Town Council heard a report on the current local COVID-19 situation during the Monday, September 13, Council meeting.
Town CAO Blaine Parkin provided an update on services in Town facilities and what can be expected in the near future.
“As we remain in Step 3 of province’s roadmap to reopen, all Town services and facilities are open with the one exception of the fitness centre at the New Tecumseth Rec Centre which remains closed,” Mr. Parkin said in his report. “All COVID protocols and safety measures do remain in place and will remain in place for the foreseeable future.”
Vaccination clinics that were held at various town facilities over the past several months have now wrapped up.
Mr. Parkin thanked Simcoe Muskoka Medical Officer of health, Dr. Charles Gardner, and Stevenson Memorial Hospital president CEO Jody Levac and their staff for bringing the clinics to the community.
The Health Unit does continue to hold pop-up clinics throughout the County.
“As set out by the province, starting September 22, Ontarians will need to be fully vaccinated,” Mr. Parkin said. “That’s two doses – and provide proof of vaccination along with photo ID such as a driver’s license or health card to accesssome public settings and facilities. These will include town facilities and recreation centres. Individuals who cannot receive the vaccine due to medical exemptions will be permitted with a doctor’s note until themedical exemption can be integrated as part of the province’s digital vaccine certificate. We will continue to work with the Health Unit and the province as they continue to develop what that looks like. Children under 12 years of age will also be exempt as there is currently not a vaccination available for that age group.”
If a child is not vaccinated, an accompanying adult must still have proof of vaccination when entering facilities requiring proof of vaccination.
Town staff will be posted at the entrance of recreation centres and facilities to check that anyone entering are meeting provincial vaccination requirements.
The province is expected to introduce an enhanced vaccination certificate as well as a verification app that will allow staff to read the QR code beginning October 22.
The system will provide additional tools for people with no e-mail, health card, or ID.
The proof of vaccination requirements will not apply to outdoor settings, including sports fields and parks as the risk of transmission in an outdoor setting is considered to be very low.
Town Council is also moving ahead with a hybrid type of arrangement to allow inperson council meetings with members of the public to continue to be able to take part in virtual format.
Brian Lockhart, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, New Tecumseth Times