Halton among 27 Regions Moving to Framework

By: Laura Steiner
Halton Region is among 27 regions returning to the province’s COVID19 reopening framework Tuesday February 16, 2021.  The announcement was made by Health Minister Christine Elliott earlier this afternoon.
“The health and safety of Ontarians remains our number one priority.  While we are cautiously and gradually transitioning some regions out of shutdown with the risk of new variants this is not a reopening or a return to normal,” Elliott said.  Toronto, Peel, North-Bay Parry Sound, and York will remain under a stay-at-home order until February 22, 2021.
Halton will enter the “Red or control zone.”  This is described on the province’s website as implementing broader restrictions across multiple sectors to control transmission.” Everyone is strongly advised to continue staying at home, avoid social gatherings, only travel between regions for essential purposes and limit close contacts to your household,” Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams said.  Red is the last step before widescale closures.   The designations will be in place for two weeks.
The province has introduced a new “emergency brake” mechanism.  This would allow each region’s Chief Medical of Health to move a region to grey in order to prevent large-scale transmission.   Retail will be allowed under all designations, with limits on capacity for stores.
Modelling data released yesterday indicates there cases could start increase towards the end of this month thanks to contagious variants.  Halton recorded an increase of 26 cases  as of today with 5 of these coming from Milton.  The region has recorded the first case of the UK strain of COVID19.