Recreation and More in Waterloo Region under provincewide shutdown

By: Kw Now Local News
| Published 04/02/2021


Recreation in Waterloo Region under provincewide shutdown

'The Third Wave is here and being driven by variants of concern.'

Waterloo RegionWaterloo Region will enter the new shutdown as ordered by the Province of Ontario on April 3, 2021. As a result, recreation facilities and community centres in all the cities and townships will be closed, and most rentals and programs within these facilities will be cancelled beginning April 3, 2021 for at least four weeks, pending further direction from the province.

The provincewide shutdown includes gathering limits of five people, and prohibits the use of facilities for outdoor sports game play or practice. Day camps are also required to close, which means that any recreational day camps previously scheduled for the April Break will not be allowed to operate.

These guidelines were part of the announcement by the province regarding the shutdown. The cities and townships of Waterloo Region appreciate everyone’s patience as we review the new provincewide shutdown regulations, and seek clarity to provide further details on sports bookings, April Break camps, and potential refunds. Updates will be provided on municipal websites or to affected parties once available.

Municipal parks, playgrounds and trails remain open for passive recreation, with a gathering limit of five. Only visit parks and trails with members of your immediate household, and maintain physical distancing from other users. If areas are crowded, please consider visiting at another time.

The cities and townships of Waterloo Region will continue our standardized approach in following the provincial regulations for operating recreation facilities and community centres wherever possible.

But Wait, there's more...Here is the Full Government Directive

Updated Modeling Projections

Key Findings:

• The third wave is here and being driven by variants of concern.

• Younger Ontarians are ending up in hospital. Risk of ICU admission is 2 x higher andrisk of death is 1.5 x higher for the B.1.1.7 variant.

• COVID-19 threatens health system ability to deal with regular ICU admissions and the ability to care for all patients.

• Vaccination is not reaching the highest risk communities, delaying its impact as an effective strategy.

• School disruptions have a significant and highly inequitable impact on students, parents and society. Further disruptions should be minimized

.• Stay-at-home orders will control the surge, protect access to care, and increase the chance of the summer Ontarians want.

TORONTO —The Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts, is imposing a provincewide emergency brake as a result of an alarming surge in case numbers and COVID-19 hospitalizations across the province. The provincewide emergency brake will be effective Saturday, April 3, 2021, at 12:01 a.m. and the government intends to keep this in place for at least four weeks.

Details were provided today by Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health, and Dr. Adalsteinn (Steini) Brown, Co-Chair of the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table.

"We are facing a serious situation and drastic measures are required to contain the rapid spread of the virus, especially the new variants of concern," said Premier Ford. "I know pulling the emergency brake will be difficult on many people across the province, but we must try and prevent more people from getting infected and overwhelming our hospitals. Our vaccine rollout is steadily increasing, and I encourage everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated. That is our best protection against this deadly virus."

Ontario's key indicators and latest modelling show that additional measures must be taken. From March 26 to 28, 2021, provincial case rates have increased by 7.7 per cent to 101.1 cases per 100,000 people. Current COVID-19 related ICU admissions are already over the peak of wave two and hospitals in regional hotspots will need to further ramp down scheduled surgeries. COVID-19 related ICU admissions are projected to exceed 650 beds in a few weeks. These increases are being driven by COVID-19 variants, which are transmitted easily and result in a higher risk of death and hospitalization, including in younger populations.

The provincewide emergency brake would put in place time-limited public health and workplace safety measures to help to stop the rapid transmission of COVID-19 variants in communities, protect hospital capacity and save lives. Measures include, but are not limited to:

  • Prohibiting indoor organized public events and social gatherings and limiting the capacity for outdoor organized public events or social gatherings to a 5-person maximum, except for gatherings with members of the same household (the people you live with) or gatherings of members of one household and one other person from another household who lives alone.

  • Restricting in-person shopping in all retail settings, including a 50 per cent capacity limit for supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, indoor farmers' markets, other stores that primarily sell food and pharmacies, and 25 per cent for all other retail including big box stores, along with other public health and workplace safety measures;

  • Prohibiting personal care services;
  • Prohibiting indoor and outdoor dining. Restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments will be permitted to operate by take-out, drive-through, and delivery only;

  • Prohibiting the use of facilities for indoor or outdoor sports and recreational fitness (e.g., gyms) with very limited exceptions;

  • Requiring day camps to close; and,

  • Limiting capacity at weddings, funerals, and religious services, rites or ceremonies to 15 per cent occupancy per room indoors, and to the number of individuals that can maintain two metres of physical distance outdoors. This does not include social gatherings associated with these services such as receptions, which are not permitted indoors and are limited to five people outdoors.

On the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, all Ontarians are asked to limit trips outside the home to necessities such as food, medication, medical appointments, supporting vulnerable community members, or exercising outdoors with members of their household. Employers in all industries should make every effort to allow employees to work from home.

"Ontario, like many other provinces and jurisdictions around the world, is in the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and immediate action is required to help turn the tide," said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. "Implementing a provincewide emergency brake was not an easy decision to make and is not one we take lightly. As we continue to vaccinate more Ontarians, the end is in sight, but right now these necessary measures will help to stop the spread of variants in our communities, protect capacity in our health care system, and save lives."