The Ontario government is allowing seven more regions to enter Stage 3 on Friday, increasing the number of businesses and public spaces that will reopen across the province. This decision was made in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and is based on positive local trends of key public health indicators, including lower or low transmission of COVID-19, ongoing hospital capacity, public health capacity to conduct rapid case and contact management, and a significant increase in testing.
The details were provided today by Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, and Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance.
“We’re working with communities across the province to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and help more businesses safely and responsibly hang up their ‘Open for Business’ sign,” said Premier Ford. “While we want as many people back to work and taking home a paycheque again as possible, it’s important for everyone ― no matter what stage your community is in ― to remain on guard and keep following the public health advice. By working together, we can keep new case numbers down and ensure all of Ontario can enter Stage 3 when it’s safe to do so.”
The following public health units will be allowed to move into Stage 3 on Friday, July 24, 2020 at 12:01 a.m.:
- Durham Region Health Department;
- Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit;
- Halton Region Health Department;
- Hamilton Public Health Services;
- Lambton Health Unit;
- Niagara Region Public Health Department; and
- York Region Public Health Services.
These regions will join the 24 public health regions that entered into Stage 3 on Friday, July 17, 2020. For more information on the restrictions that will remain in place during Stage 3, as well as the public health and workplace safety restrictions necessary to keep people safe, visit Ontario.ca/reopen.
The following regions will remain in Stage 2 until local trends of key public health indicators demonstrate readiness to move into Stage 3:
- Peel Public Health;
- Toronto Public Health; and
- Windsor-Essex County Health Unit.
Businesses not able to open or resume full activities due to Stage 3 restrictions, or businesses that have ideas to safely amend Stage 3 restrictions or requirements, can visit Ontario.ca/reopen to submit a reopening proposal. Government and public health officials will review proposals and contact businesses for feedback or clarifications. Proposals may inform the potential loosening of restrictions as Stage 3 progresses. Proposals will receive initial feedback within 10 days of submission. A sector could be allowed to reopen or resume Stage 3 activities based on proposals submitted by businesses.
As the province carefully reopens, the health and well-being of Ontarians remains a top priority. The government is strongly recommending everyone to continue following public health advice, including practising physical distancing with those outside your household or social circle, wearing a face-covering when physical distancing is a challenge or where it is mandatory to do so, staying home when ill, and washing your hands frequently and thoroughly. These measures are critical as more Ontarians return to work and access more businesses and services.
- For regions in Stage 3, gathering limits will increase to a maximum of 50 people indoors and a maximum of 100 people outdoors, with physical distancing in place. Gathering limits apply to all social gatherings and events, as well as some higher risk activities and venues. Gathering limits do not apply to settings such as beaches, parks, restaurants and bars, but measures to enable physical distancing may limit capacity at any given time.
- More details are here.
Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie commented on this news and stated, “While Mississauga is in a good position with an average of 5 new daily cases, we have more work to do as a Region..’
Mississauga Mayor stated further on Twitter, “GTHA Mayors and Chairs are working together and remain united on a safe restart & recovery plan. Given the growing concerns about indoor bars & restaurants and gyms & fitness clubs reopening, we’re asking for the province to explore additional public health measures.”
Toronto Mayor John Tory reiterated in a tweet, “I remain committed to working together with my fellow GTHA Mayors and Chairs on a safe restart and recovery that is based on public health advice.”
News Source: Office of the Premier/Social Media
Featured Photo: DXR / CC BY-SA