Renfrew County: Allow canopies on extended patios

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This petition is to change the current Renfrew County and District Health Unit guidelines regarding canopies and coverings on extended restaurant patios during the phased in reopening of Renfrew County businesses.

Unenclosed canopies allow unrestricted air flow and do not pose additional COVID-19 transmission risks to patrons. Many extended patios in our area are situated on asphalt parking lots which draw a lot of sun and expose patrons to harmful UV rays as they dine. In addition, windy conditions do not make the use of umbrellas a good solution as they can be blown over and away posing hazards to patrons, staff and traffic. The use of umbrellas causes patrons to move closer together to get shade and cause speaking within groups to be more concentrated. All patrons and staff, with a focus on seniors and small children, need shaded areas to reduce sun exposure.

Unenclosed canopies will also allow businesses to continue to operate in undesirable weather at a time when their dine in service has been restricted, as well as the companies that provide and set up these types of coverings. This is a time to support our small businesses as their ability to provide services in their usual manner have been greatly reduced.