The Ontario reopening government called the many sectors will begin a phased reopening on Wednesday; however, a majority of regions will remain in lockdown amid the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hastings Prince Edward Public Health, Kingston, Frontenac, and Lennox & Adding ton Public Health, and Renfrew County and District Health Unit will move back to the Green-Prevent zone in the original color-coded framework introduced by the government in November and will no longer fall under the stay-at-home-order.
The Timiskaming Health Unit, which was originally also expected to move to the green category Wednesday, will be held back for a week since a COVID-19 variant was discovered in the region over the weekend, the province said.
“We can’t return to normal, not yet,” Ford said. “But we can transition out of the province-wide shut-down.”
In the green zone, restaurants and non-crucial businesses will be allowed to reopen.
The five zones under the COVID-19 response framework are Green-to put a stop of, Yellow-Protect, Orange-Restrict, Red-Control, and Grey-Lockdown. What measures that fall under each zone can be found here?
The pronouncement was made by Premier Doug Ford, Minister of Health Christine Elliott, and the Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams on Monday afternoon.
Toronto, Peel, and York sector will continue under the stay-at-home order until Feb. 22, and will most likely be placed in the Grey-Lockdown zone, while the rest of the 28 public health units will begin reopening Feb. 16.
Health administrator said, however, that these dates are amendable and will be “subject to review” based on numbers and health indicators.
Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa said that with the presence of the variants in the community, they can “anticipate” an increase in numbers, and “at this moment in time, reopening is not what I nominate for the city of Toronto.”
Ontario reopening has been in smart lockdown since Boxing Day, and on Jan. 12, the sector declared a state of emergency over rising cases of COVID-19.
“That’s why we have been listening to business holder, and we are strengthening and adjusting the Framework to allow more businesses to safely reopen and get people back to work.”
It also instituted a stay-at-home order, which disallow people from going out except for crucial purposes, such as for exercise or to buy groceries.
Health owner called to help the economy while the province reopens, limited in-person shopping will be allowed while a region is in the Grey-Lockdown zone.
“Our number one priority will always be preserve the health and safety of all individuals, families, and workers across the province,” said Premier Ford. “But we must also examine the severe impact COVID-19 is having on our businesses.
With the invention of the many contactable COVID-19 variants from the U.K., Brazil, and South Africa, the Ford government introduced an “emergency brake,” which will allow Williams to enact immediate action if a health unit sees a spike in transmission and/or their hospitals become overburden.
The province would be moved “instantly” back to the Grey-Lockdown zone.
The Canadian council of Independent Business which had recently asked that all businesses be allowed to open across Ontario with a 20 percent capacity limit, called Monday’s announcement a “small, positive step.”
But the group noted that even by Feb. 22, many regions are likely to remain in the strictest grey-lockdown category of the province’s restriction system.
“This is deeply dishonest and will mean that in-person dining, personal services like hair and nail care, and gyms will remain in full lockdown with no end in sight,” the group said in a statement.
The state of emergency order will also end on Feb. 9.
“While the announcement of emergency will be ending, the threat posed by COVID-19 and the new variants remain serious analyze,” said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones, adding everyone should continue to stay at home, avoid social gatherings and minimize travel notwithstanding of being under the stay-at-home order or not.
As of Monday, Ontario reported 279,472 total corona virus cases and 6,538 total deaths.
The Ontario reopening government said residential evictions that were paused under the stay-at-home order will be able to resume once it is lifted in a region.
Evictions were paused under the state of emergency, except for “urgent situations” such as those involving illegal activity.
Officials also said the pause included evictions that were issued but not enforced before the announcement by the Ford government on Jan. 14.
It marked the second time the district government carry through and ban on the enforcement of residential evictions since the start of the corona virus pandemic.
Ontario reopening has 1935 confirmed cases per 1 lack
Sometimes provinces update many days at once, such as after a weekend. We average that data over the missing days (i.e. Zero cases Saturday and Sunday and 3,000 cases Monday becomes 1,000 Saturday, Sunday, and Monday) to create a smoother, more error –free graph.
Last updated: Monday 8 February