The town has responded to the restrictions laid out by Ontario Premier Doug Ford Monday, to take effect Wednesday, Jan. 5. with the goal of curbing the transmission of the omicron variant and preventing any further overload of the health care system, which is at risk
“Although this is not how anybody would like to start the new year, these measures to protect our communities are necessary so our hospitals do not become overloaded and have to stop essential healthcare,” says Lord Mayor Betty Disero, who released a video made while she was working home Tuesday — as the province has asked. “Thank you to everyone who continues doing their part by monitoring for symptoms, staying home when they are ill and wearing their mask diligently.”
She asks people to stay at home, shop locally, and enjoy takeout from local restaurants offering that service.
“While enhanced restrictions feel like a setback in the progress we have made, they are in place for public and workplace safety,” says CAO Marnie Cluckie. “Town staff is continuing to work hard to accommodate residents’ needs during these difficult times.”
The additional public health and workplace safety measures include
- Reducing social gathering limits to five people indoors and ten people outdoors.
- Limiting capacity at organized public events to five people indoors.
- Requiring businesses and organizations to ensure employees work remotely unless the nature of their work requires them to be on-site.
- Limiting capacity at indoor weddings, funerals, and religious services, rites and ceremonies to 50 per cent capacity of the particular room. Outdoor services are limited to the number of people that can maintain two metres of physical distance.
- Retail settings, including shopping malls, permitted at 50 per cent capacity.
- Personal care services permitted at 50 per cent capacity and other restrictions.
- Closing indoor meeting and event spaces with limited exceptions but permitting outdoor spaces to remain open with restrictions.
- The NOTL Public Library is available virtually, although across the province they’re limited to 50 per cent capacity.
- Closing indoor dining at restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments. Outdoor dining with restrictions, takeout, drive-through and delivery is permitted.
- Restricting the sale of alcohol after 10 p.m. and the consumption of alcohol in businesses or settings after 11 p.m. with delivery and takeout, grocery/convenience stores and other liquor stores exempted.
- Closing indoor concert venues, theatres, cinemas, rehearsals, and recorded performances permitted with restrictions.
- Closing indoor sport and recreational fitness facilities including gyms. Outdoor facilities are permitted to operate but with the number of spectators not to exceed 50 per cent occupancy and other requirements.
- Publicly funded and private schools will move to remote learning starting January 5 until at least Jan. 17.
- School buildings would be permitted to open for childcare operations, including emergency child care, to provide in-person instruction for students with special education needs who cannot be accommodated remotely and for staff who are unable to deliver quality instruction from home.
- Visit covid-19.ontario.ca for the most up-to-date information from the province.