Three tenants charged after more than 100 students gather for a house party in Waterloo

WATERLOO — Three tenants at a house in the university campus area face charges after more than 100 students gathered on Hickory Street West for a house party Monday night.

Waterloo Regional Police, along with Waterloo bylaw officers, were called to the house at about 10 p.m. to break up the party.

Police spokesperson Cherri Greeno said three tenants were charged with breaking provincial emergency orders for having more than 50 people gathered at a residence.

Acting medical officer of health Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang scolded the students and warned of increased enforcement.

“Large gatherings and parties will not be tolerated,” she said. “We are doing this not because we don’t want you to have fun, but because this is not the right thing to do when we’re still in a pandemic.”

Disease outbreaks elsewhere have been connected to large gatherings where public health measures were not followed, she said.

“Our actions matter. What we do makes a difference in terms of reducing the spread of COVID-19 in our community,” she said. “We all need to keep following the public health measures.”

This means avoiding big parties, wearing a mask when required, limiting your social circle to 10 or fewer people, and practising physical distancing with people not in that circle, she said.

“We have to be very vigilant,” Wang said. “I understand it’s been six months and it’s hard for people to be under restrictions. But there are ways to socialize and have fun safely … We don’t need to have large parties where the risk is really high.”

Police also reminded students not to gather in large groups and to abide by public health guidelines, to avoid putting others at risk.

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