The top doctors for Region of Waterloo Public Health and Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health want bars and restaurants to turn down their music.
In a joint news release, Dr. Nicola Mercer and Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang said loud ambient noise means customers and staff need to yell or lean closer to hear, which can increase the spread of COVID-19. Shouting can send more of the virus causing COVID-19 into the air, infecting others.
“With cases rising in our region and across the province, we need to pull out all the stops to reduce the spread of COVID-19,” Dr. Mercer said in the news release. “The priority is to keep our region as safe as possible during this pandemic. That includes maintaining our economic wellbeing – a determinant of good health.”
“Local businesses continue to work hard to put in the required precautions for COVID-19 in their establishments,” Dr. Wang said in the release. “We are asking for everyone’s awareness and understanding that the volume of music or sound in the establishments they frequent needs to be low, to help protect us all.”
Ontario had another record number of new cases on Friday, reporting 732 more people had tested positive for COVID-19. Premier Doug Ford announced new restrictions for COVID-19 hotspots in Ottawa, Peel Region and Toronto. Restaurants, bars and nightclubs in Ottawa and Peel Region need to limit capacity at 100 people. Toronto Public Health has already limited capacity to 75 people. Only six people are allowed to sit at each table.
Region of Waterloo reported seven new cases of the disease on Friday, for a total of 1,744 cases to date.
The provincial government hasn't said whether or not the restrictions will be introduced in other jurisdictions like Waterloo Region or Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph.
“We are in the process of reviewing and assessing the newly announced restrictions for Toronto, Ottawa and Peel carefully," Dr. Wang said in an emailed statement to CTV News Kitchener. "When it comes to the safety of the community, all options will be considered. We want to keep schools and businesses open where we can. We support targeted restrictions as needed.”
"I think the most important thing we are trying to do locally is to pursue our economies to keep our businesses operating,: Dr. Mercer said.
Ontario is encouraging people across the province to keep close contact to people in their immediate households for the time being, rather than the social circles of up to 10 people, which could include those not living in their household. Ford said this will be especially important with Thanksgiving coming up later this month.
Masks are now mandatory in all indoor public spaces province-wide. The Region of Waterloo and Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph already have mandatory masking rules in place.