It was an eventful week for Waterloo Region's COVID-19 enforcement partners, who handed out 22 tickets and six court summonses.
The penalties were given between Dec. 28 and Jan. 6 and were spread out across the region. Regional Chair Karen Redman announced them during a media briefing on Friday morning.
The latest enforcement update comes as COVID-19 cases surge in Waterloo Region. Nearly two thirds of the region's total number of cases have been reported in the last two months alone, the region's online COVID-19 dashboard shows. More than 50 people have died since Nov. 8.
Four of the tickets were given in Cambridge, each with a price tag of $880. Three were handed out at private residences for indoor gatherings, while the fourth was given to Stag Shop at 561 Hespeler Rd. for remaining open as a non-essential business during the province's COVID-19 lockdown.
Two tickets were given at private residences in Waterloo as well, both for having indoor gatherings. Those tickets also come with a cost of $880.
In Waterloo, there were a total of 13 tickets issued: four at businesses and nine at private residences. Five of those tickets were given at one residence alone. Redman said that residence had been visited and charges had been laid before.
Each of the private residence fines cost $880.
As for the businesses, Red Rose Spa and Beauty Health Design were both charged for being open as a non-essential business during the lockdown.
East African Cafe in Kitchener, meanwhile, received two tickets, Redman said: one for having customers inside with alcohol service during lockdown and for not having customer logs, while the other ticket was for failure to wear face coverings.
Redman noted that the restaurant had been charged in December.
Grand River Transit also issued one fine for failure to wear a face covering, while Region of Waterloo bylaw enforcement issued two tickets at 151 Main St. for not wearing a mask. Each of those mask-related fines are $240.
The Waterloo Regional Police Service charged six church elders at Trinity Bible Chapel for exceeding the gathering limit at a place of worship. Each was given a court summons, which will determine the cost of their fine.
By-law enforcement officers also laid charges under the Reopening Ontario Act for an in-person gathering at a church on Lobsinger Line. Six people and the church corporation itself were charged for holding the gathering, while two were charged with attending.
"Although we cannot comment specifically before these charges as they are before the courts, I will say how deeply how disappointed I am, in addition to the mayor of Woolwich and many regional councillors and residents, who have voiced their frustration at this display of civil disobedience," Redman said.
She said that regional staff are working with the provincial legislation and considering all options for next steps.