Province Launches Colour Coded COVID Alert System

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Ontario is introducing a new tiered system to help handle COVID-19.

According to the Ministry of Health, the system ensures that public health measures are targeted, incremental and responsive to help limit the spread of the virus while keeping schools and businesses open, maintaining health system capacity and protecting vulnerable people, including those in long-term care.

It's expected the new system will determine when and to what extent COVID-19 restrictions are placed on parts of the province using a colour-coded system.

Areas with the lowest levels of virus case counts, positivity rates and community transmission will be placed in a green category, with the most permissive rules.

The system then moves upward through yellow, orange and red categories, with increasingly strict measures, and has a grey "lockdown" level where maximum measures would be implemented.

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit introduced its own colour coded system last week to monitor the pandemic at a local level.

As of November 7, 2020, the province will transition public health unit regions to the new framework.

The following proposed classifications for public health unit regions are based on data for the week of October 26, 2020. Updated data will be used for final review by the Chief Medical Officer of Health and approval by Cabinet on Friday, November 6, 2020.

Lockdown:

  • No public health unit regions

Red-Control:

  • No public health unit regions

Orange-Restrict:

  • Eastern Ontario Health Unit;
  • Ottawa Public Health;
  • Peel Public Health;
  • Toronto Public Health (may be delayed in entering Orange-Restrict level until November 14, 2020); and
  • York Region Public Health.

Yellow-Protect:

  • Brant County Health Unit;
  • City of Hamilton Public Health Services;
  • Durham Region Health Department; and
  • Halton Region Public Health.

Green-Prevent:

  • Algoma Public Health;
  • Chatham-Kent Public Health;
  • Grey Bruce Health Unit;
  • Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Public Health;
  • Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit;
  • Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit;
  • Hastings Prince Edward Public Health;
  • Huron Perth Public Health;
  • Lambton Public Health;
  • Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit;
  • Middlesex-London Health Unit;
  • Niagara Region Public Health;
  • North Bay Parry Sound District;
  • Northwestern Health Unit;
  • Peterborough Public Health;
  • Porcupine Health Unit;
  • Public Health Sudbury & Districts;
  • Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services;
  • Renfrew County and District Health Unit;
  • Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit;
  • Southwestern Public Health;
  • Thunder Bay District Health Unit;
  • Timiskaming Health Unit;
  • Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health; and
  • Windsor-Essex County Health Unit.