Just over a month after Guelph, and many regions in Ontario, entered Stage 2 of the economic re-opening, several areas in the province have been given the go ahead to now move to Stage 3, including the municipalities covered by Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health. As of Friday at 12:01 am, two-dozens regions in the province will get the closest we’ve been to normal since March.
“Our success in reducing the spread of COVID-19 and getting Ontario to a place where we are ready to reopen most of the province is a testament to the hard work of business owners, individuals and families right across the province,” said Premier Doug Ford in a statement. “So many have stepped up and played by the rules, demonstrating that we can restart our economy safely and responsibly. Small actions can make a big difference. Now more than ever, we must continue to follow the public health advice to preserve the progress we have made together.”
As of Friday, select regions will be able to enjoy indoor gatherings of 50 people max., and outdoor gatherings of 100 people max.; physical distancing restrictions still apply though, as well as all health orders and applicable bylaws about mask wearing. Still, amusement parks, buffet-style food services, overnight kids camps, karaoke rooms, table games and casinos, and saunas, stream rooms and bathhouses are among the businesses that will have to remain closed because of the large crowds they attract and/or they’re difficult to clean or sanitize. Close quarter team sports are all out for the time being.
Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph is one of 24 areas in Ontario that are allowed to move to Stage 3, and so is Waterloo Region, Middlesex-London, Brant County and Chatham-Kent. Mirroring the Stage 2 re-opening though, Toronto, Peel Region and Halton will remain in their current stage of re-opening for the time being, but the Provincial government will review whether or not areas should move on to Stage 3 at the beginning of every week.
As of Monday, Wellingt0n-Dufferin-Guelph has 21 active cases of COVID-19 including one at the Elliott Community, and two new cases confirmed in the last 24 hours.
Speaking of Guelph, MPP Mike Schreiner warned that there needs to be stronger contract tracing another measures in place along with an expanded re-opening of the province. “The Premier is opening the door to a second wave if he loosens public health restrictions without beefing up investments in contact tracing efforts,” Schreiner said in a statement. “People want to move to Stage 3, but if we are going to do it safely, the Premier must show leadership on how we will keep people safe.”
In other re-opening news, the City of Guelph announced Monday that they will be opening summer day camps for kids, which will run for one month between August 4 and September 4. The camps will use outdoor spaces, and will feature games, activities, and socializing while maintaining physical distancing. There will be two counsellors per age group, and a maximum of eight kids per group, and to help avoid any potential spread of COVID-19, there will be frequent health checks and hand-washing.
“We’re excited to provide a safe, inclusive and exciting camp experience as we welcome kids back to camp this summer,” said Lynne Briggs, manager of Recreation Services in a statement. “We’ve modified our program to ensure the health and safety guidelines set out by the Province of Ontario and Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health are followed to keep everyone safe.”
The camps will be run at the West End Community Centre and River Run Centre from 8:30 am to 5 pm, and there are enough spaces for about 50 campers per week. Camp registration is first come, first served starting on Wednesday, July 15 at 9 am, and you can register by phone at 519-837-5699, online at recenroll.ca, or in person at ServiceGuelph in City Hall. Registration is limited to two weeks per child.
All Guelph rec facilities remain closed until September 8.