Beginning Tuesday, February 16, the provincial stay at home order for Grey-Bruce will end, and the region will return to the provincial COVID-19 Response Framework using a colour-coded system for each health unit to determine safe re-opening protocols.
The Grey Bruce Health Unit has received notice that it will be entering the Yellow stage of the re-opening framework as identified by the province.
After returning to the Framework, public health regions will stay in their 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 different level. Public health regions will move up through the levels, if necessary, based on the set indicators and thresholds outlined in the Framework.
Visitor restrictions for long-term care homes will once again apply to those homes in the public health regions that are in the Orange-Restrict level or higher. In addition, long-term care homes must implement enhanced testing requirements.
Recognizing the risk posed by new variants to the province’s pandemic response, Ontario is introducing an ’emergency brake’ to allow the Chief Medical Officer of Health, in consultation with the local medical officer of health, to immediately advise moving a region into Grey-Lockdown to interrupt transmission. Local medical officers of health also have the ability to issue Section 22 orders under the Health Protection and Promotion Act, to target specific transmission risks in the community.
To help stop the spread of COVID-19 and safeguard health system capacity, Ontarians are strongly urged to continue staying at home and limit trips outside their household and between other regions for essential reasons only, not to gather with individuals outside of their household, and to wear a face covering when within two metres distance of another individual who is not part of their household (both indoor and outdoor) or when required, with limited exceptions.
Ontario has implemented a six-point plan to deal with the new variants of concern which includes mandatory on-arrival testing of international travellers, enhanced screening and sequencing, maintaining public health measures to keep people safe, strengthening case and contact management to track the spread of new cases, enhanced protections for vulnerable populations, and leveraging the latest data to inform public health decisions.
To support the province’s economic recovery, the government has updated the Framework to allow for a safer approach to retail. Limited in-person shopping in Grey-Lockdown zones will be permitted with public health and safety measures, such as limiting capacity to 25 per cent in most retail settings.
The Chief Medical Officer of Health will continue to consult with public health and other experts, review data, and provide advice to the government on the appropriate and effective measures that are needed to protect the health of Ontarians.