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Kitchener And Waterloo City Closures And Vital Information

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Running updates on city services affected by COVID-19

Waterloo Region - As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve around the world and in our local community, the health and wellbeing of Waterloo Region residents remains our top priority. All area municipalities continue to work closely with the Region of Waterloo’s Public Health experts to monitor and respond to new developments.

Late evening on Friday, March 13th, the Province’s Chief Medical Officer of Health provided updated guidance to support public health units in managing and responding to this ongoing issue. Based on this update, Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang, Region of Waterloo Public Health’s Acting Medical Officer of Health, has recommended an increased emphasis on social distancing in order to slow the spread of the virus within the community.

In response, the Region and all area municipalities are making significant changes to services and programming, effective immediately.  These changes will remain in effect until April 5, and will be evaluated for potential extension beyond that date:

Facility closures

All municipally-run cultural and recreational facilities will be closed to the public from March 16 to April 5. This includes all arenas, pools, community centres and public libraries.

City of Waterloo

  • RIM Park Manulife Sportsplex
  • Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex
  • Albert McCormick Community Centre
  • Moses Spring Community Centre
  • Adult Recreation Centre
  • Wing 404
  • Bechtel Park indoor facilities
  • City of Waterloo Museum
  • Waterloo Public Libraries
  • CARL team sport leagues

Program cancellations

Day Camps

The Province has issued guidance to licensed childcare providers which requires active screening for program participants, staff and volunteers. Municipally-run children’s programs, including March Break day camps, do not have the capacity or resources to enact this recommended practice; as a result, all municipally-run day camps will be canceled from March 16 to April 5.

Recreation programs and activities

All recreation programs and activities offered in municipal facilities including community centres, pools, etc. are cancelled from March 16 to April 5.  Refunds will be provided to registrants for municipally-run programs. Resident are encouraged to contact their respective municipality for more information.

Public libraries and municipally-operated museums and galleries

Kitchener, Cambridge, Waterloo and the Region of Waterloo rural library system along with municipally-operated museums and galleries will be closed to the public effective March 16 to April 5.

Municipal farmers markets

Local municipalities recognize that our municipally-operated farmers markets (Kitchener Market and Cambridge Farmers’ Market) are an important food source for residents. For that reason, we will be investigating whether or not they can continue to operate while ensuring that a suitable level of social distancing can be achieved consistent with the guidance received from the Medical Officer of Health. A decision about whether or not they will be closed will be made prior to Saturday, March 21.

For more information and to find details related to specific closures and cancellations, visit your respective municipal website.

Other municipal services

Residents are encouraged to delay any non-essential business with their respective municipality or to consider conducting business online or by phone, where possible.

All emergency services and essential regional and municipal services will continue.

Parks, trails and outdoor spaces

All municipal parks, fields, trails and outdoor spaces will remain open and available for residents to enjoy.

These are challenging times for our community, and the residents and businesses our municipalities proudly serve. As organizations, we recognize that the pace at which decisions and changes are occurring is disruptive and disconcerting, and that these decisions may have significant impact on those we serve. We regret the disruption these changes will have; however the safety and wellbeing of our residents and our community at large is our top priority.  Based on the recommendations of our regional, provincial and federal health care leaders, we believe these decisions are in the best interest of our communities, and our collective health. 

City Of Kitchener

Is the city cancelling camps/programs?

Together with the Region of Waterloo, the City of Kitchener has been closely monitoring the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that our response is agile, measured, and based on evidence and best practices. With the situation quickly evolving and with direction from the region, the city will be cancelling all programs scheduled for the week of March 16 to April 5, as a measure to slow the potential spread of COVID-19 in our community.

This was a difficult decision to make, knowing the significant impact that these cancellations will have on the children and families who were relying on our programming, and we sincerely regret the disruption it will cause. However, the safety and wellbeing of your children, and our community at large is our top priority and we believe this decision is in the best interest of our collective health

Is the city cancelling events? What about third-party events hosted at your facilities? 

With the situation quickly evolving and with direction from the Region, the City will be cancelling all city events and events hosted in city facilities from March 16 to April 5, as a measure to slow the potential spread of COVID-19 in our community. For information about your specific event or rental, please contact the city department/staff person you have rented or booked a facility through.

Are March Break camps cancelled?

With the situation quickly evolving and in the interest of our residents, the City will be cancelling all March Break programs scheduled, including those at the Kitchener Market for the week of March 16-20.

This was a difficult decision to make, knowing the significant impact that these cancellations will have on the children and families who were relying on our programming, and we sincerely regret the disruption it will cause. However, the safety and wellbeing of your children, and our community at large is our top priority and we believe this decision is in the best interest of our collective health.
A full refund will be given to registrants. To learn more or to request a refund, please contact the facility or community centre where your program is scheduled.

City-run program has been cancelled but I’ve paid for a program/class, will I get a refund?

Refunds will be given to registrants for registered city-run programs. Refunds for city-run programs that are partially attended will be prorated.

If you have any questions, please contact the city facility associated with the program or refer to the city’s website for more information.

How are you preventing risk or reducing risk in facilities?

To prevent the risk and spread of germs and viruses the city is:

  • working closely with our regional, provincial and federal counterparts to monitor the most current information and take appropriate actions at the direction of the Region of Waterloo Public Health;
  • increasing signage to create awareness of good hygiene and disease prevention in all facilities;
  • ensuring soap dispensers are replenished and are in good working order and increased the temperature of tap water at hand washing stations;
  • reviewing our continuity plans and pandemic policies and making changes as appropriate;
  • And, increasing cleaning of high touch areas in our facilities including banisters, handles, elevator buttons and doorknobs at city facilities.

I’m an event organizer looking for advice, who do I contact?

Event organizers are encouraged to contact the Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services at publichealth@regionofwaterloo.ca or 519-575-4400 to learn more about how to prevent and reduce the risk and spread of germs. 

What are you doing to avoid a disruption of city services?

Members of Kitchener’s emergency management program are in daily contact with partners, including Public Health, and are working together to coordinate our response.

Residents and businesses are encouraged to delay any non-essential business with their respective municipality or to consider conducting business online or by phone, where possible.

All emergency services and essential regional and municipal services will continue.

Where can I find general, reliable government information about Coronavirus as it relates to this area?

The Region of Waterloo Public Health website is providing regular updates on the situation. Residents are encouraged to connect with them directly at publichealth@regionofwaterloo.ca or 519-575-4400 if they have questions or would like more information.

What are recommendations for how to prevent the spread of the virus?

Residents are encouraged to follow precautions outlined by the Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services to reduce the risk and prevent the spread of germs.

Will operations at the Kitchener Market be affected?

We recognize that the Kitchener Market is an important food source for residents. For that reason, we will be investigating whether or not the market can continue to operate while ensuring that a suitable level of social distancing can be achieved consistent with the guidance received from the Medical Officer of Health. A decision about whether or not the Kitchener Market will be closed will be made prior to Saturday, March 21. 

Will pools, arenas and community centres remain open?

All programs and activities offered in city facilities including community centres, pools, etc. will be cancelled and the facility will remain closed from March 16 to April 5. Refunds will be given to registrants for city-run programs.

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