Ontario Updates COVID19 Framework

Ontario announces the extension of the stay-at-home order until June 2, 2021

By: Laura Steiner
Ontario has updated its COVID-19 framework.  The new guidelines lower the thresholds for all five colour-coded levels in the initial framework.  The announcement was made by Premier Ford, Health Minister Christine Elliott as well as Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams.
“Our number one priority right now is getting the numbers down and keeping people safe.  That’s why on the recommendation of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, we’re updating the framework with new thresholds so we can slow the spread of this virus,” Ford said.  The decision was made in response to modelling released yesterday that indicated the province could face up to 6500 new cases per day by the middle of next month.
The changes were made to take into account new weekly data concerning  effective reproductive number (Rt), outbreak trends, and community transmission.  “Over the last week we have seen an alarming shift in the trends of key public health indicators in regions across the province,” Elliott said.  The new model has also indicated that the province could potentially exceed the intensive care threshold of 150 beds under any scenario.
Halton Region is among 4 additional regions that have been added to the “red” or control designation.  Non-essential travel between areas of high transmission to areas with low transmission should be avoided.   Authorities are recommending no contact between households, those who are sick to stay home, and residents keep trips outside the home to a minimum.
Additionally it means the following restrictions:

  • Gathering limits: All public events and social gatherings will be reduced to 10 people indoors, and 25 doors.
  • Religious services, weddings: A reduction to 30% capacity indoors, and 100 people outdoors
  • Face coverings: Will be required in indoor workplaces, and indoor public spaces with limited exemptions
  • Bars and restaurants will have capacity to seat 10 indoors.  Drive-through, delivery, and takeout will be allowed.  Night Clubs will be allowed to operate as a restaurant or a bar.  Face coverings will be mandatory accept when eating or drinking.
  • Screening, and contact information will be required for all patrons

Halton Region recorded an increase of 57 cases of #COVID19 today.  The hospital occupancy is sitting at 99% for acute care beds. The other regions in the Red threshold are: Hamilton Public Health Services, Toronto Public Health, and York Region Public Health. The new designation is effective 12:01 a.m. Monday morning for all regions except Toronto, which goes into the red zone beginning Saturday.  It could last as long as 28 days.