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Niagara Moves to Red-Control Zone on Monday, March 1st

The Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, is moving nine public health regions to new levels in the Keeping Ontario Safe and Open Framework (the "Framework").

Based on the latest data, Niagara Region Public Health Region will move from the current level in the Framework to Red-Control levels effective Monday, March 1, 2021 at 12:01 a.m.

https://news.ontario.ca/en/release/60489/ontario-activates-emergency-brake-in-thunder-bay-district-health-unit-and-simcoe-muskoka-district-health

Business must adhere to Ontario’s Health and Safety Measures for the Red-Control Zone: Red-Control Zone Public Health and Workplace Safety Measures

The Chief Medical Officer of Health will continue to consult with public health and other experts, review data, and provide advice to the government on the appropriate and effective measures that are needed to protect the health of Ontarians.

  • To help stop the spread of COVID-19 and safeguard health system capacity, everyone is strongly urged to continue staying at home and limit trips outside their household and between other regions for essential reasons only, not to gather with individuals outside of their household, and to wear a face covering when within two metres distance of another individual who is not part of their household (both indoor and outdoor) or when required, with limited exceptions.

  • Recognizing the risk posed by new variants to the province's pandemic response, Ontario has introduced an "emergency brake" to allow the Chief Medical Officer of Health, in consultation with the local medical officer of health, to immediately advise moving a region into Grey-Lockdown to interrupt transmission.

  • Local medical officers of health continue to have the ability to issue Section 22 orders under the Health Protection and Promotion Act, and municipalities may enact by-laws, to target specific transmission risks in the community.

  • Ontario has implemented a six-point plan to prevent and stop the spread of COVID-19 variants.

What this means for you

As a result of moving into the Red-Control level, the following measures will come into effect March 1. Your business may already have these measures in place:

Retail

Please note the new enhanced measures for Level Red-Control as of February 2021:

  • Capacity limits of:

    • 75 percent for supermarkets and other stores that primarily sell groceries, convenience stores, pharmacies

    • 50 per cent for all other retail, including discount and big box retailers, liquor stores, hardware stores and garden centres

  • Stores must post capacity limit publicly

  • Stores must have passive screening for patrons (for example, posting signs outside the store front about not entering if you have COVID-19covid 19 symptoms)

    • This does not apply to indoor malls, which are required to actively screen their customers before they enter the mall. Malls can use the patron screening tool to help meet this requirement.

  • Stores within the malls subject to appropriate retail measures

  • Fitting rooms must be limited to non-adjacent stalls

  • Line-ups and patrons congregating outside venues managed by venue; 2 metres distance required inside and outside; face covering also required while in line

  • Limit volume of music to be low enough that a normal conversation is possible

  • For malls:

    • Maximum number of patrons permitted to be seated indoors in mall food court is 10

    • A safety plan is required to be prepared and made available upon request

Restaurant, Bars and Food and Drink Establishments

  • Capacity limits, where physical distancing can be maintained:

    • 10 patrons seated indoors

  • Outdoor dining, take out, drive through, and delivery permitted, including alcohol

  • No buffet style service

  • Line-ups and patrons congregating outside venues managed by venue; 2 metres distance and face covering required

  • Screening of patrons is required, in accordance with instructions issued by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health

  • Require patrons to be seated; 2 metres minimum or impermeable barrier required between tables

  • Limit of 4 people may be seated together

  • Require contact information for all seated patrons

  • Face coverings required except when eating or drinking only

  • Personal protective equipment, including eye protection required when is a worker must come within 2 metres of another person who is not wearing a face covering

  • Establishments must be closed from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

  • Liquor sold or served only between 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

  • No consumption of liquor permitted between 10 p.m. to 9 a.m.

  • Dancing, singing and the live performance of music is prohibited

  • Limit volume of music to be low enough that a normal conversation is possible

  • Night clubs and strip clubs only permitted to operate as restaurant or bar

  • A safety plan is required to be prepared and made available upon request

Personal care services

  • Oxygen bars, steam rooms, saunas, bath houses and other adult venues, closed

  • Sensory deprivation pods closed (some exceptions)

  • Services requiring removal of face coverings prohibited

  • Require contact information from all patrons

  • Screening of patrons is required, in accordance with instructions issued by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health

  • A safety plan is required to be prepared and made available upon request

Organized public events, social gatherings and wedding, funeral and religious services, rites and ceremonies

  • Limits for all organized public events and social gatherings, where physical distancing can be maintained:

    • 5 people indoors

    • 25 people outdoors

  • Limits for religious services rites or ceremonies, including wedding services and funeral services, where physical distancing can be maintained (applies in any venue other than a private dwelling):

    • 30 per cent capacity of the room indoors

    • 100 people outdoors

Sports and recreational fitness facilities

  • Maintain 2 metres physical distancing at all times

  • Increase spacing between patrons to 3 metres in areas where there are weights or exercise equipment and in exercise and fitness classes

  • Capacity limits, where physical distancing can be maintained

    • 10 people in indoor areas with weights and exercise machines

    • 10 people in all indoor classes or

    • 25 people in outdoor classes

    • No spectators permitted, however each person under 18 may be accompanied by one parent or guardian

  • Team sports must not be practiced or played except for training (no games or scrimmage)

  • Activities that are likely to result in individuals coming within 2 metres of each other are not permitted; no contact permitted for team or individual sports

  • Exemptions for high performance athletes and parasport

  • Patrons may only be in the facility for 90 minutes except if engaging in a sport

  • Limit volume of music to be low enough that a normal conversation is possible; measures to prevent shouting by both instructors and members of the public

  • Face coverings required except when exercising

  • Require contact information for all members of the public that enter the facility

  • Require reservation for entry; one reservation for teams

  • Screening of patrons is required, in accordance with instructions issued by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health

  • A safety plan is required to be prepared and made available upon request

Event and Meeting Spaces

  • Capacity limit for the venue, where physical distancing can be maintained:

    • 10 people indoors or

    • 25 people outdoors

  • Establishments must be closed from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

  • Liquor sold or served only between 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

  • No consumption of liquor permitted between 10 p.m. to 9 a.m.

  • Face coverings required except when eating or drinking only

  • Require contact information for all seated patrons

  • Limit of 4 people may be seated together

  • Limit volume of music to be low enough that a normal conversation is possible

  • Screening of patrons is required, in accordance with instructions issued by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health

  • A safety plan is required to be prepared and made available upon request

The provincial framework’s Red–Control zone also includes public health measures and restrictions for other business types, including cinemas, performing arts centres, casinos, bingo halls and hotels. Click here to review a summary of the measures in effect in Ontario as well as the regulations for more details on the requirements for each zone.

Niagara Region's Section 22 Orders for Shopping, Retail and Food Businesses

Niagara Region Public Health has put additional health measures in place in order to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community.

Shopping and Retail

All owners / operators of shopping malls and businesses that engage in retail sales to the public, including stores within a shopping mall in Niagara must:

  • Actively monitor compliance with the required capacity limits set in the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020, S.O. 2020, c.17 and applicable regulations for the shopping mall, business, place, facility, or premise under your control, and ensure that physical distancing of two metres is maintained by patrons, store staff and mall staff in all common areas, stores, washrooms, hallways, entrances, etc., at all times.

  • Actively manage all line-ups or groups of patrons congregating and ensure all patrons waiting in line-ups inside or outside the shopping mall or retail store under your control maintain physical distancing of at least two metres.

  • Actively monitor compliance and ensure that all patrons, store staff and mall staff, whether inside the mall or retail store under your control, or in the vicinity of a line-up outside the mall or retail store under your control, wear a mask or face covering in a manner that covers their mouth, nose and chin unless entitled to an exception from this requirement in the Reopening Ontario Act.

Conduct daily interactive screening of all employees for symptoms of COVID-19, using the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Screening Tool for Workplaces, or another tool with the same minimum set of questions, such as the COVID-19 Screening Tool developed by Niagara Region Public Health. Answers to daily screens must be collected and retained for at least one month.

  • Ensure the workplace is arranged to help employees keep two metres distance from each other and from patrons at all times. For example, spacing of stations and visual cues. For emphasis, employees on breaks should keep two metres distance from each other.

  • Provide sufficient alcohol-based hand rub (minimum alcohol concentration of 70 per cent) at every entrance and exit of the establishment, with prompting to use it upon entry and exit.

  • To encourage honest and forthright reporting of COVID-19 symptoms and / or contact amongst employees, ensure that all employees are aware of any benefits and / or pay to which they may be entitled to if they must isolate due to symptoms of COVID-19, being tested for COVID-19, or being a contact of COVID-19.

  • Comply with all other requirements that apply to your business, place, facility or establishment as set out under the Reopening Ontario Act and the applicable regulations.

  • Follow all further instructions from Niagara Region Public Health pertaining to COVID-19 that apply to your premise.

  • Ensure all stores within the shopping mall set a maximum capacity limit that's consistent with required capacity limits set in the Reopening Ontario Act, and its regulations. Monitor the capacity limit to ensure physical distancing of at least two metres is maintained by patrons, store staff and mall staff at all times.

For greater certainty, nothing in this order is intended to require persons who are members of the same household to maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from each other while in a place of business or facility

Food and Drink Premises

All owners / operators of food premises, including bars, restaurants, banquet halls, wineries or breweries, including ones where only beverages are served within Niagara must:

  • Record the following information from every patron who is 16 years of age or older that enters an indoor or outdoor dining area in the establishment, other than patrons who briefly enter the area to place, pick up, or pay for a takeout order:

    • Name

    • One form of contact information (phone number, email address, physical address)

    • Time of arrival and departure

    • Table number or location

    • Attestation that the patron doesn't suffer from any COVID-19 symptoms, excluding those from a chronic non-contagious existing diagnosis)

    • Attestation that the patron is joining a table with only household members and / or a maximum of two persons who are essential to maintaining physical and mental health. For example, caregivers or social supports to someone who lives alone

  • Don't serve patrons for indoor or outdoor dining on the premises if they don't provide information for the above records.

  • Retain the above records for a period of at least one month, and ensure the records are maintained and stored in a secure manner to preserve privacy of patrons, and appropriately and securely destroyed after the one month retention of those records has elapsed.

  • Disclose the records to a medical officer of health or an inspector under the Health Protection and Promotion Act on request, or as otherwise required by law.

  • Conduct daily interactive screening of all employees for symptoms of COVID-19, using the Ministry of Health's COVID-19 Screening Tool for Workplaces, or another tool with the same minimum set of questions, such as the COVID-19 Screening Tool developed by Niagara Region Public Health. Answers to daily screens should be collected and retained for at least one month.

  • Ensure the workplace is arranged to help employees keep two metres distance from each other and from patrons at all times. For example, spacing of stations and visual cues. For emphasis, employees on breaks should keep two metres distance from each other.

  • Ensure that patrons are seated at all times, except while:

    • Entering the area and moving to their table

    • Placing or picking up an order

    • Paying for an order

    • Exiting the area

    • Going to or returning from a washroom

    • Lining up to do anything stated above

    • Necessary for the purposes of health and safety

  • Ensure that patrons seated at different tables are separated by a distance of at least two metres, or by plexiglass or some other impermeable barrier.

  • Provide sufficient alcohol-based hand rub (minimum alcohol concentration of 70 per cent) at every table, and at the entrance and exit of the establishment, with prompting to use it upon entry and exit.

  • To encourage honest and forthright reporting of COVID-19 symptoms and / or contact amongst employees, ensure that all employees are aware of any benefits and / or pay to which they may be entitled to if they must isolate due to symptoms of COVID-19, being tested for COVID-19, or being a contact of COVID-19.

Failure to comply with these orders is an offence for which you may be liable, on conviction, to a fine of not more than $5,000 for every day or part of each day on which the offence occurs or continues.

LEARN MORE

Applications Now Open for Summer Company Student Program

The Niagara Falls Small Business Enterprise Centre has opened applications for the Ontario Summer Company program. Students who are between the ages of 15 and 29 and are returning to school in the fall can qualify for a $3000 grant to run a summer business of their choice, plus benefit from advice and mentorship from local business leaders. If you’re a student interested in entrepreneurship, don’t miss this chance to bring your idea to life and be your own boss!

Interested in applying to Summer Company? Learn more at www.ontario.ca/summercompany

With COVID-19 limiting indoor activities this season, now is a better time than ever to brave the elements and get outside for some exercise! Since our temperatures are variable, the City has identified winter activities and opportunities to enjoy the outdoors with, and without, snow.

Visit niagarafalls.ca/living/winter and use our interactive graphic illustration to find a winter wonderland near you!

Purileaf’s Niagara Falls Facility Expansion

Purileaf, a Canadian Federally licensed cannabis & hemp processing, R&D, and analytical testing company in Niagara Falls, ON

On June 4, 2020, Purileaf reached a key milestone in its business strategy by obtaining a Health Canada License to sell all categories of final cannabis products including dried flower, cannabis extracts, edibles and topicals to the Canadian adult-use market. Sales of products within select categories commenced in the fall of 2020. Purileaf’s product formats will be manufactured at its existing facility in Niagara Falls, Ontario. To date, Purileaf has submitted 4 SKUs for approval, including edibles and extracts. Requests for approval of additional SKUs will be submitted in the upcoming months.

In addition to supporting the launch of Purileaf’s own products, the sales license will enable Purileaf to expand its co-manufacturing services to established, consumer-focused brands that do not hold licenses under the Cannabis Regulations.

Purileaf recently expanded its processing capabilities to include extraction using cold ethanol. Purileaf’s new extraction line is capable of processing up to 200 kilograms of input biomass per day, ideal for the quick and cost-effective conversion of hemp into CBD distillates and isolates. Bulk derivatives obtained from cold ethanol extraction will serve as input ingredients for the manufacture and distribution of premium, CBD-based products domestically and internationally. Purileaf’s processing methodologies continue to be premised on an uncompromising commitment to final product quality and safety.

In anticipation of further increases in demand for cannabis derivatives and formulations in the adult-use Canadian market and abroad, Purileaf has broken ground on expansion of its existing facility in the summer of 2020. The new, 23,000 sq.ft. facility will feature R&D and product formulation areas, a full analytical testing lab, and GMP manufacturing lines. This expansion will allow Purileaf to scale the development and manufacture of advanced, cannabinoid-containing products and formulations. Purileaf currently employs 16 staff at their Niagara Falls location and expects to increase staffing levels once the expansion is complete.

https://www.purileaf.ca/

It is time for digital property management.

It all started when Andrews Moses rented his first investment property to a young family he knew nothing about, just based on the good feeling he got when he met them. As any seasoned landlord could have guessed by that single line, things went south pretty quickly.

Andrews had a background working in IT and even ran a firm that helped companies with digital transformation. So he naturally thought he could overcome his challenges as a landlord with software. After a lot of research, Andrews understood that he may need to use multiple software services together to run his small business. The cost ran high and some of the bigger software companies which had a more robust feature set did not cater to a landlord like him. “Get back to us when you have at least a 500 properties”, is what he was told.

A member of Niagara Angel Network and investor in tech startups, Andrews decided to pull himself by the bootstraps and build a property management software himself. “I put a lot of thought into what kind of software I wanted to build. It should be so easy to use, that even an old-school person who didn’t know much about technology should be able to use it. Next, it should be affordable, so a small landlord does not feel like it is a burden. More importantly, it should enhance the rental experience”, he says.

Launched just at the beginning of 2020, Tenantcube worked through the pandemic with a small team in Niagara Falls. First came the rental application that could provide landlords with all the information they needed to make a decision on an applicant. The best part was that the application is reusable automatically updated, and the tenant can use it to apply to any number of properties as they wanted.

Then, in the next phase, Tenantcube launched a complete onboarding platform.

Landlords can:

- Create a property listing

- Invite applicants

- Sort, filter and screen applications

- Sign e-lease and

- Receive online payments

Open to a small number of Beta users, Tenantcube has already received some great reviews-

“Tenantcube has made user experience very enjoyable and it’s going to be a game changer.”

Jordan Shaw, Full Circle Property Groups

I am excited to start digital transformation in managing my own properties with Tenantcube. I like their futuristic approach to property management focusing on rental experience.

Jasmeet Ghai, Mortgage agent and Property Owner

“Rental experience” is a relatively new term in the property management industry. It places focus on the whole rental process being relationship-based, rather than transaction-based. Like any business, finding a great customer (tenant) is only the first step. Keeping them long term depends on ease of doing business, kind of service, and the overall experience. Technology can change the way the rental market works and it is high time for landlords to take a look back at their business model.

This shift to technology was inevitable, and Covid-19 all but accelerated the process. A number of younger, tech-savvy tenants are moving to the smaller cities, because they have the freedom of working from home. They are looking for bigger spaces or to cut costs. They are also used to getting everything done on their devices.

“I call them the Uber-Doordash generation. I have found them more comfortable doing business virtually than in-person”, says Andrews. “Property owners found themselves to be ill-equipped when the Landlord Tenant Board started hearing cases virtually. And landlords were pushed by necessity to start adapting to the new reality. And Tenantcube is ready to help property owners and managers of any size to take a step towards digital transformation.”

Chat with Andrews by writing to andrews@tenantcube.com or calling (647) 696 1051 to learn more about how you can change the way you manage your property.

Copyright (C) 2021 City of Niagara Falls. All rights reserved.

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