Hamilton is entering the Grey-lockdown zone in Ontario, as the province officially extends Toronto’s lockdown until January.
According to the province, after assessing trends in key public health indicators, Peel Public Health and Toronto Public Health will remain in the Grey-Lockdown level to be re-assessed on January 4, 2021.
Additionally, five public health regions will be moved to levels with stronger public health measures, including moving the City of Hamilton Public Health Services to Grey-Lockdown.
“With public health indicators continuing to worsen in Toronto and Peel, we are making the difficult but necessary decision to extend public health measures to stop the spread of COVID-19, protect our hospital capacity and safeguard the key services we rely on,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health.
“With the first vaccines administered to our frontline health care workers this week, the light at the end of the tunnel grows brighter every day. However now more than ever we are urging everyone to continue following public health measures and advice, especially over the holiday season.”
The province said that in the nearly four weeks since Peel Public Health and Toronto Public Health were moved into Grey-Lockdown, there has been a continued and concerning increase in the public health indicators in both regions.
Hospitalizations have risen by 54% in Peel and by 40.9% in Toronto, resulting in delays for surgeries and other procedures at several hospitals, said the government in a release, adding that positivity rates also remain well above the 2.5% high-alert threshold, at 8.5%cent in Peel and 5.8% in Toronto.
In Hamilton, the number of cases and hospitalizations are trending upwards and further action is required to help stop the spread of the virus, according to the provincial government.
“As the number of new cases in Ontario continue to rise, it is evident additional measures are needed in certain regions to stop the spread of the virus,” said Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health.
“The trends in key public health indicators in Peel and Toronto remain concerning and we have made the decision to keep them in the Grey-Lockdown level to ensure the continued safety of communities in the regions. We will continue to work closely with the local medical officers of health across the province.”
Based on the latest data, the province said the following public health regions will move from their current level in the framework to the following levels effective Monday, December 21, 2020 at 12:01 am with Peel Public Health and Toronto Public Health remaining in lockdown until at least January 4, 2021:
- City of Hamilton Public Health Services.
- Brant County Health Unit.
- Niagara Region Public Health.
- Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Public Health.
- Timiskaming Health Unit.
- Public Health Sudbury & Districts.
A full breakdown of the zones can be found here.
As the holiday season approaches, the government is urging all Ontarians to continue to follow all required public health measures and public health advice. No matter where people live in the province.