Waterloo region is entering at least a 28-day lockdown on Saturday, along with the rest of the province, that may be difficult for some in the community.
The new measures mean no indoor gatherings with people outside the same household. There will be no indoor or outdoor services allowed at restaurants. Nearly all retail stores will have to shut down but can remain open for curbside pick-up or delivery.
“It’s not going to be easy,” said Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang, medical officer of health for the region.
“It’s going to be very difficult for many people in our community, but we can do this. It’s in our hands. We can turn this around,” she added, noting that transmission rates are currently increasing.
“If we can drastically reduce our social interactions. Then we can bring our rates down, and we can exit lock down after the four weeks are over,” said Wang.
People are reminded not to have last minute celebrations ahead of lockdown because, according to Wang, that will have an impact on spread and make it difficult to control during the shutdown.
Wang said the lockdown will put the region on a path to a “brighter future.”
“There’s no economy that can function when there’s no health care system,” she said.
Wang and other local health care professionals have said the shutdown will help the region’s hospitals as they face surging demands from patients and increased occupancy.
“I really hope that people understand what we’re doing in terms of entering this period of heavy restrictions. It’s in an effort to give not only our health the best chances forward, but also to give businesses and the economy the best chance to recover going forward,” said Wang.
Meanwhile businesses are bracing for their second shutdown since the start of the pandemic as a push for shopping local grows in the community.