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City shutters public library, cancels March break, rec programs

City changes course, opts to join successful jurisdictions 'who have very aggressively and proactively put mitigating measures in place'
Orillia Public Library
The Orillia Public Library will be closed until further notice.

The city is shutting down the Orillia Public Library, the Orillia Youth Centre and cancelling March break camps.

Late Friday, the city issued a news release saying the library would remain open, but that children's and adult programs would be cancelled - among other measures in the wake of concerns about COVID-19.

This afternoon, the city changed its mind and has decided to shutter the library effective tomorrow. The Youth Centre will also close, until further notice, effective tomorrow.

The city has also opted to pull the plug on its March break camps; yesterday, the municipality said they would go on but participants would face a verbal screening.

"The jurisdictions in the world that have been most successful in dealing with the COVID-19 virus have been the ones who have very aggressively and proactively put mitigating measures in place," said Orillia Mayor Steve Clarke.

"They learned from previous outbreaks and are now being much more successful in stemming transmission. It is with this in mind that we are implementing these further precautions within the City of Orillia.”

All of the city's recreation programming is also being suspended until further notice.

All families enrolled in March break camps and recreation programs will be notified directly by email.

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) advises the risk presented by the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the Orillia area is still low; however, in an effort to encourage social distancing and limit public gatherings the city is implementing these measures, noted a press release issued Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

The release states: As new information becomes available from the SMDHU, Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital, community partners and city staff, we will continue to provide communications to the public and update the web page orillia.ca/COVID-19.

As a result of today's decision, the following City facilities are closed to the public until further notice:

  • Orillia Public Library (36 Mississaga St. W.)
  • Municipal Operations Centre (20 James St.)
  • Orillia Youth Centre (Front Street)
  • Waste Water Treatment Centre (40 Kitchener St.)
  • Both Orillia Fire Stations (500 Gill St. and 1 Commerce Rd.)

At this time all other city facilities remain open.

The release notes the city is implementing a self-screening tool at the entrance of all city facilities.

For more information please visit the SMDHU website at: http://www.simcoemuskokahealth.org/Promos/Novel-Coronavirus




Dave Dawson

About the Author: Dave Dawson

Dave Dawson is community editor of OrilliaMatters.com
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