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Residents express concern over GTA traffic under regional reopening

June 18, 2020   ·   0 Comments

A common concern among Simcoe residents is that the regional approach to reopening Ontario will bring people from the Toronto area who have greater exposure to COVID-19 and could spread it locally.

“Now what the retail, restaurants, and businesses are telling me is the government needs to assure local people that the businesses will meet or exceed the health requirements and that’s their commitment to the public,” explained MPP Jim Wilson.

People who are concerned with traffic from regions left out of Ontario’s Stage 2 Reopening Plan should refrain from visiting tourist destinations to reduce their potential risk, he noted

“I’ve lived in Wasaga Beach the last 30 years and we don’t normally go to the tourist areas on the weekend anyway, so my advice is this weekend just do what you’ve always done, which is not go to the beach,” Wilson reasoned.

“But the general consensus of the business community is we need to be open for business, we need the jobs back, and I side with that.”

He said small business owners are doing everything in their power to create a safe shopping environment and obey provincial guidelines, so now the government of Ontario needs to reassure the public of their safety.

Wilson said he has yet to see or hear of a Simcoe-Grey business that’s failed to follow health and safety protocols.

“A lot of it is common sense, making sure your employees don’t show up to work sick and some industries are required to take the temperature of employees when they show up,” he noted.

Physical distancing, hand washing, new sanitization requirements, wearing personal protective equipment and building plexiglass barriers at checkouts are a part of Ontario’s “new normal” at retailers and the workplace.

“That’s something we’re going to have to get used to for a long time, I don’t think the coronavirus is going to go away,” said Wilson.

“I think what we’re going to do eventually is get to a situation where public health is able to handle it on a daily basis.”

Ontario’s health officials say their target is to get 200 new cases or fewer each day, which could be achieved soon as infection rates continue to decline.

“One thing that I need to watch in particular is New Tecumseth’s farming community, to make sure that our migrant seasonal workers continue to be protected,” Wilson explained.

“We need to make sure that the farmers have access to extra money to cover the costs of housing the migrant workers that we rely on in the potato fields and in our vegetable crops here in New Tecumseth.”

Wilson said the overall theme in Simcoe–Grey is “we’re open for business” but people have to follow the rules.

By Sam Odrowski
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter



         


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