KITCHENER -- A total of 601 part-time employees have been temporary laid off by the City of Guelph.

The announcement made on the city's website Thursday stated extended closures and suspension of non-essential services as the reason.

“Our employees are the heart of our organization,” said Scott Stewart, Chief Administrative Officer for the city. “This is not an action we wanted to take but one we needed to as COVID-19 continues to affect our community and some of the services we’re able to deliver.”

School crossing guards, library workers, and employees who deliver recreation programs are some of the positions that have been laid off for the time being.

The city says they are making sure laid off staff have access to resources like employee insurance and government support.