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Communication with county, neighbours is key in COVID-19 pandemic, says TBM lead staffer

The Town of the Blue Mountains (TBM) CAO says increased communication with its county counterparts has been vital as the region copes with reducing resident exposure to COVID-19.

The Town of the Blue Mountains (TBM) CAO says increased communication with its county counterparts has been vital as the region copes with reducing resident exposure to COVID-19.

“We are actively working with a number of different tiers,” says Shawn Everitt, CAO for the TBM. “In a few minutes, I will be taking a call with all of the other CAOs in Grey County to get an update of what everyone’s status is. We will also be relying heavily on Grey County, the province and the federal government and in particular, taking guidance from the health unit.”

Exposure to COVID-19 became a reality for the local community last week after a member of the Beaver Valley Ski Club tested positive for the virus. Yesterday, Grey Bruce Health Unit confirmed there were two individuals in the area who tested positive for the virus and likely contracted it as a result of a case on a cruise ship.

Everitt says strong communication between regional partners has allowed the TBM to break through some of the noise and focus.

“Having the ability to establish really strong communication between the county’s CAOs and the health unit and different agencies has really given me a good sense of confidence. That communication works well to get, what I would call, legitimate and fair information,” Everitt says.

Earlier today, TBM town council carried a motion that will see all of the town’s facilities close their doors - including town hall, the library and area community halls.

“We are anticipating that a lot of things are going to be coming forward over the next week or so. For us, the closure of town hall to the public still allows us to maintain a typical level of operations internally,” Everitt says. “All of our employees are still planning on coming to work. From there we will work with our internal staff to determine what our needs are.”

Everitt adds that, at this point, very few staff are being affected by the facility closures.

“The only closure that will have an impact on staff is the Beaver Valley Community Centre. And, I can tell you that they will be deployed to areas where we feel can benefit from the additional help,” Everitt says. “Typically we would have three more weeks of ice. But, at this point, we have made that determination to end the ice season.”

Everitt notes town staff are diligently working to keep the TBM’s dedicated COVID-19 webpage up-to-date with vital community information. He says town staff are also looking at how they can optimize the website to establish more options for residents to access town services online.

Jennifer Golletz, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, CollingwoodToday.ca