As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve around the world and in our region, the health and well-being of Severn residents remains our top priority. Township of Severn continues to work closely with
Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit and our community partners to monitor, adapt and respond to COVID-19. We're all in this together—stay home if you're feeling ill, call and check in on neighbours, and practise physical distancing to help stop the spread.
In response to measures set forth by public health officials, Township of Severn is making changes to services and programming. These changes will remain in effect until further notice. No matter what happens, the Township will continue to provide essential services such as fire, water, and wastewater. Read our latest media release for details.
Impact on Township Services
Fire Ban lifted on May 16
Effective May 16, Township of Severn lifted its Fire Ban following Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry's recent announcement. Only campfires are permitted. Visit our Fire and Emergency Services page for more information and safety tips.
We adapted our building services to support construction in our community. The new measures will help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health and safety of our community. Read our latest notice for details.
The Administration Office at 1024 Hurlwood Lane is closed to the public. You can still contact us by phone or email and use the drop box (available 24/7). Fire Stations and Public Works Operations Yards are also closed to the public. All emergency and essential municipal services will continue.
Municipally-owned recreation and culture facilities are closed, including:
- Coldwater and District Community Centre
- Lake St. George Community Centre
- Severn Township Public Library
- Matchedash Community Heritage Centre
- Washago Community Centre
Boat Launches and Docks
Following Ontario's announcement, public boat launches and docks in Severn reopened on May 16.
To help reduce the spread of COVID-19, all public playgrounds in Severn are closed. Since the virus can remain active on many surfaces, staff cannot effectively clean and disinfect the multiple play structures in our community. Public health officials are also urging people to practise physical distancing. Signage has been posted at all parks to indicate playgrounds are closed.
We ask that parents, caregivers and children follow this direction until the closure is lifted to help ensure the health and safety of all residents. If you're looking for other public outdoor spaces to enjoy, there are excellent walking trails at Ian Crighton Memorial Park and Washago Centennial Park. Please remember to be mindful of others in public spaces, and leave at least two metres of distance between you and others.
Programs and Activities
All recreation and library programs and activities are cancelled.
The Province of Ontario recently passed legislation to allow Councils to hold virtual meetings. Please contact the Clerk at email@example.com to learn how to participate and for more information.
In response to COVID-19, the Annual Decoration Day Service scheduled for June 27 at the Coldwater Cemetery is cancelled.
Help limit the spread
Practise physical distancing
Physical distancing is proven to be one of the most effective ways to reduce the spread of illness during an outbreak. This means making changes in your everyday routines in order to minimize close contact with others, including:
- Avoiding crowded places and non-essential gatherings
- Avoiding common greetings, such as handshakes
- Limiting contact with people at higher risk (e.g. older adults and people in poor health)
- Keeping a distance of at least two arms length (approximately two metres) from others, as much as possible
Follow health and safety guidance
There are everyday actions that can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses including COVID-19:
If you are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19, use the Province of Ontario's self-assessment tool to determine whether you need to seek further care. If symptoms worsen, contact your primary care provider or Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000. Please do not visit an assessment centre unless you have been referred by a health care professional. Do not call 911 unless it is an emergency.
The best way to prepare is to inform yourself with accurate, credible sources of information. Visit the resources below for information on how to keep yourself and your family safe.
Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit
Ontario Ministry of Health
Public Health Ontario
- Information Sheets on: How to Self-Monitor, Self-Isolation, and Guide for Caregivers, Household Members, and Close Contacts
Other Available Resources
Consider your mental health
During the COVID-19 outbreak, there are mental health and addictions services that you can access online or by phone. These services support children, youth and adults who:
- Experience anxiety, stress and other mental health challenges
- Can’t access their regular in-person counselling supports
- ConnexOntario: Adults and frontline workers who are dealing with the realities of COVID-19 can call ConnexOntario at 1-866-531-2600 for mental health, addictions and problem gambling support.
- BounceBack: A free, evidence-based cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) program that provides guided mental health self-help supports for adults and youth 15+ using workbooks, online videos and phone coaching. Call 1-866-345-0224.
- Kids Help Phone: Children and youth 18 and under who need to talk to someone about their mental health can call Kids Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868, for 24/7 virtual, phone and text support.
- Good2Talk: A phone and texting service that provides confidential support to post-secondary students. Call 1-866-925-5454.
In response to COVID-19, Township of Severn is waiving late fees and interest for property taxes, water, and wastewater from March 23 to June 30. If you’re already signed up for pre-authorized payments (PAP), you can request to suspend your payments for three months. We’re also offering payment plans to allow you to gradually repay your tax and utility bills after the grace period.
To suspend your PAP and/or make payment arrangements, send us a written request with your contact information and property address to:
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email)
- 1024 Hurlwood Lane, Severn (drop box)
- PO Box 159, Orillia ON L3V 6J3 (mailing address)
- 705-327-5818 (fax)
To allow enough time for residents and businesses to make changes to their PAP plan, we did not process all PAP scheduled for March 31. If you do not contact us to make payment arrangements, the 10-month payment plan will continue on April 30 and be extended to November 30 to make up for the March 31 payment.
For more information, contact us at 705-325-2315 or email@example.com.
The County of Simcoe Economic Development Office (EDO) and Orillia CDC are working with partners to continuously update COVID-19 business resources. Learn what resources are available to support your business on their websites.
The Province has launched a toll-free line at 1-888-444-3659 to provide support to businesses who have questions about the recent emergency order to close at-risk workplaces following recommendations by Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health.
211: Connecting you to local services
211 Ontario can help you find local grocery stores and pharmacies that are open and offering delivery service. If you need mental health support, food services, financial services or more, call 211 or visit 211oncovid19.ca. It’s free, confidential and available 24/7.
Response from other levels of government
The COVID-19 situation is rapidly evolving. All levels of government in Canada are working together to ensure the health and safety of communities. Visit the following for the latest developments and news:
The Ontario government has issued emergency orders to address the COVID-19 outbreak, including:
- Closure of non essential workplaces
- Prohibiting events and gatherings of more than five people
- Stopping price gouging on necessary goods such as disinfectant products
Failing to comply with any of these emergency orders is an offence under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA).
To report gatherings of more than five people or operation of a non-essential business, please call Ontario Provincial Police at 1-888-310-1122 or 911 in an emergency.
Consumers can report price gouging on necessary goods by filing a complaint at 1-800-889-9768 or by filing a report online.
For burning complaints, call the Fire Department Administration Line at 705-325-5201.