Ottawa

Restrictions tightened in eastern Lanark County after rise in COVID-19 cases

With 48 cases of COVID-19 reported this past week, the top doctor for Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit is imposing stricter conditions on social gatherings in Mississippi Mills, Carleton Place and the Township of Beckwith.

Mississippi Mills, Carleton Place and Beckwith to see tighter restrictions for social gatherings

The Thirsty Moose Pub & Eatery in Carleton Place is currently closed after the local public health unit warned people who visited the businesses in late February they may have been exposed to COVID-19. On Saturday, health officials announced tighter restrictions for three municipalities in the region, including Carleton Place, after a surge in cases in the region. (Francis Ferland/CBC)

The top doctor for the Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit is tightening restrictions for the area's eastern municipalities following a rise in COVID-19 cases. 

The order was implemented Saturday by the area's chief medical officer of health,  Dr. Paula Stewart, with the goal of limiting opportunities for people to gather in the municipalities of Mississippi Mills, Carleton Place and Beckwith, Ont.

Under the new order, sports facilities, including curling rinks, and privately owned arenas and indoor facilities for soccer, lacrosse, tennis, squash or pickleball, must close.

As well, clubs must halt rentals for private social gatherings. 

Places of worship can still operate, but there are greater restrictions in place for social events.

Banquet halls and wedding venues may also continue to operate, but only events hosted, organized and managed by the venue are permitted, with additional restrictions.

Anyone dining indoors at a restaurant or bar can only sit at the same table with members of their own household. Restaurants and bars must also collect contact information as people enter, and staff must wear a medical face mask.

"Everything that each and every one of us does makes a difference in preventing the spread of COVID-19 in households and the community," Stewart wrote in a notice Saturday morning. "This Class Order will reduce opportunities for people to gather and have close unprotected contact with others outside their household in public and private facilities."

Restrictions in place for 14 days

The order will be in place for the next two weeks, but could be shortened or extended if need be, the health unit said.

Anyone failing to comply with the order could be fined $5,000 per day.

As of Saturday morning, the region had 49 active cases, 48 of which were reported in the last week. 

On Wednesday, health officials reported 20 people had tested positive for the virus and warned customers of The Thirsty Moose may have been exposed on multiple days near the end of February.

Health officials said the restaurant isn't to blame, and the cases could be traced back to a private gathering last month where people didn't wear masks or take proper precautions.

The news of the surge in cases came the same day the health unit announced its first case involving one of the COVID-19 variants of concern.

Corrections

  • An earlier version of this story said 20 people had tested positive for the illness after attending a restaurant. That was incorrect. The cases were linked to a private gathering.
    Mar 06, 2021 10:16 PM ET

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