City Matters: COVID-19 Bulletin Dec. 15

Protect the Kingston community: let's work together and follow public health guidelines.

Please Help Protect our Local Health Care System CapacityAlong with partners at Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC), KFL&A Public Health is urgently calling on the community to work together to help slow the growing COVID-19 case count in order to protect our hospitals and their ability to meet patients' needs. 

For the last several weeks, KHSC has regularly had the highest number of COVID-19 inpatients and COVID ICU patients of all Ontario hospitals. Here's what you can do:

  • Get fully vaccinated when you are eligible to protect friends, family and vulnerable community members
  • Get your third dose or booster as soon as you are eligible
  • Screen for COVID-19 symptoms daily
  • Stay homeisolate and get tested if you have symptoms (even mild ones!) or are a close contact
  • Avoid social gatherings and limit visiting others or having visitors
  • Maintain good health habits, including wearing a mask, regularly washing your hands and maintaining physical distancing
 
In response to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases and recently announced measures from KFL&A Public Healththe City of Kingston is taking proactive steps to keep the community and staff safe and to ensure the continued delivery of essential and critical services. 
Closed City Services

Closed

The following facility closures will take effect tomorrow, Thursday Dec. 16 and on Friday, Dec. 17. 

  • Dec. 16 - 1211 John Counter Blvd., 
  • Dec. 16 - City Hall. Please note public restrooms on the lower basement (accessible via the amphitheatre) will remain open.
  • Dec. 16 – Grand Theatre due to cancellations (Box Office will remain available). 
  • Dec. 16 – Memorial Centre and Centre 70 due to cancellations. 
  • Dec. 17 – The administrative office at Kingston Area Recycling Centre. Blue and green bins will not be available during this period. 
  • Cancellation of New Year’s Eve Event at INVISTA Centre.

City staff who work at these facilities (Planning Services, Building and Licensing, Office of the City Clerk and City Payment Centre) will remain available by appointment, Monday to Friday, to support residents. 

Please consider conducting business online or by phone. In cases where that’s not possible, you will have the option of booking an appointment. Payments can continue to be made through online banking, at your financial institution, drop boxes located at City Hall and 1211 John Counter Blvd. and by mail. Visit CityofKingston.ca/COVID19 for a detailed list of payment options and contact information.

ADDITIONAL IMPACTS: New programming on hold 

  • Winter 2022 registration for recreational programs has been deferred until early 2022.
  • The New Year’s Eve event has been cancelled.
Open City Services

Open

The following facilities, services and programs that remain open to the public:
  • Outdoor recreation amenities. 
  • The Kingston Area Recycling Centre and Truck Scale (KARC) remain open Monday to Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can continue to drop-off yard waste Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. 
  • 362 Montreal St. Clients of provincial programs like Ontario Works are encouraged to contact their case manager prior to going into the office.  
  • INVISTA Centre remains open with reduced capacity limits. 
  • Artillery Park Aquatic Centre, with reduced capacity limits. Swimmers, please note that effective Dec.16, swim capacity will be reduced to 30 per cent. 
  • Rideau Heights Community Centre for after school programming until Friday, Dec. 17 and, after this date it will remain open for ongoing vaccination and COVID-19 testing. 
  • Portsmouth Olympic Harbour will remain open to provide for vaccination and COVID-19 testing. 
 

Important information from KFL&A Public Health

Effective Dec. 13 at 6 p.m.,the following restrictions will take effect for the Kingston Area.

Indoor or outdoor social gatherings within private dwellings, or organized public events are limited to no more than 5 individuals, including residents and gathering attendees. Individuals responsible for hosting social gatherings in private dwellings shall also maintain a list of names and contact information for guests. 

Additional restrictions are also in effect for businesses that serve food and offer seating associated with their food establishment:  

  • Affected businesses must be closed to the public for indoor dining from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Take out is permitted.  
  • Alcohol sales between 12 p.m. and 9 p.m. are permitted. No consumption of alcohol is permitted between 10 p.m. and 12 p.m. 
  • All restaurant patrons must be seated when served. Pick up and take out is exempt from this requirement. 
  • No more than four persons may be seated at a table. 
  • Affected businesses must not allow dancing, singling, or live performance of music. Volume of music must be low enough to allow for normal conversation.  

This Section 22 Order applies to all persons in the City of Kingston and will continue until Dec. 20 at 11:59 a.m. 

 

Beginning Dec. 14, KFL&A Public Health will provide take home COVID-19 PCR test kits for patients of participating family health care practices. If you have symptoms or are a close contact of someone who is positive and are a patient of a participating health care practice, kits can be picked up during normal office hours.  

COVID-19 testing appointmentscan also be booked at a local assessment centre or participating pharmacy. 

 

Effective Dec. 10, KFL&A Public Health implemented enhanced measures to address the confirmation of the Omicron variant and record high COVID-19 case counts in our region. All COVID-19 close contacts of cases MUST isolate for 10 days regardless of vaccination status.  

If you are a close-contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case and have not yet been contacted by public health, please self-isolate and get tested.
 

On. Dec. 15, KFL&A Public Health’s Medical Officer of Health issued a Letter of Instruction to require businesses and organizations to reinstate capacity limits, and strengthen requirements around masking, physical distancing, and other public health measures.
This Letter of Instruction comes into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Dec. 19, 2021.
KFL&A Public Health’s Letter of Instruction for businesses and organizations includes the following proactive protective measures:
  1. Reinforcing the critical importance of public health measures to prevent COVID-19 transmission by operating in accordance with all applicable laws.
  2. Reinstating recent provincial changes lifting capacity limits and physical distancing requirements in the Step 3 Rules. View the list of impacted businesses.
  3. Strengthening masking requirements for facilities used for sports and recreational fitness activities and organized public events and tightening gathering limits for organized public events.
  4. Modifying sports to achieve PHYSICAL DISTANCING in facilities used for indoor or outdoor sports and recreational fitness activities
 

Important information from the Government of Ontario

Starting Monday, Dec. 20, 2021, individuals aged 18 and over will be eligible to schedule their booster dose appointment. Appointments will be booked three months (84 days) after a second dose. Additionally, pharmacies and other channels may provide boosters for 18 and over at the three-month interval starting Friday, Dec. 17, 2021 for walk-ins.

Starting Dec. 15, individuals aged 50 and over as well as all those currently eligible who have already booked their appointment can call the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre to re-book for an earlier date at the three-month interval and can change their appointment through
 Ontario’s booking portal.

Effective Dec. 18, 2021 at 12:01 a.m. the Government of Ontario intends to introduce a 50 per cent capacity limit to the following indoor areas of venues with a usual capacity of 1,000 or more:
  • Facilities used for sports and recreational fitness activities;
  • Entertainment facilities such as concert venues,
  • Theatres and cinemas;
  • Racing venues;
  • Meeting and event spaces;
  • Studio audiences in commercial film and television production;
  • Museums, galleries, aquariums, zoos, science centres, landmarks, historic sites, botanical gardens and similar attractions;
  • Casinos, bingo halls and other gaming establishments; and,
  • Fair, rural exhibitions, and festivals..
Up to two million rapid tests will be provided free of charge at pop-up testing sites in high-traffic settings such as malls, retail settings, holiday markets, public libraries and transit hubs across the province. Residents can visit Ontario.ca/holidaytesting to find out if pop-up rapid antigen screening sites will be available in their area. Locations and operating hours will be updated weekly, and no appointment will be required.
 

Find regularly updated information on COVID-19, its impacts on City services and what you can do on the City's COVID-19 webpage.  All of our updates will be noted within our news releases, on our website, and our verified social media feeds. 

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Visit the City's COVID-19 webpage
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  • Dinah Jansen
    published this page in News 2021-12-15 17:26:20 -0500