Looking for the latest news, updates and commentary regarding how COVID-19 is impacting the Huntsville area? You’ll find it below.
This information was last updated at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 9, and will be updated as further details become available. If you are aware of other cancellations and closures not listed here, please comment below or email us at email@example.com.
New content added in the last three days:
- Update to cases in Simcoe Muskoka (listed below). No new laboratory-confirmed cases have been reported for Muskoka as of noon today. The health unit encourages everyone to take five minutes to participate in Statistics Canada data collection on the Impacts of COVID-19 on Canadians.
News and community stories:
- Refusing to open cottages the right thing to do: Peter Briggs
- $10,000 granted to Muskoka’s food banks
- Volunteers with sewing skills needed to create face masks for essential workers, other community members
- ‘This virus can have devastating impacts on long-term care facilities’: Dr. Charles Gardner
- Miller encourages people to stay home this Easter weekend, reminds residents to continue to isolate
Open for Business updates and additions:
- Autosave Collision is open Monday to Friday 8-5. Accepting tow-ins. Emergency number always available 705-787-0680.
- Muskoka Bicycle Pro Shop is open Monday-Friday 11-5 and Saturday 11-4.
- Muskoka Seniors Frozen Meals on Wheels service is available starting April 6. There will be a staff member in their office on Mondays and Tuesdays only to support this program. Call the office at 705-789-6676 to register or for more details.
- Pizza Nova is open for takeout and delivery.
- Warren Broad Counselling and Hypnosis is offering virtual and phone counselling services.
- Westside Fish and Chips has changed their takeout hours to 12-7. They will be open Good Friday but closed Easter Sunday.
News and community:
Links to contents:
There are four laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Huntsville. All contracted the virus while travelling. One is currently self-isolating at home and three are reported as recovered. If you think you have the virus, call ahead before going to the hospital, clinic, or doctors’ office, or call Telehealth (1-866-797-0000) to be screened via phone.
As of April 9, 2020, Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) has reported 114 laboratory-confirmed cases, including 40 recovered cases, 14 hospitalizations, and five deaths.
Due to the growing number of cases in Simcoe Muskoka, we will no longer include SMDHU’s full table of cases here. You can see a summary by municipality below. Note that cases are assigned to the health unit based on the residential address of the patient, not the location of the hospital the patient was seen at. A full table of laboratory-confirmed cases within the health unit’s catchment area can be viewed at simcoemuskokahealthstats.org.
|Municipality||Number of Confirmed Cases|
|District of Muskoka||12|
|Total for Simcoe and Muskoka||114|
SMDHU reminds people that they can protect themselves in a number of ways:
- Stay home
- Avoid all non-essential trips into your community.
- Practise physical distancing
- Physical distancing means keeping two (2) meters or 6 feet between you and another person.
- Everyone should practise physical distancing to reduce their exposure to other people.
- Everyone should do their best to avoid close contact with people outside of their immediate families.
- Practise proper hygiene
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 15 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Sneeze and cough into your sleeve.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Stay home
If you believe you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 symptoms, you should begin to self-monitor for a period of 14 days. This means that, in addition to physical distancing, you should track how you feel. You should take your temperature daily and log any other symptoms that develop (for example, sore throat, new cough or difficulty breathing). You can share these records with your primary care provider over the phone if you seek assessment
SMDHU has more coronavirus information here.
The health unit encourages everyone to take five minutes to participate in Statistics Canada data collection on the Impacts of COVID-19 on Canadians.
News and community stories:
April 9, 2020 – Refusing to open cottages the right thing to do: Peter Briggs
April 9, 2020 – $10,000 granted to Muskoka’s food banks
April 7, 2020 – Local restaurants provide meals for frontline workers
April 6, 2020 – A waste collection update from the District of Muskoka
April 2, 2020 – “We cannot be complacent”: SMDHU medical officer of health
March 31, 2020 – COVID-19 assessment centres now open in Muskoka
March 31, 2020 – Province extends school closures until at least May 4
March 28, 2020 – Ontario prohibits gatherings of more than five people
March 26, 2020 – MAHC working to increase capacity for critical cases: CEO
March 26, 2020 – Faith Baptist offering community support
March 24, 2020 – Town of Huntsville adjusts transit service for COVID-19
March 23, 2020 – Province orders mandatory closure of all non-essential businesses
March 23, 2020 – MAHC limits most outpatient services and programs
March 23, 2020 – Muskoka awaits approval for two coronavirus assessment centres
March 22, 2020 – Local couple spreads joy for their community’s kids
March 22, 2020 – Coping with COVID-19: Revel in the commonplace
March 21, 2020 – No break on Huntsville property tax deadline, at least not yet
March 20, 2020 – Town issues parks and open spaces warning related to COVID-19
March 19, 2020 – Open for business: support local during COVID-19
March 19, 2020 – Questions and answers about testing for COVID-19 in Muskoka
March 19, 2020 – What is social distancing? | Infographic
March 18, 2020 – Coping with COVID-19: What will you choose? (image)
March 17, 2020 – Ontario declares state of emergency
March 17, 2020 – Town Hall, District office and community hubs to close until April 6
March 17, 2020 – Coping with COVID-19: Remember the beauty that surrounds us
March 15, 2020 – Town of Huntsville to close most facilities until April 5, 2020
March 12, 2020 – Province orders schools closed for two weeks following March break
April 7, 2020 – It is essential that businesses in small towns survive COVID-19 ~ Mary Spring
April 6, 2020 – A lesson from the pandemic ~ Don McCormick
March 29, 2020 – Listen Up! We can disagree and still work together ~ Hugh Mackenzie
March 20, 2020 – Coping with COVID-19: Remember these three things
March 15, 2020 – Listen Up! Stay calm and carry on ~ Hugh Mackenzie
March 13, 2020 – She Speaks: We can only do this one way—together ~ Kathleen May
Ontario Ministry of Health – updated daily at 10:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m
Huntsville Community Help Out Group on Facebook – if you need support or supplies or have them to offer
Huntsville & Area Strong – Together we Stand Community COVID-19 Help Group on Facebook – if you need support or supplies or have them to offer
Lake of Bays COVID-19 Help Group on Facebook
Stop the Spread business line – The province has launched a toll-free line 1-888-444-3659 to provide support to Ontario businesses who have questions about the province’s recent emergency order to close at-risk workplaces following recommendations by Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health.
Local cancellations and notices:
Active Living Centre: Closed until further notice.
Algonquin Theatre: The theatre, box office, and Partners Hall are closed until further notice and shows are being cancelled, postponed or rescheduled. Visit algonquintheatre.ca for details.
Arrowhead Provincial Park: Ontario Parks has closed all parks until at least April 30, 2020. Arrowhead’s scheduled opening date for the summer season is May 8, 2020.
Brickz and Taktikz album release party scheduled for April 11 has been postponed.
Businesses: Effective Tuesday, March 24 at 11:59 p.m., the Province of Ontario has ordered the mandatory closure of all non-essential workplaces. We will continue to regularly update this list of open businesses.
Canada Summit Centre: Closed until further notice.
Canadian Cancer Society: Annual daffodil campaign activities have been postponed to June or later.
Churches: All gatherings, including services, have been cancelled.
Climate strikes: Climate Action Muskoka (CAM) is encouraging everyone to be creative for its weekly Fridays For Future Climate Strikes (#FFF) on Fridays, 11:30 am to 12:30 pm – until further notice. Post a picture of yourself with a climate action message on their Facebook Page or hold a pop-up climate strike at your home. Go for a walk with a climate sign. Put a climate action message in your car window. Go to the regular strike location, being sure to maintain social distancing.
Daycares: On March 17, 2020, the Ontario Government declared a state of emergency which requires all licensed child care centres to close.
Dentists: Based on a recommendation from the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario, most offices are offering only emergency services. Check with your dentist’s office for details.
District of Muskoka: Effective March 17, all District facilities will be closed to public access including the District office at 70 Pine St. in Bracebridge and the Community Services Hubs in Gravenhurst, Bracebridge and Huntsville. Essential services including paramedic services, long-term care, water and wastewater, waste management and road operations will continue to operate as usual. Social housing facilities will continue to be maintained and other housing supports, social assistance and emergency assistance programs will also continue to be provided by phone, online or by email. You can access information and services by calling 705-645-2100 or by email. For the latest updates on all District program and service impacts, and to learn more about the actions taken in response to COVID-19, visit www.muskoka.on.ca/
Doctors’ offices and nurse practitioner clinics:
- The Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Clinic at the Wellness Hub will remain open from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. during the Canada Summit Centre closure. Patients must call 705-789-5986 for access to the building and to make an appointment. Access will be via the Canada Summit Centre entrance closest to Oliver’s Café. Anyone who is COVID-19 symptomatic must call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000.
- The Cottage Country Family Health Team will continue to operate at the Port Sydney Fire Hall.
- Huntsville Professional Building physicians shared the following statement: “In order to keep our patients and staff as safe as we can, we are asking that all persons with a fever, with or without travel, phone their doctor’s office for screening prior to arriving at the building. This includes anyone coming for the pharmacy, lab, dentist or any of our specialists. If you arrive at the building with a fever without prior physician screening you will be asked to contact your physician for further instructions. Those arriving with fever and prior screening will be asked to use hand sanitizer and put on a mask upon entering the building. As we learn more this criteria may expand to involve other symptoms such as cough. We thank you in advance for your cooperation in keeping our community healthy.”
- Lakeview Physicians: visit their COVID-19 page for information about appointments
Enliven Centre for Self-Care in Cancer: office is closed and programs are suspended until further notice. They are responding to all calls, emails and social media outreach and will attempt to assist in any way they can.
Etwell Concert Series: March 28 dance at the Huntsville Legion has been postponed. Refunds available where tickets were purchased.
Hidden Valley Highlands Ski Area: Closed for the remainder of the 2019/20 season.
Hockey: All minor hockey team games, practices, and gatherings have been cancelled.
Hospice Huntsville: The Purple Tea Party on March 28 has been postponed. Tickets are refundable or will be valid for a future date.
Hospital: Huntsville District Memorial Hospital is restricting non-essential visits effective March 18, 2020. Exceptions for visiting include special situations (obstetrical patients) and compassionate circumstances (palliative, critical patients). Elective surgeries have been postponed. All visitors are being screened at the door for COVID-19, and hospital staff ask anyone who thinks they have the virus to—before going to the hospital—call Telehealth to be screened by phone (1-866-797-0000).
Huntsville Curling Club: The club is ending its 2019-20 season effective March 15, 2020.
Huntsville Festival of the Arts: All programs and events scheduled between March 16 and May 2, 2020 have been cancelled or postponed: March Break Drama Camp (March 16-20) – cancelled; Sarah Harmer concert (March 27) – postponed; Saturday Morning Drama Camp (March 28-May 16) – postponed; Crankie Box Workshop (March 28) – postponed; Matt Andersen concert (March 29) – postponed; Huntsville Festival of Music (April 2-5) – cancelled; Sister Act: The Musical (April 17-26) – postponed; May Marche (May 2) – postponed.
Huntsville Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony: has been postponed from May 9 to October 3 at the Active Living Centre.
Huntsville/Lake of Bays Chamber of Commerce: Tourism office is closed. The Muskoka Maple Festival, which was scheduled for April 25, has been postponed.
Huntsville Suzuki School: Indian dinner fundraiser scheduled for Apr. 4 has been postponed to Sept. 26, 2020.
Huntsville Transit: Effective March 24, 2020, regular and specialized riding hours are 8-4. Only six riders will be permitted per bus at any time. Riders will not be required to pay fares or swipe their transit pass until end of April.
Lakeland Power: The company said in a media release that it “understands wages and business revenues may be negatively affected so for financial assistance customers are asked to visit the company website to learn more about the Ontario Electricity Support Program, the Low-Income Emergency Assistance Program, the Home Assistance Program, the Affordability Fund, budget billing, and installment plans. “No customer experiencing financial hardship during this difficult time will be disconnected so they can concentrate on the safety of their family and business,” said CEO Chris Litschko. Lakeland has closed their offices to the public for customer and staff protection. Anyone experiencing hardship can call 705-789-5442 or 1-888-282-7711, Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Libraries: All Huntsville Public Library programs have been suspended until further notice; March break programs have been cancelled. HPL is currently closed temporarily for roof and wastewater repairs. All programs at the Lake of Bays Libraries in Dwight and Baysville have been cancelled until further notice and both branches are closed.
Long-term care homes: All non-essential visits to long-term care homes have been suspended by the chief medical officer of Ontario.
More Than Just Art: All classes are postponed until further notice. Facilitators are working on alternate methods of delivering classes.
MP Scott Aitchison: MP Aitchison is back in Parry Sound-Muskoka for five weeks after the Parliamentary session was suspended on Friday to prevent further spread of COVID-19. “The safety of all Canadians is of the upmost importance,” he said via a media release. “While the risk to Canadians according to the Public Health Agency of Canada is still low, it is critical that we follow all recommendations for hand washing, avoiding crowded spaces, and self-isolation for 14 days if unwell or returning from international travel.” Constituents can contact his Parry Sound or Huntsville offices for assistance with casework or to speak to him. The offices will continue to assist with all Federal issues virtually or over the phone. “There is still much to do, we are open for service but cannot accommodate walk-ins at this time.” As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve precautions will be assessed daily for the safety of constituents and staff.
Muskoka Aquatic Club: Programming is suspended for the timebeing. All Swim Ontario and Swim Canada competitions have been cancelled or postponed.
Muskoka Seniors: Effective March 19, the office is closed and all programs are suspended until further notice.
Provincial court: All Provincial Offences Act matters scheduled from Monday, March 16, 2020 through to and including Friday, April 3, 2020 will be adjourned and rescheduled to a later date. If you have a matter scheduled during this time, you do not need to attend court. Notices regarding new court dates will be sent to by mail to the address on file with the court. Further details here.
Resorts: Deerhurst Resort is closed effective March 16 until April 10, 2020. Hidden Valley Resort and Cedar Grove Lodge are closed until further notice.
Restaurants: On March 17, 2020, the Ontario Government declared a state of emergency which requires all bars and restaurants to close, except for takeout and delivery. Click here for a list of those offering these options.
Schools: All publicly funded schools in Ontario are closed from March 16 until April 5, 2020. Trillium Lakelands District School Board has information on how it is addressing COVID-19 here. On March 17, 2020, the Ontario Government declared a state of emergency which requires all private schools as defined in the Education Act to close as well.
Town of Huntsville:
- Town programs and events have been postponed or cancelled for the period from March 13, 2020 to April 5, 2020.
- Town Hall will be closed beginning at noon on March 17 until April 5, 2020. Town services will continue to be offered online through municipal email addresses or at huntsville.ca and over the phone where possible.
- Municipal facilities are closed until April 5, 2020 including all community halls, Canada Summit Centre, Active Living Centre, Algonquin Theatre box office, Huntsville Public Library, Club 55, and Muskoka Heritage Place.
- Madill Yard and fire halls will continue to operate with no access to the public.
- March council and committee meetings are cancelled except for a Special Council Meeting on Tuesday, March 17.
- The Town is posting COVID-19 updates at huntsville.ca/covid19.
Township of Lake of Bays: The Lake of Bays Community Centre in Baysville, the Dwight Community Centre, Baysville Arena, and Senior Centres will be closed to the public effective Monday, March 16 and all programs and services are cancelled until further notice. Public Works facilities and fire halls will be restricted access only. The municipal office is open during regular office hours.
TriMuskokan triathlon postponed until 2021. Organizers may host a virtual event on June 28.
- Huntsville Animal Hospital has adjusted its hours (call ahead to see if they are open) and will be closed on Saturdays until further notice. Doors are locked. Non-essential services are being limited or delayed. Allow 1-2 weeks notice for food and medications as our supply chains have been interrupted by mass-purchasing.
- Muskoka Animal Hospital is operating “closed door” for urgent or sick pet cases only. Pet owners are asked to stay in their vehicle and call 705.789.7979 on arrival. They will take a history from outside your car, and bring your pet into the clinic for an examination with the veterinarian. They will then return to your vehicle with your pet to discuss the recommended treatment plan. Hours: Monday-Friday from 8-5, and on-call for clients outside of business hours. Allow 3-5 business days for medication or food orders. Payment by credit or debit only; no cash.
Don’t miss out on Doppler!
Sign up here to receive our email digest with links to our most recent stories.
Local news in your inbox three times per week!