Coronavirus: 3 fines laid in Waterloo for holding gatherings of more than 5 people

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Three residences in the City of Waterloo were on the naughty list this week as Region of Waterloo CAO Mike Murray gave his weekly update on bylaw enforcement.

“Over the past week, three new charges laid,” he said Wednesday. “All of these charges were in the city of Waterloo, laid by city of Waterloo bylaw enforcement and all related to gatherings of more than five people in private residences.”

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Each homeowner has been fined $750, Murray said.

He added the region and its four partners, regional bylaw, area municipal bylaw enforcement, regional public health inspectors and Waterloo Regional Police answered over 150 COVID-19 calls in the past week, “where they engaged with people to provide education, awareness and/or warnings.”

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Murray and the region’s top doctor, Hsiu-Li Wang, were asked on Wednesday whether they were concerned if we could see an increase of these types of infractions.

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“As Dr. Wang has said a number of times, we are at a precarious time in the response,” Murray said. “So we encourage everyone to continue those guidelines.”

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The province also extended all current emergency orders due to the outbreak until June 9 on Wednesday, which Murray says is a sign to continue proper social distancing measures.

“That’s sending a pretty clear message that these orders are still in effect and they are enforceable,” he said.

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Wang also pleaded with residents to continue to be on their best behaviour.

“We know that the most likely way for people to become infected is through close contact with others such as family and friends so when people do this, they increase their risks,” she said. “Not only do they increase the risk for themselves but they increase the risks of passing the infection onto those that they are closest to so I would really ask people not to do that.”

She offered: “Go outside, have some exercise, enjoy the fresh air, make sure you maintain some physical distancing but for now, please only stay with your immediate household members.”