Town of New Tecumseth considering banning hot spot residents from municipal recreation facilities

No steadfast ban, council awaiting staff report

The Township of New Tecumseth is looking into a ban on those residing in Ontario’s major hot spot locations from coming to use its recreation facilities.

The potential ban was raised during Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting via zoom, by Town CAO Blaine Parkin. “We are seeing a number of people coming up from York Region and Peel Region, so we would look at restricting residents from those areas only that the province has moved them into that second phase,” said Parkin. “We want to ensure that our residents can use our facilities and our programs safely.”

“I think it’s a bit of a strange time to think that we continue to limit free travel,” added Ward 3 Councillor Paul Foster. “But the reality of it is I don’t think we want to do anything to encourage people coming from areas where there’s a high concentration of COVID-19.”

The proposal is in the early stages, and Parkin points out it is unknown how team sports would be impacted. “We’re still working through some of the logistics of that, because the user groups would be a much more complicated issue,” he said. “Off of our first step, we would look to doing it for those dropping programs in our fitness center, things like that.”

“We do have very detailed contract tracing that’s in place so that we can track everyone that’s in there out of the facility, it should something happen,” added Parkin. “But as I mentioned, our first step would be to restrict just those single residents and then work with the user groups to better define the next steps.”

The notion was presented during a report from the CAO, and would require further work on the part of town staff before any new regulations were put in place.