CORNWALL, Ontario – The Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) has issued new temporary restrictions for banquet halls, food & drink establishments, gyms, and personal care establishments which will come into effect at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday Oct. 25 and will be in effect for 28 days.
The new restrictions have been issued to address the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in the EOHU region. As of Saturday, Oct. 24, there have been 147 confirmed new cases of COVID-19 so far this month, the highest number for a single month since the pandemic began.
As a result of the increase of this spread, more long term care facilities have seen outbreaks as well, with at least one long term care resident dying in the past two weeks.
“The last thing I want is for businesses in our community to have to shut their doors again as they did in the spring,” said Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, Medical Officer of Health at the EOHU. “By putting these new measures in place, I’m hoping we can stop the rising number of infections and prevent another shutdown that would hurt our local economy.”
Under section 22 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act (HPPA), restaurants and bars will be limited to a maximum of 100 patrons, both indoors and outdoors, and no more than six patrons per table. For banquet halls, they are limited to 100 individuals indoors and 50 outdoors.
For gyms and other recreational facilities, all classes and organized events are limited to 10 people excluding staff. Each organized activity must take place in a separate room and gyms are limited to 50 individuals in their facility, total.
Restaurants, bars, banquet halls, gyms and other recreational facilities, and personal care services must require their patrons and staff to wear masks and maintain two meters distance. All the businesses mentioned above are also required to screen their patrons and staff for COVID and ask for contact information from patrons for the sake of contact tracing.
Individuals who violate the Section 22 order could face fines of up to $5,000.