covid-19 doug ford

New COVID-19 cases in Ontario continue to rise as 998 cases reported with 350 in Toronto

On a day when the province is set to offer up the first glimpse of its new budget, Ontario reported 998 cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, with 350 new cases reported in Toronto, 269 in Peel, and 71 in York Region. There were 948 more resolved cases, and sadly an additional 13 Ontarians died of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours. There were approximately 35,800 tests complete.

 

 

In his afternoon press conference on Tuesday, Premier Doug Ford announced a revised COVID-19 Response Framework to respond to outbreaks in Ontario. The framework includes a five-level, colour-coded, tiered system to apply to sector-specific cases:

  • Prevent (green), represents standard measures
  • Protect (yellow), represents strengthened measures
  • Restrict (orange), represents intermediate measures
  • Control (red), represents stringent measures
  • Lockdown (grey), represents maximum measures

According to provincial guidelines, the framework is designed to “stack” or “ladder down or up.” Measures will be scaled back or implemented progressively, level by level, but the goal is to have every public health unit region in the “Prevent” level, where the weekly incidence rate is less than 10 per 100,000, and the percentage positivity is less than one.

As of 12:01 a.m. on Nov. 7, Ottawa, Peel, and York Region will move to the Restrict (orange) level. Toronto will move to the Restrict level on Nov. 14.

For restaurants and bars, “Restrict” measures include:

  • 50 person indoor capacity limit
  • Limit operating hours (establishments close at 10 p.m.)
  • Liquor sold or served only between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.
  • No consumption of liquor between 10 p.m. and 9 a.m.
  • Require screening of patrons (e.g., questionnaires)
  • Limit of four people may be seated together
  • Closure of strip clubs

For sports and recreation facilities, Restrict measures include:

  • Maximum 50 people per facility in all combined recreational fitness spaces or programs (not pools, rinks at arenas, community centres, and multipurpose facilities)
  • Require screening of patrons, including spectators (e.g., questionnaire)
  • Limit duration of stay (e.g. 60 minutes); exemption for sports
  • No spectators permitted (exemption for parent/guardian supervision of children)

For retail spaces, Restrict measures include:

  • Screening of patrons at mall entrances (e.g., questionnaire)
  • For consideration during winter: limit capacity in retail stores and in shopping malls

If trends improve, measures will be dropped cautiously, level by level, to ensure there are no significant community or public health impacts with the rollback of measures.

Still, some are questioning loosening the COVID-19 restrictions amid rising cases.

 

 

Click here for a full list of measures and here for more up-to-date COVID-19 news.

Article exclusive to TRNTO