The Eastern Ontario Heath Unit region is now "Orange restrict" under the Ontario government's COVID-19 response framework, after being labelled "Yellow-protect" last week.
The designation, meaning that stricter measures will be implemented in our region, was changed despite a decrease in active cases in the EOHU jurisdiction.
"These adjustments are necessary to respond to the latest evidence we're seeing and we are prepared to make further adjustments as the health experts continue to review the current public health restrictions. We must do whatever it takes to stop our hospitals from being overwhelmed and protect our most vulnerable," said Premier Doug Ford.
The latest modelling shows that if the number of new cases continues to grow at its current rate, the province could register up to 6,500 new cases per day by mid-December. Within the next two weeks the province will likely exceed its intensive care threshold of 150 beds, under any potential scenario.
The framework changes are in response to the current data and trends, and will lower the threshold for each of the five levels for: weekly incidence rates, positivity rate, effective reproductive number (Rt), outbreak trends and the level of community transmission.
Here is a summary of guidelines for the Orange zone.
General public health measures (gatherings, workplace requirements and face coverings)
- Events and social gatherings
- 10 people indoors
- 25 people outdoors
- Organized public events and gatherings:
- 50 people indoors
- 100 people outdoors
- Religious services, weddings and funerals:
- 30% capacity indoors
- 100 people outdoors
- Requirement for workplace screening
- Face coverings required in:
- indoor workplaces
- indoor public spaces, with limited exemptions
- Where patrons without face coverings are within two metres of workers, workers must use additional protections such as eye protection
- Workplaces must develop and implement a communication/public education plan (highlighting risk)
- Physical distancing must be maintained
- Non-essential travel from areas of high-transmission to areas of low transmission should be avoided