As Peterborough’s medical officer of health predicted earlier this week, the Ontario government is moving the Peterborough Public Health region into the ‘Red-Control’ level of the province’s COVID-19 response framework.
The change from ‘Yellow-Protect’ to ‘Red-Control’ is effective at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, March 8th.
The government’s announcement on Friday (March 5) follows a major COVID-19 outbreak declared last week at the privately owned Severn Court Student Residence near Fleming College, followed by a related outbreak declared yesterday at Champlain College at Trent University. The Severn Court outbreak includes at least 30 cases that have screened positive as a presumed COVID-19 variant of concern.
With Peterborough moving into ‘Red-Control’ — one level under ‘Grey-Lockdown’ — existing restrictions will be tightened ever more.
In ‘Red-Control’, fewer people are allowed to gather (five indoors and 25 outdoors), a maximum of four people can be seated together in restaurants, capacity limits for retail stores are decreased, no personal care services that require the removal of face masks are allowed, movie theatres and performing arts venues are closed, and more.
For a complete list of restrictions, visit ontario.ca/page/covid-19-response-framework-keeping-ontario-safe-and-open#red.
“As the number of variant cases spread, I am hoping that the Red zone measures will provide our community with the extra protection we need to contain COVID-19 and keep our most vulnerable residents safe,” said Peterborough’s medical officer of health Dr. Rosana Salvaterra in a media release from the health unit issued on Friday afternoon.
“There is a real risk that the variants linked to the local outbreaks could spread further out into the community, so I am urging everyone to continue doing their part to follow public health measures and help us avoid going into lockdown.”
Today’s announcement from the province has far better news for residents of Kawartha Lakes, Northumberland, and Haliburton. With positive cases on the decline, the province is moving the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit region from ‘Orange-Restrict’ to the less restrictive ‘Yellow-Protect’ level.
The primary focus of the province’s Friday announcement was the transitioning of the Toronto, Peel, and North Bay Parry Sound District public health regions out of the shutdown and stay-at-home order and into the COVID-19 response framework. Toronto and Peel are moving into the framework at the ‘Grey-Lockdown’ level and North Bay Parry Sound is moving into the ‘Red-Control’ level.
Other changes announced on Friday include Public Health Sudbury and Districts and Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit moving into ‘Red-Control’, Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit and Timiskaming Health Unit moving into ‘Orange-Restrict’, and Renfrew County and District Health Unit moving into ‘Yellow-Protect’.
All changes are effective at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, March 8th.
This story has been updated with a comment from Peterborough’s medical officer of health.