide regular public updates through social media, website content and press releases to ensure residents are well informed. For up-to-date information on the status of county services, residents can visit, or call 1-800-263-3199 or 705-726-9300. For health-related information, go to, or call the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit directly. County of Simcoe is composed of sixteen member municipalities and provides crucial public services to County residents in addition to providing paramedic and social services to the separated cities of Barrie and Orillia. Visit our website at