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Construction continues, but it's otherwise quiet in Orillia (7 photos)

As the COVID-19 pandemic worsens, parts of the city were like a ghost town on Wednesday afternoon

Parts of Orillia feel like a ghost town today.

While almost every driveway is jammed with multiple vehicles, the streets are mostly quiet as people self-isolate behind closed doors.

Orillia is like most communities in the province as the impact of COVID-19 infiltrates just about every aspect of what, just scant days ago, seemed like normal life.

The province declared a state of emergency on March 17. The City of Orillia also declared an emergency on March 20. 

Then, Premier Doug Ford odered the closure of all non-essential businesses and enterprises as of midnight last night.

As a result, most downtown stores are shuttered alongside the locked-up Orillia Public Library and Orillia Opera House. It feels as if every day is a Sunday from the 1980s.

All playgrounds and basketball courts are closed. Recreation centres and programs have been cancelled. Movie theatres and casinos are dark.

But not everything is shut down. You can still get take-out and/or delivery from many local eateries, while gas stations and convenience stores, grocery stores and pharmacies also remain open.

Construction, perhaps surprisingly, is also continuing at various locations in Orillia - from the Matchedash Lofts condo project in the heart of the downtown to the construction of a new OPP detachment in west Orillia.

Local walking and cycling trails also remain open and available for use. But, even outside, experts are warning people to ensure they leave six feet between one another to help stop the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

Today, we learned there are 21 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Simcoe-Muskoka region. Experts warn there are "many, many more" that have not yet been confirmed or tested. As a result, they are urging people to stay home as much as possible.

We will continue to provide updates as the crisis unfolds.



Dave Dawson

About the Author: Dave Dawson

Dave Dawson is community editor of
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