Whitchurch-Stouffville will be stepping up enforcement of all private and public gatherings in a bid to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus and is reminding residents that anyone flouting Red Control Zone restrictions could face fines starting at $750.
By-law enforcement officers and York Regional Police will be monitoring social gatherings – including house parties and organized get-togethers in private residences – and lay charges if orders have been broken, effective immediately.
Residents are reminded that families shouldn’t visit any other household or allow visitors in their homes and everyone should avoid social gatherings. Also, under Red Control restrictions, social gatherings – including those associated with a wedding, funeral or religious service – are restricted to five people indoors and 25 people outdoors.
Trips outside of the home should only be for essential reasons, such as work, school, groceries/pharmacy, health care, assisting vulnerable individuals or exercise and physical activity. People should also work remotely, where possible.
The town’s decision to ramp up enforcement follows confirmation from York Region Medical Officer of Health Dr. Karim Kurji that most of the Region’s COVID-19 transmissions are sourced from public and private gatherings, not local business, institutional or school outbreaks. The Region reported 1,245 active cases of COVID-19 on December 9.
The town is asking anyone who witnesses a private or social gathering that contravenes Red Control Zone restrictions to call the by-law department at 905-640-1910, ext. 2229.
**Story update: York Region enters Grey-Lockdown zone December 14.**