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'Business as usual' at Orillia's Legion branch: President

'We have our own rules, but we will definitely follow whatever the health department says,' says Legion president, adding branch is open to members, public

The Royal Canadian Legion Orillia Branch 34 will remain open to members and the public despite COVID-19 concerns - at least for now.

"What we are going to do is business as usual," branch president Bob Thomas told OrilliaMatters Monday afternoon.

After a preliminary meeting with Legion executives Monday afternoon, Thomas said the Legion will take further direction from the health department, and or the City of Orillia. 

"This is a private club, we aren't just some bar on the street," Thomas explains. 

"We have our own rules, but we will definitely follow whatever the health department says."

While the Legion stays open, several seniors' groups have cancelled their visits to the branch. 

Tuesday's ladies auxiliary luncheon has been cancelled and the ladies dart league cancelled their season earlier today. 

However, the Tuesday night men's dart league is still planning on wrapping up their last night of the season tomorrow night. The Thursday night league has yet to decide on if they will continue, but Thomas says they are still welcome to play. 

Thomas says the staff at the Legion is working hard to keep the building as clean as possible and they're taking precautionary actions. 

"We put out hand sanitizers weeks ago, our staff wipes down the tables with a cleaner when people come and go, we've been cleaning the doorknobs and we've been doing that now for a week-and-a-half," Thomas said.

Thomas says the legion is monitoring the situation closely and despite no current plans to close the branch, although he concedes that could change. 

"As of yet, there is no cases here in Orillia. If that changes, it will change the dynamics here quite a bit," Thomas said.