Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent are both listed in the “Green-Prevent” level of the Ontario government’s new system of COVID-19 shutdowns.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford revealed details Tuesday of the new five-tiered system for when to impose lockdowns and closures. It will be implemented with a finalized list on Nov. 7 at 12:01 a.m.
Indoor dining and gyms can be open with modified guidelines in place in all levels except a full lockdown. Schools and daycares will also remain open under the proposed plan.
It categorizes public health unit regions into five levels: Green-Prevent, Yellow-Protect, Orange-Restrict, Red-Control, and Lockdown.
"It's clear COVID-19 will be with us for a while, which is why we are putting in place a framework that will protect the health and safety of individuals and families, while avoiding broader closures across the province," said Ford.
Ford said the framework, developed in consultation with health experts, will serve as an early warning system allowing us to scale up and scale back public health restrictions on a regional or community basis in response to surges and waves of COVID-19.
“By introducing public health measures sooner, we can keep this deadly virus at bay, bend the curve and reclaim a little more of our normal lives," said Ford.
Each level outlines the types of public health and workplace safety measures for businesses and organizations. These include targeted measures for specific sectors, institutions and other settings.
"The framework operates like a dimmer switch, enabling measures and restrictions to be increased and give individuals and families the information they need to adjust their activities and interactions based on local epidemiological data." Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health.
Proposed classifications are based on data for the week of Oct. 26. These will be confirmed by the province on Friday, Nov. 6 and become effective on Saturday, Nov. 7 at 12:01 a.m.
Final decisions on moving public health unit regions into the framework will be made by the government based on updated data and in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, local medical officers of health and other health experts, and will be reviewed weekly.
Going forward, the government will continually assess the impact of public health measures applied to public health unit regions for 28 days, or two COVID-19 incubation periods.
Here's what is included in each of the five new categories that will be implemented in Ontario:
In this category, the region must focus on education and awareness about public health safety measures. Restrictions reflect those of Stage 3, until there is a widely available vaccine or treatment. Highest risk settings remain closed.
To be assigned this status, the health unit must have a weekly incidence rate of fewer than 10 cases per 100,000 people. The test positivity rate must be under one per cent.
In this category, the region will enhance targeted enforcement, fines and education to limit further transmission.
Additional public health measures are required in high-risk settings, such as restaurants, gyms and movie theatres.
Regions placed in the protect category will have a weekly incidence rate between 10 and 39.9 cases per 100,000 people. The test positivity rate must be between one and 2.5 per cent.
When a region moves to this level, enhanced measure and restrictions are applied to slow the spread.
The weekly incidence rate in these regions must be between 40 and 99.9 cases per 100,000 people. The test positivity rate must be between 2.5 and 9.9 per cent.
At this level, hospital and ICU occupancy are increasing.
In the control phase, regions will implement broader-scale measures and restrictions across multiple sectors. This phase will be similar to a modified Stage 2.
The restrictions in this phase are the most severe before moving to a lockdown.
The weekly incident rate is more than 100 cases per 100,000 people. The positivity rate must increase above 10 per cent.
In this stage, hospital and ICU capacity are at risk of being overwhelmed.
Lockdown (Maximum measures)
If trends continue to worsen after measures from the control level are implemented, the region will move to a full lockdown. This means closing all non-essential businesses and reverting to Stage 1 or pre-Stage 1.
Here are the proposed classifications for Ontario health units based on the week of Oct. 26:
- No public health unit regions
- No public health unit regions
- 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.
- Brant County Health Unit;
- City of Hamilton Public Health Services;
- Durham Region Health Department; and
- Halton Region Public Health.
- 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-Duf ferin-Guelph Public Health; and
- Windsor-Essex County Health Unit.
With files from CTV News Toronto.