More Ontario regions are entering the Red – Control level as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the province.
Starting at 12:01 am on Monday, November 16, Hamilton, Halton, Peel, and York will be moved into the red “control zone.”
Toronto moved into the red on November 14 but has additional restrictions imposed by the city’s top doctor, Eileen de Villa. They include closing indoor dining, fitness classes, cinemas, and reducing gatherings to just immediate households with one or two essential supports.
The red category allows for indoor dining at bars and restaurants but with a strict capacity limit of 10 people indoors. It also limits capacity in gyms to 10 people inside and prohibits movie theatres from operating.
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Peel Region moved into the red zone on November 7 and added further restrictions to limit the virus’s spread.
The province’s colour-coded system acts as a baseline that local officers of health can change, like in Toronto and Peel.
On Friday, Premier Doug Ford emphasized that residents in the red zones should limit trips from outside of the home to essential reasons only like work, school, grocery shopping, exercise, and medical appointments.
Ford also said Ontario’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams would update the guidelines for the colour-coded system to have stricter epidemiological thresholds for each new colour.
Now to be in the red zone, there must be 40 people instead of 100 who have the infection per 100,000 and positivity rates greater of 2.5% instead of 9.9%.
In early November, the province announced the Keeping Ontario Safe and Open Framework, which places every region into five categories. Each has distinct guidelines to help stop the spread of the virus. The five categories are; prevent (green), protect (yellow), restrict (orange), control (red), and lockdown (grey).