Kitchener-Waterloo

Waterloo region and municipalities will close certain facilities for 3 weeks to prevent COVID-19 spread

All cultural and recreational facilities run by the Region of Waterloo and area municipalities will shutter from March 16 to April 5 as a measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19, according to a joint news release sent Sunday.

Facilities such as libraries, arenas, pools to close between March 16 to April 5

Updated 'social distancing' rules encourage people to stay at least two arms' length away from one another. (Roman Sigaev/Shutterstock)

Many facilities and programs run by the Region of Waterloo and area municipalities will shutter from March 16 to April 5 as a measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19, according to a joint news release sent by the region and area municipalities Sunday.

The news comes after Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang, Region of Waterloo Public Health's Acting Medical Officer of Health, recommended new guidelines on social distancing, which involves maintaining a distance of two metres, or two arms' length, away from others.

Facilities that will be closed and programs that will be cancelled between March 16 and April 5 include:

  • Arenas.
  • Pools.
  • Community centres.
  • Public libraries.
  • Museums.
  • Galleries.
  • Regionally-operated childcare centres.
  • Children's programs, including March Break day camps.
  • Recreation programs and activities offered in municipal facilities.

The closures will be re-evaluated for possible extension beyond April 5.

For further details about cancellations and closures, people are asked to visit their respective municipal website and/or the Region of Waterloo website.

Because local farmers' markets provide an important source of food for residents, municipalities are still coming to a decision about whether to close the Kitchener Market and Cambridge Farmers' Market. A decision about the markets will be made prior to Saturday, March 21.

Parks, trails, essential services still available

All municipal parks, fields, trails and outdoor spaces will remain open.

All emergency and essential regional and municipal services will continue, including garbage services and paramedic services.

Grand River Transit and ION service will continue as usual until further notice.

Residents are asked to delay all non-essential municipal business or consider conducting business by phone or online, if possible.

"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," the municipalities said in a joint news release.