Lockdown violation in Wheatley

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Chatham-Kent police busted a church service in Wheatley on Sunday for violating provincial COVID-19 lockdown orders.

The lockdown rules went into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Boxing Day, and at 11 a.m. the next day, officers were called to the Old Colony Mennonite Church in Wheatley.

Upon police arrival, officers observed over 100 unmasked people inside the church. The current regulations for religious services only allows for 10 people indoors. 

The municipal bylaw also states that masks are required during worship.

A member of the church, a 43-year-old Wheatley man, took responsibility for the gathering, police say, and was charged with failing to comply with a continued section 7.0.2 order, contrary to section 10(1)(a) of the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020.

Police say everyone complied with the officers’ requests to end the church service early and leave the property.    

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