York Region moves into lockdown starting Monday

Dec 11 2020, 10:31 am

The Ontario government is moving York Region into a lockdown effective Monday, December 14.

On Friday, the provincial government said they made the decision in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, local medical officers of health, and other health experts.

York Region, along with Windsor-Essex County, will move into the Grey-Lockdown zone, joining Toronto and Peel Region.

York will be in a lockdown for at least 28 days before the data is reviewed again.

In a lockdown, non-essential businesses are closed, retail stores can only offer curbside pick-up or delivery, and restaurants can only be open for pick-up, drive-through, and delivery.

Indoor gatherings are not allowed except with members of the same household, and outdoor gatherings are limited to 10 people.

“Moving a region into Grey-Lockdown is not an easy decision, but it is one we needed to make in order to help stop the spread of the virus and safeguard the key services we rely on,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, in a statement.

“As we enter the holiday season and as the province prepares to receive its first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines, it remains crucial for all Ontarians to continue adhering to public health advice and workplace safety measures to reduce the spread of the virus and keep each other safe.”

For long-term care homes, visitor restrictions apply to those homes in the public health unit regions that are in the Orange-Restrict level or higher. In addition, long-term care homes must implement recently enhanced testing requirements.

“Over the last week, public health indicators in the York and Windsor regions have continued to trend in the wrong direction and it is evident additional measures are needed to help limit the spread of the virus,” said Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health.

“By making this difficult but necessary decision we can help to ensure that hospitals in these regions can work to provide patients with the care they need when they need it, including the performing of scheduled surgeries and other important procedures.”

Toronto, Peel, and York Region have been hotspots for sometime.

On Thursday, health officials noted that in Peel, there are 197 people with the virus per 100,000, with Toronto following at 118, and York with 104. The ideal number is 30, according to Toronto Public Health.

And the COVID-19 test positivity rate — meaning the number of people who have positive test results of those who get tested — is highest in Peel at 11%. Followed by Toronto and York that each report 6%.