More COVID-19 cases, church service, paid to eat candy: Top stories of the week
While the number of daily COVID-19 cases reported has trended slightly down the past week in Waterloo Region compared to the start of the year, bylaw officers have been out making sure people follow province-wide protocols.
On Sunday, Public Health reported its lowest daily total since Dec. 4. This came during a week that only saw two instances of daily cases reaching triple digits. In comparison, the region was in the triple digits for two straight weeks of hitting this to start 2021.
Following the first weekend after the stay-at-home order issued by the Ontario government, Region of Waterloo bylaw handed out two tickets in Kitchener and issued one charge in Waterloo.
In the following week, a dozen tickets were handed out across the region for reasons that included an Airbnb party as well as people gathered in a car to watch sports on a phone.
- Waterloo Region: 8,947 confirmed cases, 187 deaths, 7,975 resolved cases
- Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph: 3,827 cases, 65 deaths, 3,302 resolved
- Brant County: 1,304 cases, 7 deaths, 1,249 resolved
- Haldimand-Norfolk: 1,271 cases, 43 deaths, 1,085 resolved
- Huron Perth: 1,137 cases, 33 deaths, 964 resolved
Despite a court order being issued by the Attorney General, in-person services went ahead as scheduled at Trinity Bible Chapel on Sunday morning. A man wearing a face mask held the door open for dozens of people going inside, many who were not wearing face masks.
A Region of Waterloo spokesperson could not confirm if any fines or tickets were issued on Sunday.
This came after The Region of Waterloo says the Attorney General obtained the court order for the church to follow under the Reopening Ontario Act or they could be at risk of being held in contempt of court. The church is already facing charges for defying lockdown orders earlier this year. If convicted, leaders and members could face fines that total in the millions of dollars.
Students in Waterloo Region and Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph learned Wednesday they won't return to the classroom this coming week, when the provincial government released a list of regions and school boards that would resume in-person learning on Jan. 25.
On Thursday, the WRDSB said students would remain at home until at least Feb. 10. Officials with the public school board said they'll have a self-screening system in place for school staff next week, along with a similar system for high school students.
An online candy store once based in Cambridge, Ont. is hiring a job that would pique Charlie Bucket's interest. Candy Funhouse is hiring at least two "candyologists" to taste test different candies and chocolates.
The company said that candidates should be enthusiastic and eager to try confectionary as it's looking for "honest and objective opinions" on the products.
"Candidates will be responsible for tasting and reviewing from the 3,000 products we currently carry," the posting read in part. "The candidates will also play an integral role in selecting the candies that will be a part of the first ever Candy Funhouse branded candy line."
A free newspaper is causing a stir in Waterloo Region and beyond. In early January, The Epoch Times began showing up in mailboxes unsolicited.
The polarizing paper has been the subject of controversy before due to its sharp criticism of China and other right-wing issues. In the paper's free spring edition, it ran a story with the headline “How the Chinese Communist Party Endangered the World” that accused China of covering up the COVID-19 pandemic.
On its website, The Epoch Times describes itself as a paper founded "in response to communist repression and censorship in China." It said it uses "truth and tradition" as its "guiding light." Some people who receive the paper say it’s stoking the fires of discrimination.