The soaring COVID-19 pandemic has led to further restrictions being imposed in Simcoe-Muskoka. Ontario Minister of Health Christine Elliott says our region, among several others, is moving from Green-Prevent to Yellow-Protect with strengthened measures against COVID-19. The new measures will see restrictions placed on when bars and restaurants are allowed to open and their music volume, as well as spacing between patrons at gyms, among others that were in place under the green level.

A sombre and oftentimes emotional Premier Doug Ford delivered the news Friday afternoon. 

The province has altered the thresholds for the different tiers of the framework after a week of criticism from the medical community saying they were too loose.

New threshold levels for Ontario’s reopening framework (Supplied by Ministry of Health)

In his briefing today Ford pleaded with Ontarians to follow public health advice saying “never has so much depended on our collective actions.” Ford said that yesterday’s projections of up to 6,500 new COVID-19 cases a day by mid-December has changed dramatically from when the province began putting its framework together and that we need to be flexible and be prepared to change course right before he delivered Friday’s news.  He said that Thursday’s numbers could not have been more, clear that our hospitals will be overrun, “I can’t accept that and I won’t accept that.”

Here are the areas being moved into different levels of the framework:

  • Red-Control:
    • Hamilton Public Health Services
    • Halton Region Public Health
    • Toronto Public Health
    • York Region Public Health
  • Orange-Restrict:
    • Brant County Health Unit
    • Durham Region Health Department
    • Eastern Ontario Health Unit
    • Niagara Region Public Health
    • Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health
    • Region of Waterloo Public Health
  • Yellow-Protect:
    • Huron Perth Public Health
    • Middlesex-London Health Unit
    • Public Health Sudbury & Districts
    • Southwestern Public Health
    • Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit
    • Windsor-Essex County Health Unit
    • Haldimand-Norfolk
    • Southwestern Public Health