Coronavirus: Video shows large crowds and little physical distancing in Niagara Falls

A video taken on Clifton Hill in Niagara Falls last weekend has shocked some YouTube viewers as large crowds and long lineups are shown at city attractions with few people physical distancing amid the continuing coronavirus crisis.

Comments made on the Amusement Insider YouTube channel, which featured the video shot by Niagara Falls resident Cole Morningstar, spurred outrage.

“This makes me so mad” and “This is a disgrace I can’t believe people are doing this” were just some of the comments made.

Read more: 165 new coronavirus cases, 2 deaths in Ontario; total cases at 38,107

The video appears to show little in the way of the province’s social distancing guidelines among the crowds gathered in an area near the Niagara Sky Wheel, Niagara Speedway and Dinosaur Adventure Golf.

The video, posted on Tuesday, pulled in over 80,000 views by Wednesday evening.

“I hope people start wearing masks in that instant where there’s huge lines and people aren’t six feet,” said Morningstar who shot the video around 9 p.m. Saturday night. “I can understand people saying it’s outdoors and the wind is moving and stuff, but, if you’re still that close.”

Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati told Global News that the display was from the “first busy weekend” the city has seen since Ontario put Niagara Region into Stage 2.

Read more: Canada, U.S. tourist boats at Niagara Falls highlight difference in coronavirus battle

“We now know we have to manage the outdoor space in the same way, with diligence, education and awareness,” Diodati said. “Businesses in the area are coming together to bring ambassadors outdoors who will be giving away masks, spraying sanitizer, and educating people on proper distancing.”

Diodati went on to say that the ambassadors will be highly visible and engaged. They are expected to be on Clifton Hill and at a number of other city attractions in the next few days.

Not all attractions on Clifton Hill opened up in Stage 2. Diodati said some of the city’s casinos decided to remain closed. However, many are expected to open as the region moves to Stage 3 this weekend.

Niagara Falls in one of several municipalities in the Niagara Region that has not yet taken a position for or against mandatory face coverings at indoor public spaces.

Most councillors are awaiting word on a possible bylaw encompassing all of Niagara Region, which is in front of the regional council on Thursday night.

Read more: Close vote for Niagara regional councillors delays potential mask bylaw in region

St. Catharines, Niagara-On-The-Lake, Hamilton and Burlington are nearby municipalities that have enacted mandatory face-covering measures in the past few weeks, requiring the general public to cover faces in public indoor spaces like retail and grocery stores, city facilities and on public transit.

Ontario reported 165 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Wednesday, bringing the provincial total to 38,107.

The death toll in the province has risen to 2,755, as two new deaths were reported.

Wednesday’s report indicates the majority of new cases came from Windsor-Essex with 39 while Ottawa saw 33 new cases.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus. In some provinces and municipalities across the country, masks or face coverings are now mandatory in indoor public spaces.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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