City of Barrie, Ont., reports more than 100 complaints related to coronavirus last week

The City of Barrie, Ont., reported more than 100 coronavirus-related complaints last week, between April 27 and May 3.

Two fines were handed out under COVID-19 emergency orders for entering a park that had no admittance, according to city spokesperson Scott LaMantia.

READ MORE: Some seasonal businesses reopen in Ontario as COVID-19 spread slows

“The two people were found on routine patrol and were either cautioned previously or refused to leave the area,” LaMantia said in an email.

The City of Barrie reported 66 complaints regarding gathering, 16 complaints pertaining to businesses, 17 complaints concerning equipment use at parks and 12 complaints regarding people not complying with the required two-metre distancing.

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Ontario government has banned gatherings of more than five people and has ordered all businesses deemed non-essential to close.

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The City of Barrie has also implemented a bylaw that prohibits people from maintaining less than a two-metre distance from others on public property, while another local bylaw prohibits people from using equipment at city parks.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Ontario releases gradual reopening plan, though no dates provided

Between April 27 and May 3, 633 routine patrols were completed by Barrie bylaw officers at city parks and facilities. Most of the time, no violations were found, but there were 154 patrols that found various violations, including dogs being off leash and kids playing on park equipment.

Sometimes, the Barrie Police Service responds to calls regarding non-compliance with COVID-19 emergency orders, according to Peter Leon, a corporate communications co-ordinator with the police service.

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“Usually on weekends, we do provide the primary response for it,” Leon told Global News.

“In most cases, the approach has been, since the outset of COVID, to deal with these matters where and when we can through education and awareness.”

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Woman charged after hosting birthday party in Barrie, Ont.

In most cases, people are happy to leave where they are and comply with emergency orders once they’ve been informed that they’ve made an error, according to Leon.

“We haven’t had too many difficulties or challenges,” he said.

Several weeks ago, Barrie police charged a 45-year-old woman for hosting a birthday party where 11 people were present — six household members and five guests.

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On Monday, Ontario allowed a small number of businesses to reopen as the spread of COVID-19 slows. Last week, the province announced a plan to reopen the economy in three stages, although no firm dates were provided.

“We’ve gone this far; we have to see it through to the end,” Leon said.

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