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Partners and Municipalities

Ontario entered Step 3 of the province’s Roadmap to Reopen on Friday July 16, 2021 at 12:01 a.m.

More information on the public health and workplace safety measures in place can be found on the province’s website and in O. Reg 364/20: Rules for Areas in Step 3 under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act (ROA), 2020.

SMDHU and local municipalities may also implement local public health directions, bylaws, and policies that can exceed the provincial laws and recommendations. Employers should continue to consult with public health and their local municipality to ensure familiarity with the current laws and recommendations.

The information and resources on this page are updated regularly. Check back often for the newest updates.

Class Orders and Letters of Instruction

The following Section 22 and Section 29 orders (under the Health Protection and Promotion Act) and instructions (under the Reopening Ontario Act) have been issued in response to COVID-19 by SMDHU’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Charles Gardner:


Archived COVID-19 correspondence can be viewed here.



July 21, 2021   |   July 14, 2021    |     July 7, 2021


June 30, 2021    |     June 23, 2021      |      June 16, 2021      |      June 9, 2021      |     June 2, 2021


May 26, 2021     |     May 19, 2021    |     May 12, 2021    |    May 5, 2021


Previous updates are available upon request.

Public Health Guidance

COVID-19 Public Health Guidance for Operators of Public Beaches (revised June 30, 2021) provides recommendations for municipalities to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 at public beaches.
A community garden has either individual or shared plots of land or garden beds on private or public land that community members can use to grow fresh fruits and vegetables. COVID-19 Public Health Guidance for Community Gardens (revised July 12, 2021) is for municipal staff, volunteers, and garden users to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 while using a shared garden space.

COVID-19 Public Health Guidance for Cooling Centres - Step 3 (revised July 16, 2021) provides guidance and clarity for operating cooling centres to reduce the risk of introducing and spreading COVID-19.

This document should be used in conjunction with existing cooling centre operation and management plans, procedures, guidance, resources, and systems.

Under Step 2, day camps are permitted to operate.

According to the Child Care and Early Years Act, day camps must: 

  • not operate for more than 13 weeks in a calendar year (subject to certain exceptions set out in regulations); 
  • not operate on days in which instruction is typically provided for pupils enrolled in schools; 
  • not operate at a person’s home; 
  • be operated for children who are four years old or older, or, if the camp is operated on or after September 1, for children who will attain the age of four in that calendar year. 

Updated guidance from the province is available: COVID 19 Safety Guidelines for Day Camps (revised July 15, 2021).

For mental health resources that may support camp operators and staff in talking to children and youth about the COVID-19 pandemic and seeking mental health support, the province has also made available COVID-19: Mental Health Resources for Camp Operators.

Public Health Ontario (PHO) has also prepared resources to support pre-camp planning and daily camp operations on topics such as COVID-19 transmission; personal protective equipment; hand hygiene; physical distancing; environmental cleaning and cohorting. You can access these resources by visiting PHO’s website.

For additional information, see SMDHU’s COVID-19 Public Health Guidance for Day Camps - Step 3 (revised: July 16, 2021).

The following guidance is intended to assist governing organizations, communities, and candidates in keeping themselves, volunteers, and community members safe while campaigning and voting during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This information is meant to supplement any advice or recommendations provided by the organization or community governing the election.

COVID-19 Public Health Guidance for Farmers’ Markets - Step 3(Revised July 16, 2021) is provided to assist in operating your farmers' market.

Annual assessments are conducted by public health inspectors (PHIs) at farmers’ markets to determine if any proposed vendors meet the requirements for Ontario Regulation 493/17. To assist with this process, we request that you submit the following documents to your public health inspector prior to commencing operations of a farmers' market:

Food banks and food donation centres provide essential services to residents and require continual donations from the community. COVID-19 Public Health Guidance For Food Banks and Donation Centres - Step 3 (revised July 16, 2021) provides guidance on the prevention and management of COVID-19.

COVID-19 Public Health Guidance for Indoor and Outdoor Recreational Amenities – Step 2 (revised July 16, 2021) is intended to provide public health guidance and regulatory requirements for outdoor recreational amenities, as well as municipalities, businesses and community groups who operate such amenities in the County of Simcoe and the District of Muskoka, to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Under Step 3, capacity limits have been placed for religious services, rites or ceremonies, including wedding and funeral services within faith-based organizations as follows:

  • Indoor and outdoor religious services, rites and ceremonies, including weddings and funerals are permitted with capacity limited to permit physical distancing of 2 metres (6 feet).

For more information please refer to COVID-19 Guidance for Faith-Based Organizations (revised June 30, 2021) for further details.

This guidance document (revised July 12 2021) outlines the protective measures that can be put in place the safe use of public washrooms.

Shelter services are designed to provide persons experiencing homelessness immediate access to a safe and temporary place while they work to find housing.

The following information is intended to help shelter service providers reduce the risk of exposure to illnesses including COVID-19.


IMPORTANT NOTE: While the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit aims to provide relevant and timely information, no guarantee can be given as to the accuracy or completeness of any information provided. This guidance is not intended to nor does it provide legal advice and should not be relied upon or treated as legal advice. Users seeking legal advice should consult with a qualified legal professional. No one should act, or refrain from acting, based solely upon the materials provided in this guidance, any hypertext links or other general information without first seeking appropriate legal or other professional advice. Please visit the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit website regularly for updates and additional guidance.

Page last updated: July 21, 2021

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