The City of Guelph continues to be impacted by the novel coronavirus since a pandemic was declared by the World Health Organization.
Many businesses have been forced to close their doors, some for good, and the city’s response and loss of revenue have cost them millions of dollars.
READ MORE: Live updates — Coronavirus in Canada
As of May 3, Guelph reported six deaths and 113 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus.
Here is a look at the timeline of actions taken in Guelph and key points since the coronavirus made its way into Canada.
March 12 — Ontario orders school closures
Premier Doug Ford announces that all publicly-funded schools in the province will be shut down for three weeks. This order was extended and Education Minister Stephen Lecce later said schools would remain closed until at least May 31.
March 13 — University of Guelph cancels classes
The University Of Guelph announces all face-to-face classes will be cancelled for the remainder of the winter semester. Classes resumed virtually on March 23. Certain events key events, such as College Royal and Campus Day, were also cancelled that day.
March 16 — Guelph General Hospital restricts visitors and cancels elective surgeries
Guelph General Hospital begins restricting visitors and cancels all elective surgeries and procedures. Visitors were restricted to one at a time per patient, but only if they were a close relative of a terminally-ill patient near the end of life or a parent of a child.
March 17 — Guelph opens COVID-19 assessment clinic
Guelph sees its first COVID-19 assessment clinic open next to Guelph General Hospital on Delhi Street. It would later be moved to the Victoria Road Recreation Centre to increase capacity and parking.
March 17 — Guelph begins reducing services and closing facilities
Premier Doug Ford announces a state of emergency in Ontario and orders many businesses to close. He also prohibits gatherings. These restrictions would continue to grow over the coming weeks.
Guelph Transit begins offering free rides but reduces service to a schedule typically seen on a Saturday. Buses would also be limited to 10 passengers at a time.
All arenas, pools, recreation centres, museums and libraries begin closing.
March 18 — Guelph Storm’s season cancelled
The Guelph Storm’s chance to defend their 2019 OHL championship is halted when the Ontario Hockey League announces it’s cancelling the remainder of the regular season.
The OHL playoffs and Memorial Cup tournament would eventually be cancelled as well.
March 23 — Guelph closes all playgrounds, along with dog and skate parks
The City of Guelph announces that all playgrounds are be closed, along with dog and skate parks.
March 24 — Guelph’s first coronavirus case confirmed
A man in his 80s becomes Guelph’s first confirmed case of the novel coronavirus. The man was described as a resident at St. Joseph’s Health Centre and listed in stable condition.
Guelph General Hospital announced two of its health-care workers tested positive for the virus.
March 26 — Mayor Cam Guthrie declares state of emergency
Hours after Guelph General Hospital declares a COVID-19 outbreak, Mayor Cam Guthrie declares a state of emergency for Guelph. Guthrie noted that the decision was made after consulting with public health officials but said he had seen and heard from residents that people were not taking physical distancing seriously.
April 1 — COVID-19 outbreak declared at Homewood Health Centre
A COVID-19 outbreak is declared at Homewood Health Centre. Three confirmed coronavirus cases were linked to the mental health and addictions facility on Delhi Street. Those numbers would continue to grow in the weeks to come. As of May 1, the outbreak was still active.
As of April 1, there were 23 confirmed cases in Guelph.
April 2 — Public Health reports first death related to the novel coronavirus
Public health officials announce Guelph’s first death related to the novel coronavirus. The man was in his 80s, but no other details were provided about where he was staying.
April 3 — Guelph lays off 601 employees
The city announces 601 part-time and casual employees are being temporarily laid off due to the closures of facilities and the cancellations of programs.
The layoffs included recreation centre employees, school crossing guards and library workers.
April 8 — Public Health reports four COVID-19 outbreaks in Guelph
Public health officials say four medical facilities in Guelph were subject to COVID-19 outbreaks, including Norfolk Manor retirement home, where 17 residents contracted the virus as of April 8. That number would continue to grow in the coming weeks.
April 9 — COVID-19 outbreak declared over at Guelph General Hospital
Two weeks after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared at Guelph General Hospital, officials announced it has met the criteria to declare it over.
The hospital said its pandemic protocols would remain in effect.
April 15 — Alectra Utilities announces that it will waive late fees for 60 days
Alectra Utilities announces it will be waiving late payment charges for all Guelph customers for 60 days. Alectra has about 56,000 accounts in Guelph. The utility says it will continue to apply late payment fees to the water and wastewater services for Guelph customers.
April 16 — Public Health reports four deaths related to the novel coronavirus in Guelph
Guelph health officials announce four deaths related to the novel coronavirus. At the time officials would not say if the deaths were connected to any of the outbreaks at long-term care or retirement homes.
April 16 — City council agrees to defer property tax payments
Guelph city council approves the deferral of property taxes without any penalties until July 31. They also agreed to extend free Guelph Transit service until the end of June.
April 17 — 247 public sector workers in Guelph placed on emergency leave
The City of Guelph says it is placing 126 full-time employees on emergency leave in a move that will save it $745,000 in compensation per month. The Guelph Public Library also announced 120 of its own staff have been placed on leave as well.
April 20 — Five deaths related to the novel coronavirus reported in Guelph
Guelph health officials report five deaths in the city. Specific details about each victim were not provided and it’s not known if any are connected to outbreaks in long-term care homes.
April 20 — St. Joseph’s Health Centre says it has tested all of its staff and residents
St. Joseph’s Health System announces that all of its staff and residents will be tested for the coronavirus, including 900 tests being carried out at its Guelph facility on Westmount Street.
April 22 — The City of Guelph announces all municipal buildings to be closed until the state of emergency is lifted
The City of Guelph announces that all municipal buildings will be closed until the state of emergency is declared over. This includes administration offices, city hall, the provincial offences court, recreation centres, libraries, museums and theatres.
City officials said it will reopen facilities and restore programs and services based on advice from Public Health and direction from the provincial government.
April 24 — Someone collapses at the COVID-19 assessment clinic and later dies in hospital
Public health officials say someone died after showing cardiac-related distress at the Guelph COVID-19 assessment clinic. The individual was inside the clinic at the Victoria Road Recreation Centre and collapsed. The person later died in hospital.
April 28 — Public Health begins to provided specifics regarding deaths related to the novel coronavirus
Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health says four residents have died at Norfolk Manor while one death was confirmed at St. Joseph’s Health Centre. The victims include two men and a woman in their 70s, a man in his 80s and a woman in her 90s.
April 30 — Guelph’s Hillside Summer Festival is called off and rescheduled for July 2021
Organizers of Guelph’s annual Hillside Summer Festival say the event will not be taking place this year due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. It was officially rescheduled for July 2021 as tickets that were already purchased for this year’s show will still be accepted.
May 1 — All residents of St. Joseph’s Health Centre test negative for the novel coronavirus
St. Joseph’s Health Centre says all of its patients and residents have tested negative for the novel coronavirus after all 297 of them were swabbed during a testing blitz in April.