Health unit recommends closure of personal service businesses, playgrounds, event venues

Mercer: 'At this critical moment stricter measures are necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to save lives'

WELLINGTON COUNTY – The public health unit is “strongly recommending” the closure of all personal service businesses, outdoor play areas and event venues in the region.

The recommendation, issued on March 23, is in effect until at least April 5 to support social distancing and help limit the spread of COVID-19.

“Our second confirmed case had no travel history or contact with a confirmed case which is evidence that community transmission of COVID-19 is occurring in our area,” said Dr. Nicola Mercer, Medical Officer of Health and CEO of Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health (WDGPH).

“I would like to recognize the many businesses that have changed their hours and operations to control the spread of this disease. Additionally, many individuals and families have changed their habits and are practicing social distancing to keep themselves and others safe.”

Mercer added, “However, not everyone is taking these important actions and at this critical moment stricter measures are necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to save lives.”

Personal service businesses include hair and nail salons, tattoo parlours, barber shops, cosmetic clinics, gyms, massage clinics and fitness facilities.

Event venues include banquet halls and conference centres. Outdoor play areas include children’s park play structures and skate parks but do not include trails and green spaces.

Several municipalities in Wellington County have already closed playgrounds and advised residents not to use them.

Restaurants, bars and food establishments providing takeout or delivery services are not covered by this recommendation.

Officials are offering the following advice to help limit the spread of COVID-19:

  • maintain a safe distance (two arm lengths or two metres) from others whenever possible;
  • limit travel outside of your residence to necessary trips for food and medical care;
  • avoid visits to hospitals, long-term care homes, or retirement homes unless absolutely essential; and
  • avoid congregating – outdoors or indoors – in groups with anyone outside of family members with whom you live.

“I recognize that what is being asked is difficult,” stated Mercer.

“However, we need to work together as individuals, families and organizations to prevent the spread of the virus and save lives. Wash your hands often, stay home when possible, practice social distancing when you do go out and cancel non-essential events and appointments. And if you feel ill stay home to keep others safe. Now is the time to act to make the biggest difference in the spread of this disease.”

For the latest health information regarding COVID-19, visit the public health website.

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