CONSTANCE BAY – The West Carleton Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 616, has temporarily and voluntarily closed its doors following two confirmed cases of COVID-19 amongst patrons.
The branch announced the closure yesterday (Dec. 30) morning.
“We regret to announce due to exposure to two visitors who tested positive for COVID-19, Branch 616 will be closed until further notice,” Branch 616 public information officer Arleen Morrow released in a statement. “Thank you for your patronage.”
Morrow told West Carleton Online this includes the planned Royal Canadian Legion New Year’s Day (Jan. 1, 2022) Levee.
The annual event was a long-running tradition for Branch 616.
“Legions and levees go hand-in-hand,” Branch 616 Sergeant-at-Arms Rob Gallant told West Carleton Online during the last one in 2020.
Last year the event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year was to be the return of the event, but as the COVID-19 situation in Ontario has gotten decidedly worse with record breaking daily case counts due primarily to the introduction of the Omicron variant, it is not surprising the event will not go ahead this year.
The closure may affect the Legion’s popular Meals to Wheels Friday night dinner program as well. The take-out dinners cooked by the legion’s volunteer chefs has been an important money maker for the branch as it tries to find its footing throughout the pandemic. Legion executive have not yet made a decision as to whether they will host the planned Jan. 14 meal or not.
“Meals to Wheels on Jan. 14 could happen, depends on Omicron and COVID-19,” Morrow said.
The Legion has spent much of the pandemic closed to the public, having only started hosting guests and returning to the in-branch programming such as dart nights recently. Even then, the branch was on very streamlined hours, only recently expanding them on Dec. 10.