Public health to list places in Waterloo people may have contracted coronavirus

With 16 new cases of the novel coronavirus in Waterloo Region and no end in sight to the battle with COVID-19, the region’s top doctor introduced some new recommendations for residents as well as some impending new measures on Monday.

Region of Waterloo’s acting medical officer of health Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang said public health will start to announce the locations where people may have contracted the disease.

“As we receive more cases, we are learning of public places that these cases have visited when they had symptoms,” she explained. “And where we believe there might have been an exposure for other people at these places.”

Wang says public health will begin posting some of the details of these places on its website.

“People can self-identify if they have been at these locations at times,” she noted. “For those people who self-identify as having been present at those places and at those times, we ask that they self-monitor for symptoms and we’ll indicate until when until a specific date.”

Wang also recommended the closure of personal service settings or businesses.

“These include, but are not limited to, barbershops, hair and nail salons, tattoo and piercing services, tanning salons and all aesthetic services,” the doctor explained. “Whether they’re in public or home-based.”

She also added fitness facilities, banquet halls and conference centres to the list.

Wang also asked that realtors change their practices.

“I am also requesting that real estate companies avoid holding open houses and move to methods such as virtual open houses,” she said.

Wang said she understands the impact the measures are having on people’s lives but said they will play a role in flattening the curve, although she is not certain when the measures will start to bear fruit.

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