The Ontario government has announced the 27 public health unit regions that are returning to the colour-coded COVID-19 response framework effective at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday (February 16).
In the greater Kawarthas region, Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit will move into the “Orange-Restrict” level and Peterborough Public Health will move into the “Yellow-Protect”.
The Hastings Prince Edward Health Unit was one of three health units — along with Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Public Health, and Renfrew County and District Health Unit — already moved into the least-restrictive “Green-Prevent” level effective on Wednesday (February 10), following an announcement at the beginning of the week.
Only one of the 27 health unit regions, Niagara, is moving into the most restrictive “Grey-Lockdown” level.
Four health unit regions — Toronto Public Health, Peel Public Health, York Region Public Health, and North Bay Parry Sound District — will remain in the provincial shutdown announced on Boxing Day, with the stay-at-home order still in effect, until at least Monday, February 22nd.
“While we are cautiously and gradually transitioning some regions out of shutdown, with the risk of new variants this is not a reopening or a return to normal,” said health minister Christine Elliott. “Until vaccines are widely available, it remains critical that all individuals and families continue to adhere to public health measures and stay home as much as possible to protect themselves, their loved ones, and their communities.”
After returning to the COVID-19 response framework, each public health unit region will stay in its colour-coded level for at least two weeks, at which time the government will assess the impact of public health and workplace safety measures to determine if the region should stay where it is or be moved to a less restrictive or more restrictive level.
Here’s the full list of the 27 public health regions and their colour-coded level effective February 16:
- Niagara Region Public Health
- Chatham-Kent Public Health
- City of Hamilton Public Health Services
- Durham Region Health Department
- Halton Region Public Health
- Middlesex-London Health Unit
- Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services
- Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit
- Southwestern Public Health
- Thunder Bay District Health Unit
- Wellington-Dufferin Guelph Public Health
- Windsor-Essex County Health Unit
- Brant County Health Unit
- Eastern Ontario Health Unit
- Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit
- Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit
- Huron Perth Public Health
- Lambton Public Health
- Ottawa Public Health
- Porcupine Health Unit
- Public Health Sudbury and Districts
- Algoma Public Health
- Grey Bruce Health Unit
- Northwestern Health Unit
- Peterborough Public Health
- Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit
- Timiskaming Health Unit
As noted, Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit will move into the “Orange-Restrict” level and Peterborough Public Health will move into the “Yellow-Protect”.
In both these levels, in-person shopping at retail stores and malls and in-person dining at restaurants is once again allowed, with public health restrictions in place including capacity limits. Personal care services, cinemas, performing arts facilities, and sports and recreational facilities can also reopen, also with public health restrictions in place.
There are some differences between the two levels. For example, six people can be seated together in restaurants in “Yellow-Protect” but only four people can be seated together in “Orange-Restrict”, and bars and restaurants are not allowed to stay open as long in “Orange-Restrict”. In “Orange-Restrict”, personal care services that require the removal of face coverings are prohibited.
For a complete listing of what’s allowed in each colour-coded level, visit ontario.ca/page/covid-19-response-framework-keeping-ontario-safe-and-open/.