New COVID-19 restrictions in-play across TBM

·2 min read

The Town of the Blue Mountains (TBM) is in the process of implementing the required closures for the new provincial COVID-19 restrictions that were announced over the weekend.

“Our parks team got over right away barricading and fencing off our playgrounds, the skateboard park and similar properties that we identified, such as waterfront properties that just were not conducive to walk through or that had been identified in some of the previous closures,” said Ryan Gibbons, director of community for TBM at a special meeting of council held this morning.

At this point, TBM has implemented a number of public safety measures, including closing all golf courses, baseball, tennis, pickleball, soccer, basketball, skateboard, and BMX facilities, as well as any portions of operational areas containing outdoor fitness equipment, picnic sites, and picnic tables.

The provincial government initially restricted access to playgrounds but later overturned the restriction. As such, TBM staff are in the process of reopening playgrounds today, but are encouraging the public to be cautious in their use of these facilities.

“We will be watching just to make sure that these areas do not become gathering areas. And if we do see that trend and it's causing us concerns, we'll be forced to potentially close the areas that may have some issues,” said CAO Shawn Everett.

In addition, the Thornbury Harbour has been closed, however, the town is currently seeking guidance from the province on how to move forward with allowing the public to use this property.

“Marinas were identified in the new regulation. So, it is closed. But we are seeking a little bit of clarification on a couple of the details,” Gibbons continued.

TBM’s landfill was also closed last week in response to the Grey Bruce Health Unit’s call to the community to isolate for 48-hours.

Town staff announced this morning that the landfill site will be reopened on Thursday with modifications in place, which will include mandatory face coverings near the scale house and restricting the number of people on the property at one time.

Gibbons also noted that TBM’s Thornbury Pier reconstruction project will be permitted to continue through the closures.

“It's a very visible project. But, we have confirmed that it is permitted to continue,” he said.

Last year, TBM had also closed and restricted access to its riverbanks ahead of fishing season. Town staff say they are currently discussing this issue with provincial authorities but at this time have not determined if they will be limiting access again this year.

“That is something that is absolutely on our radar and we will be working closely with our other agencies to see how best to handle that,” said Everett.

In an effort to provide clarity for the public, the town has reinstated its online interactive map of the municipality that allows users to see what public sites are open or closed.

Jennifer Golletz, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, CollingwoodToday.ca