Toronto moved into the Grey Zone on Monday at 12 am, as the province reported an increase in COVID-19 cases.
Since January 14, Toronto had been operating under the Stay at Home orders which were lifted at midnight.
Joining Toronto in the Grey Zone is Peel region, which is another COVID-19 hotspot.
On Friday, the Ontario government made the decision in consultation with the chief medical officer of health, to transition the regions under the Stay at Home orders to move into a revised and strengthened COVID-19 Response Framework: Keeping Ontario Safe and Open (the “Framework”).
The province said based on the latest modelling data, the number of new cases, deaths and hospitalizations across the province are decreasing due to health measures being followed. However, with COVID-19 variants of concern continuing to spread, “the actions of everyone over the coming weeks will be critical to maintaining the progress communities have made across the province to date.”
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On Monday morning, the province reported over 1,600 new cases — the highest number in over a month. Toronto reported 568 cases which was also the highest count in a number of weeks.
Last week, Toronto’s top doctor and Mayor John Tory recommended that the city advance into the Grey Zone.
The Grey Zone allows retail to reopen at 25% capacity with enhanced screening measures. This means malls can also reopen, but dining areas will still be closed, and people are discouraged from congregating in the mall.
Indoor gatherings are still not permitted, and outdoor gatherings can only have 10 people with distancing if you’re not from the same household.
Personal care services are still closed, as is indoor dining.
Indoor facilities and recreational sports will remain closed, but outdoor ski, ice and snow amenities can open for recreational purposes.
The other regions in the Grey Zone are Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit and Thunder Bay District Health Unit.
Now, all 34 regions are in Ontario’s colour-coded framework.