City of Barrie has contingency plans to ensure essential services can be delivered

City is receiving daily reports on staff absences

As the COVID-19 Omicron variant continues its march across the province, hospitals, municipalities, emergency services, among others, are gearing up for potential staffing shortages due to illness or employees who have household members with the virus.

In an email statement to Barrie 360, Chief Administrative Officer Michael Prowse said the City of Barrie has contingency plans in place to ensure essential services can be delivered.

“The City’s Emergency Operations Team is receiving daily reporting on staff absences and meet regularly to monitor the situation. Fortunately, the City does not need to reduce non-essential services at this time,” Prowse said in his statement.

” Where possible we have moved to remote work and our staff continue to follow all public health guidance and screening procedures.”

At a news conference on Tuesday, Toronto Mayor John Tory said the city is planning for a “worst-case scenario” in which 50 to 60 per cent of its frontline staff are sick or isolating as a result of COVID-19.

Collingwood General and Marine Hospital (CGMH) announced on Tuesday that in a bid to preserve staff, as of Wednesday, CGMH was postponing all non-urgent surgeries and slowing down non-urgent outpatient procedures.

“We understand this is very frustrating for the community, as all surgeries are important, and some patients have now had a surgery rescheduled two or three times,” said CGMH President and CEO Norah Holder.

Staff shortages have impacted service at GO Transit, especially since the start of the holidays, with some train trips on the Barrie line being cancelled.