OTTAWA -- The Eastern Ontario Health Unit is ordering daycares, gyms, hairdressers, body piercing parlours, nail services and places of worship across its region to close to help limit the spread of COVID-19.

Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis issued the order in response to “an increasing number of community-acquired COVID-19 cases in Ontario.”

“I acknowledge that these closures are difficult, and I have not taken this decision lightly,” said. Dr. Roumeliotis. “However, we must take all measures necessary as a society to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

Ottawa’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches said on Sunday there were five cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa linked to community transmission.

The Eastern Ontario Health Unit says in an order pursuant to section 22 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act, the following establishments and premises must close immediately:

All daycares and other childcare centres and services (those that were not previously included in the provincial closure order)

All public gyms, fitness and sport centres and services

All churches, mosques, synagogues and other places of worship (The health unit notes it was previously recommended they close, but now they’re ordered to close)

All personal service settings, including

  • Hairdressing and barbering
  • Tattooing
  • Body piercing
  • Nail services
  • Electrolysis
  • Other aesthetic services

The order covers all the communities in the Eastern Ontario Health Unit’s area, including Cornwall, Casselman, Winchester, Alexandria, Hawkesbury, Rockland and Prescott-Russell.

The Eastern Ontario Health Unit says businesses that fail to comply with the order are liable, upon conviction, to a fine.