MOUNT FOREST – A number of businesses here have pro-actively closed their doors or modified operations in response to emerging concerns about potential local spread of COVID-19.
The closures began with the Tim Hortons restaurant here, which closed due to an employee testing positive for COVID-19.
On Friday, drive-thru service was continuing at the restaurant, where a sign on the door stated, “Our in-restaurant service is not currently available.” By Saturday, the drive-thru service had been discontinued as well.
A sign at the outlet indicates it will reopen on Nov. 27.
The Mount Forest Chamber of Commerce posted on Facebook that a worker at the restaurant tested positive for COVID-19.
“Tim Hortons has taken all the necessary measures moving forward by putting all staff on a 14-day quarantine,” states the Nov. 13 chamber post.
The post indicates a temporary staff was moved in to keep the drive thru open with reduced hours, prior to the decision to shut down completely.
Calls to the restaurant by the Advertiser were not answered and Tim Hortons officials have not responded to emails seeking information.
On Nov. 16 Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health communications manager Chuck Ferguson stated in an email that the closure was initiated by Mount Forest Tim Hortons, not under the direction of Public Health.
Ferguson stated the store “reopened after completing a deep clean, again, not directed by Public Health.”
Ferguson said the affected employee “was not working during their infectious period and there were no high risk contacts.”
Ferguson also noted the same individual worked at the Mount Forest Dominos Pizza outlet, “but there were deemed to be no risk contacts in this establishment due to the infection controls in place (face coverings and physical distancing).”
On Nov. 16, Scott’s Pizza Burger reported on the Mount Forest Downtown Facebook page that the restaurant would be closing for two weeks, “Due to a developing COVID-19 situation … to help protect their employees and community.
“We are deeply sorry and hope to serve you when it is safe to do so,” the notice states.
On Nov. 17 another downtown business, Cynthia & Co announced the store would close until Nov. 25.
“Due to a developing COVID-19 situation, our store will be closed until Nov. 25th to help protect ourselves and the community. We are deeply sorry and hope to serve you when it is safe to do so,” states a post from the store, which invites people to continue shopping online at www.shopcynthia.com.
A post from the Mount Forest Tavern indicates hours have been changed in response to Wellington County’s orange status designation for provincial pandemic response.
“In accordance with the new COVID rules we will be closing at 9pm every night.”
The post also indicates the tavern is cancelling karaoke on Fridays and bands on Saturday until further notice.
Meat the Butcher announced through Mount Forest Downtown it is encouraging curbside pickup “to protect you and our staff,” although the store remains open on regular hours for in-store shopping.
To arrange curbside pickup call 519-323-3483 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Mount Forest Royal Canadian Legion Branch 134 has announced it will be closed to the public until Dec. 1. A post on the branch’s Facebook page states the decision was made by the executive “due to the rising COVID-19 numbers in the community.
“There have been a few temporary closures announced within our downtown business community, due to the uptick in COVID-19 cases in and around Mount Forest,” Mount Forest Downtown officials state.
“We will keep you posted with any other news as it comes out. Stay safe everyone and remember to be kind to one another as we are all a community and we are all in the thick of it,” the post continues.