All Windsor-Essex municipalities curtail services due to Omicron

File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / famveldman

In response to the Ontario government’s reverting to Stage Two of its COVID-19 reopening scale, all Windsor-Essex municipalities have announced plans to stop or limit services as the Omicron variant continues to spread.

Premier Doug Ford, while describing a “tsunami” of new cases driven by the Omicron variant, announced a “modified” Step Two taking effect midnight Tuesday, which included further capacity limits in public places, and temporarily barring indoor dining at bars and restaurants.

Regardless of the municipality, all branches of the Essex County Library will be open for curbside service only through at least January 15.

The Municipality of Lakeshore announced Monday that it was temporarily closing recreation facilities such as the Atlas Tube Centre, and cancelling in-person recreation programs through at least January 27.

Windsor

The City of Windsor will close all community centres and indoor arenas for at least three weeks, along with all indoor pools and aquatic facilities, the Chimczuk Museum, and the Francois Baby House.

All of the City’s emergency and essential service departments will be running as usual. Windsor City Hall and other municipal government buildings will be open, but residents are strongly encouraged to seek services online first. If you must visit in person, call the department you want for an appointment, and be ready to take a COVID-19 screening when you arrive.

City Council and committee meetings will remain virtual until further notice.

All branches of the Windsor Public Library will remain open at half-capacity. The library’s official website will provide additional information.

Amherstburg

All facilities in the Town of Amherstburg are closed as of Wednesday to all except essential employees and those with pre-scheduled appointments. These include Amherstburg Town Hall and the Libro Credit Union Centre.

Recreational programs at the Libro Centre and other indoor facilities have been suspended. For complete information, visit the town’s official website.

Essex

The Town of Essex will close both the municipal building on Talbot Street South and its Gesto By-law Enforcement Building on County Road 12, except for essential visits made according to appointment, by calling (519) 776-7336. Services are available online.

Recreational facilities such as the Essex Centre Sports Complex, Maedel Community Centre, McGregor Community Centre, Colchester Community Centre and the Essex Recreation Complex will be closed for at least 21 days. In-person recreational programs are suspended with refunds and course credits offered. Virtual programming will be launched, visit the recreation department’s website for more information.

Outdoor recreation facilities such as parks and playgrounds will operate normally, but users are asked to keep at least two metres’ distance from people not living in their households.

Kingsville

All town-operated facilities in Kingsville will close on Wednesday, including Kingsville Town Hall, Kingsville Arena, and indoor community spaces. Essential services will go on as usual, with residents urged to go online or reach their department by Zoom, email, or telephone. Anyone requiring a face-to-face meeting must make an appointment, be subject to a COVID-19 screening, and wear a face covering.

Town Council and committee meetings will continue to be held virtually.

LaSalle

LaSalle Civic Centre will remain open but with reduced hours, and services available online, by email, and by phone. The Town reminds residents that with the Omicron variant, some employees may not be working, and some service requests may be delayed or even denied. Priority in that instance will go to emergency and essential services.

The Vollmer Culture and Recreational Complex is closed. Ice rentals are cancelled until the building reopens, while fitness and pool patrons with paid memberships will have those privileges extended for the duration of the pause. Membership payments will be temporarily stopped. The start of winter recreation programs will be postponed until the week of January 30.

The popular Holiday Nights Heritage Nights display at the Civic Centre will be extended until January 23, and open nightly from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Leamington

With the exception of a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic opening Wednesday, the Nature Farms Fresh Recreation Centre in Leamington will be closed until further notice. All recreation memberships will be extended for the duration of the closure, with refunds and credits offered for any postponed programming.

Complete information on the municipality’s service capability can be found on its official website.

Tecumseh

The Town of Tecumseh had already announced a pause in in-person services offered at buildings like Town Hall, but as of Wednesday, the Tecumseh Arena and Recreation Complex will be closed for at least three weeks.

Outdoor recreation facilities, parks, and playgrounds are still open, but users must comply with physical distancing and gathering guidelines.

Essential services such as snow plowing, road salting, garbage collection, and water and wastewater services will proceed as normal.