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COVID-19 roundup: two new local cases reported Wednesday

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A pair of new COVID-19 cases were reported in Grey Bruce Wednesday, according to the Grey Bruce Health Unit’s daily situation report.

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There have been five new cases in the past three days and 18 so far in June.

The region’s total case count now stands at 111 with 10 active reported cases. Ninety-six cases have recovered, and five cases have been referred to other public health units.

The two cases in local hospitals were removed from the data Wednesday, and no local deaths have been attributed to COVID-19.

One long-term care facility, Elgin Abbey in Chesley, is currently under a declared COVID-19 outbreak. Only one person in the facility has tested positive for the disease, according to the health unit.

There have been 28 COVID-19 cases reported in local healthcare workers.

COVID-19 numbers throughout the province were back under 200 Wednesday as public health units across Ontario tallied 163 new lab-test confirmed cases of the disease.

Over 2,600 people in Ontario have died as a result of COVID-19 with 12 deaths in the last 24 hour period.

Currently, there are 278 COVID-19 patients in the hospital, 48 of which are breathing with the assistance of a ventilator.

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Patio season is hitting downtown Meaford as a limited number of parking spots on Sykes Street will be converted into restaurant patio space.

The affected area will be between Collingwood and Nelson streets on the main drag through town, a block south from the harbour and Georgian Bay waterfront.

“Our restaurants have been working hard to make it through the last few months with takeout and curbside pickup,” said Meaford’s manager of strategic initiatives, Janet Sperling, in a news release. “With these patios, they can get back to serving tables safely as we work towards economic recovery.”

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Concrete barriers are being installed between the road and the patios later this week. Sidewalks will be kept clear for pedestrian traffic. Restaurants are responsible for setting up their patios within the blocked-off area by installing decking, tables and seating. The barriers will be in place until October, according to a town press release.

On-street parking in Meaford’s downtown core will continue to be free. Additional nearby parking is available at the Market Square parking lot and on local side streets as marked.

“Our staff have been working in close partnership with the business community and the Economic Recovery Task Force that includes representation from the Chamber of Commerce and BIA, throughout the pandemic,” said Meaford’s CAO and director of development services, Rob Armstrong. “Implementing the patio project, originally approved in 2015, is one way we can support our local economy and the needs of our businesses. In addition, we have also been working with restaurants in establishing patios on their own property.”

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Add Owen Sound’s SweetWater Music Festival to the list of local events cancelled or postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The festival board announced the postponement of the 17th annual music festival until September 2021 in a press release Tuesday.

They also announced plans to replace the festival this year with a “multifaceted, multi-platform music experience” from late summer to late fall called SweetWater Surreal.

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The programming will include three feature concerts as well as small-scale and live concerts to be held in outdoor locations throughout Owen Sound, Meaford and elsewhere.

Online and virtual programming will also be a part of the Sweetwater Surreal music mix including live-streamed concerts and interactive opportunities with SweetWater musicians.

“After what all of us have experienced since March, we need music more than ever,“
said SweetWater artistic director Edwin Huizinga. “I strongly feel we need to provide alternative ways for everyone in our community to connect to music. Some of this is going to be new for both SweetWater and my fellow musicians but it’s something we have to do.”

SweetWater recently launched Front Row, which will be a key feature of SweetWater Surreal. This online feature provides opportunities to hear about a performer’s life and career as well as their music. The first segment focused on violinist Jaron Freeman-Fox.

The SweetWater Surreal plan is designed to be easily adjusted no matter how things evolve on the COVID-19 front over the coming weeks and months, according to the Sweetwater press release.

Additional details about SweetWater Surreal, including other featured performers to be involved along with venues, formats, and dates will be announced in the first half of July.

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