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COVID-19: Barrie mayor issues order to close, fence off Meridian Place to prevent gatherings

"In the interests of public health and safety, I have signed an emergency order closing Meridian Place," Lehman said in a statement. The Canadian Press Images/Cogeco Data Services

Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman issued an emergency order Thursday morning to immediately close and fence off Meridian Place to prevent gatherings amid a third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over the last number of weekends, demonstrations protesting Ontario’s lockdown have taken place at Meridian Place, some of which have garnered hundreds of attendees.

Read more: City of Barrie explores ‘possible court action’ to stop COVID-19 lockdown protests

“In the interests of public health and safety, I have signed an emergency order closing Meridian Place,” Lehman said in a statement.

“The gatherings that put people’s lives at risk need to stop. I want to thank residents of Barrie who have stayed home to keep each other safe at this critical point in the pandemic.”

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Read more: Workplace COVID-19 enforcement blitz to take place in Simcoe Muskoka this weekend

Lehman said the city will continue to pursue additional steps to stop gatherings and to hold those responsible accountable.

The city is urging all residents to comply with Ontario’s stay-at-home order provincial regulations, Barrie’s COVID-19 emergency measures by-law and the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit’s guidelines.

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