Moving to the red zone, winter golf, transit hub: Top stories of the week
Region of Waterloo will move into the red "control" tier under Ontario's COVID-19 response framework on Monday. Premier Doug Ford and Minister of Health Christine Elliott made the announcement on Friday afternoon after local public health officials had warned that the change would be coming soon.
The move will take effect just one week after the region was put in the orange tier. When the province first unveiled the framework earlier this month, it listed Waterloo Region in the green tier. It was upgraded to the yellow tier last week, and then orange this week.
When the region moves into the red tier, restrictions in place will include gathering limits for all organized public events and social gatherings will be capped at five people indoors and 25 people outdoors. Under the red tier, restaurants will be capped at 10 customers indoors, but outdoor dining, drive thrus and delivery are allowed.
A staff member at Centennial Public School in Waterloo who tested positive for COVID-19 went to work while they were infectious and waiting for their test results. Waterloo Region District School Board spokesperson Alana Russell confirmed the information to CTV News Kitchener on Wednesday.
"Public health has determined that this individual was at the school for a period of time while symptomatic or during the infectious period and so as a result their last day of school was Nov. 17 and they've been directed by public health to self-isolate until further notice," she said.
During a media briefing on Wednesday, Premier Doug Ford called the news "unacceptable."
"I can't believe someone would do it still after just preaching up here non-stop. Do not go into work, do not go to school, do not go to hospital, do not go to long-term care," he said.
The Ministry of Labour tells CTV News that they conducted a visit to the school on Friday. No orders were issued as the investigation remains ongoing.
Waterloo Region's top doctor didn't mince words as she provided an update on the status of COVID-19 on Monday afternoon. Medical Officer of Health Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang said that the region is "one of the fastest surging areas in Ontario," and that the region could surpass 260 cases per day by mid-December.
"As many of us likely heard through headlines, by mid-December, Ontario could see 6,500 cases per day, which would equate to, proportionately, around 260 cases a day in Waterloo Region if we do not grow faster than the province," she said during the virtual meeting.
"Unfortunately right now, we are. We are surging and our case growth is outpacing that of the province as a whole, so we could see significantly higher numbers than that."
- Waterloo Region: 3,019 cases, 123 deaths, 2,555 resolved
- Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph: 1,156 cases, 38 deaths, 973 resolved
- Brant County: 435 cases, 5 deaths, 355 resolved
- Haldimand-Norfolk: 623 cases, 37 deaths, 549 resolved
- Huron Perth: 264 cases, 14 deaths, 202 resolved
Most golfers have been watching for closing dates at their favourite courses this season, and with a light dusting of snow overnight in Waterloo Region, some may be considering storing their clubs sooner than later.
One golf company in Waterloo Region is hoping you'll reconsider. GolfNorth announced on Wednesday morning that it would be keeping its courses open through the winter, in hopes that golfers will layer up and hit the links even through the white fluffy stuff.
"You've probably heard the rumours that this year GolfNorth is talking about doing winter golf and you're thinking, 'what the heck is winter golf?'" a company spokesperson said in a video posted to Instagram.
The Region of Waterloo has unveiled the design for a new multi-million dollar transit hub. Officials said they hope the project will transform the way people see the region.
The hub will be located at King and Victoria Streets in downtown Kitchener. The project manager said the location will allow anyone who arrives get where they're going, whether that be by train, bus, car, bike or foot.