City of Mississauga COVID-19 Response Continues: Re-opening Plans, Public Engagement, Events Cancelled
Re-opening plans and procedures outlined, Public Engagement – projects identified, Permits & Events Cancelled to September 7, MiWay Safety During Pandemic
Wednesday Mississauga City Council approved a plan for a measured and phased re-opening of outdoor recreation amenities, cancelling events at City facilities to September 7, 2020 and plans and principles for community engagement during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We continue to work to protect our City while taking a slow and measured approach to re-opening our parks facilities. Wednesday, Council made the decision to first reopen individual activities in parks that carry a lower risk such as skateboard and leash-free dog parks. We will explore a broader re-opening based on case numbers and how well people follow the guidelines. We also made the tough decision yesterday to cancel major festivals and large events at City facilities and parks for the rest of the summer in an effort to prevent further spread. We remain committed to engaging the community on City building projects and will proceed with virtual engagement sessions on essential, priority projects. We once again thank residents and businesses for their patience and understanding as we navigate re-opening and recovery.

For details are on what is re-opening in the coming days, please see the FAQs below.
COVID-19 FAQs
Is the City opening outdoor amenities since the Province said they can open?
 
Council approved a phased approach and safety procedures for the reopening of City outdoor recreation amenities. Communication, physical distancing and signage are included in the plans and are being developed. Phases will be implemented in consultation with the Region of Peel Medical Officer of Health. Physical distancing is now a requirement in the park amenity openings as per the updated provincial orders .
 
The following outdoor recreation amenities have reopened with safety and operational plans in place to minimize risks associated with COVID-19 (City of Mississauga Phase 1):
  • Municipal Golf Courses
  • Public Marinas and boat launch at Lakefront Promenade
  • Community Gardens, in partnership with Ecosource
 
Phase 2 – Starting June 1st
  • Park benches and picnic shelters
  • Leash-free zones (2 Leash free zones will remain closed at this time- Union Park and Community Common dog spot)
  • BMX/Skate parks
  • Public tennis courts
  • Community tennis clubs
  • Seasonal washrooms and portable washrooms

Physical distancing measures must be maintained. Parking lots associated with these facilities will be opened as well.
 
Phase 3 - To be completed within 10 days of approval and guidance from Peel Region Medical Officer of Health
  • Multi-sport, basketball and bocce courts
  • Community sport fields

Physical distancing measures must be maintained.
 
Phase 4/TBD- These facilities continue to remain closed until further notice. 
  • Playgrounds and outdoor fitness equipment (currently closed under provincial order)
  • Public boat launch at Marina Park will open when high-water levels subside
 
Enforcement will continue to focus on education and ensuring residents are informed about ongoing closures and any re-openings. 

Can we have information on where the cases are being transmitted in the community?
 
The Region of Peel’s Medical Officer of Health confirmed that the Peel Region’s on-going increase in COVID-19 cases appear to be driven by workspace exposures and households clusters. Residents need to continue to take general precautions, including physical distancing and wearing masks, where physical distancing is not possible as in places like grocery stores.
 
  Is it true that we should all be tested for COVID-19?
 
The Government of Ontario has announced it is encouraging more people to get tested, including those who are asymptomatic. To date, the Province’s current testing has focused on vulnerable populations, those showing symptoms, and those who at higher risk of contracting COVID due to workplace or family exposure.
While we await details around the Provincial testing strategy,  Peel’s COVID-19 assessment centres  are here to help. At this time, only go to be tested if you:
             
  1. Have COVID-19 symptoms or
  2. Do not have symptoms (i.e., are asymptomatic), but:

  • Are concerned you may have been exposed to COVID-19 (e.g., are a close contact of, or may have been exposed to, a confirmed or suspected COVID-19 case)
  • Are at high risk of exposure through your employment/workplace, including essential workers (e.g., healthcare workers, grocery store and food processing plant employees)

You may experience longer wait times at testing centres. Assessment centres are busy and you may be asked to come back at a later date.
 
If you are concerned for your well-being please call  911  or proceed to your nearest emergency room.
 
Who do I call to complain to around compliance in the workplace?
 
The Government of Ontario has general information on  COVID-19 and workplace health and safety  Learn about employers’ responsibilities and how to protect workers at work. Workers can get information about  health and safety protections  at the workplace.
A worker can file a complaint with the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development’s  Health and Safety Contact Centre  by calling toll-free at  1 -877-202-0008 Learn more about filing a workplace health and safety complaint . 
 
Did I hear that health officials are testing for antibodies?
 
Health Canada recently authorized the first COVID-19 antibody test for use in Canada. This test is not yet available to the public.
 
Antibody tests measure antibodies in blood and show if there was a past exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19.
   
What should I know about using Tennis Courts in Mississauga?
 
The City of Mississauga is working to arrange for the opening of public tennis courts which is planned for June 1.
 
All public tennis courts will be open, but users will be expected to follow safety guidelines including:
·          Maintaining a physical distance of 2 metres (6 feet) This is enforceable under the
provincial order.
·          Using courts for singles play only; doubles play is permitted only for members of the
same household
·          Not sharing any items such as tennis balls, racquets or water bottles
·          Avoiding touching surfaces such as fences, benches and nets
·          Returning tennis balls of other players using your racquet or feet
·          Washing or sanitizing your hands before and after play
·          Staying home if you are sick
 
Community Tennis Club courts will open when each club is able to meet the required safety guidelines for play. General guidelines for public tennis courts will also apply.
 
The parking lots for these tennis courts will also be open.
 
What should I know about using Leash-free parks?
 
Mississauga Leash-free zones will be opened on June 1 – these include:
·          Etobicoke Valley
·          Garnetwood
·          Jack Darling
·          Lakeside
·          Parkway Belt
·          Quenippenon (Q-Park)
·          Totoredaca
 
Users will be expected to follow safety guidelines including:
·          Safely opening and closing the gates upon entering and exiting the area
·          Maintaining a physical distance of 2 metres (6 feet). This is enforceable under the
provincial order.
·          Not sharing any items such waste bags
·          Avoiding touching surfaces such as fences, benches and railings
·          Washing or sanitizing your hands before and after entering the area
·          Staying home if you are sick
 
  Are City Parks Open? What about Parking Lots for Parks?
 
Select park and community parking lots will re-open on Friday May 29 th . Parking lots associated with Phase 2 amenities will re-open as those facilities are made available to the public.
   
What is happening with major events in the City?

Council approved the  cancellation of permits for major festivals, large events  and other gatherings in City facilities until September 7, 2020. Impacted permit holders will be notified by City staff.

As provincial orders are revised, City staff will work with guidance from Peel Public Health on establishing parameters for the safe re-opening of facilities and permitting of small group activities.

How do we ensure parks are not overwhelmed with crowds?
 
The City is encouraging personal responsibility reminding residents through social media and other channels that their actions matter and that they need to do the right thing. Education and enforcement will continue in parks. Bike patrols in parks will begin in the coming weeks.
 
A Park Ambassador Program will begin at our major parks across the City. Staff will be clearly identified and will be engaging with residents to educate them on physical distancing requirements and closures within our parks.
Mississauga Joins Digital Main Street’s ShopHERE Powered by Google Program to Help Small Businesses Get Online for Free
To help support our local small businesses, Mississauga is proud to announce it will be joining the ShopHERE , powered by Google program. The program will provide independent businesses and artists with resources to develop and launch an online store at no-cost, with the support of local post-secondary students.
The vast majority of businesses in our city are small businesses and their survival will be key in our efforts to reignite the economy. COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of e-commerce and having a digital presence, especially for our local independent businesses. This program comes at a critical time in our efforts to help our small business community recover from this crisis. We encourage people to buy local and this program will provide consumers with even more options to do so. We thank Digital Main Street, Google Shopify, Mastercard, Microsoft, and Magnet for providing this program and encourage all eligible businesses to apply.

Launched originally on May 12, 2020 for the Toronto business community, Digital Main Street is now working with Google to expand ShopHERE powered by Google across Canada with a goal of building 50,000 online stores by the end of 2020.

The City of Mississauga will leverage the infrastructure created by the City of Toronto with Digital Main Street and will cover a portion of the student costs to get the program running. As part of the program, local students will be trained to build and launch online stores.

Local businesses and artists can apply for the program at digitalmainstreet.ca/shophere to get their online store built at no-cost.

The program will provide independent businesses and artists with:
  • Their choice of an online store customized with their information, branding, logo etc.
  • Hands-on assistance setting up and launching their online store
  • Training to support their online store, including topics such as digital marketing, shipping and inventory management
  • Access to free tools to help support the launch of their online stores

The ShopHERE powered by Google program is open to businesses and artists providing they are a registered business, have a commercial or home-based location, have fewer than 10 employees or fewer than 25 employees if a restaurant or bar and they are not a corporate chain or franchise.

We have heard first hand through round table discussions with local businesses about the impacts COVID-19 has had on our small business community. We remain committed to offering support and solutions to address the hardships of our local businesses. In addition to joining ShopHERE powered by Google program, our Economic Development Office has assembled a dedicated team of business advisors that provide one-on-one support and guidance to entrepreneurs and business owners and help identify digital solutions that best meet their needs.”

Information about provincial and federal supports for businesses can be found at  thefutureisunlimited.ca/covid-19 .

To find out more about Digital Main Street’s ShopHERE powered by Google program, visit: digitalmainstreet.ca/shophere .
HELPFUL RESOURCES
The City is working with Peel Public Health and recommend you visit the     Region of Peel Health     site for the most up-to-date details.
 
Peel Public Health has advised that if you develop symptoms of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), please self-isolate and contact Peel Public Health at 905-799-7700 and if you require    immediate medical attention   , please call 911 and advise the operator of your symptoms    but please do not call 911 unless it is an emergency.
 
Below are links you may find useful:


Important Phone Numbers

  • Mississauga 3-1-1 or 905-615-4311 (outside City Limits) available 7am - 7pm
  • Peel Public Health  905-799-7700 Monday - Friday 8:30am - 4:30pm
  • Peel Regional Police Non Emergency Line: 905-453-3311
  • Telehealth Ontario 1-866-797-0000 Toll-free TTY:1-866-797-0007

The City of Mississauga  and  Region of Peel      websites will be updating their information on a regular basis and will be the best place for the most recent updates for all residents.
 
As always, my office is available to assist residents on municipal or regional matters by e-mail at  karen.ras@mississauga.ca