Capacity limits in high risk spaces like wedding venues to remain, says Ontario

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The province is pausing the previously planned lifting of capacity limits in remaining higher-risk settings such as food and drink establishments with dance facilities amid a rise in daily COVID-19 cases.

While Ontario’s hospital and intensive care capacity remains stable, certain public health trends, including the effective reproduction number and percent positivity have increased slightly over the past week, the province said in a statement. Existing capacity limits and physical distancing requirements for higher-risk settings where proof of vaccination is required will remain in place till the province can understand any potential impact on hospitalizations and ICU admissions. 

These higher-risk settings include night clubs and wedding receptions in meeting/event spaces where there is dancing, strip clubs, sex clubs and bathhouses.

“To protect our hard-fought progress and ensure we can continue to manage COVID-19 for the long-term, more time is needed before we can take the next step forward in our reopening plan,” said Health Minister Christine Elliott.

Data will be monitored for the next 28 days to determine when it is safe to lift capacity limits in these settings.

“It is necessary to make this deliberate pause as we approach the winter holidays where more people will begin gathering indoors and where students will be returning to in-class learning in January after celebrating with friends and family,” said Dr. Kieran Moore, Chief Medical Officer of Health. 

Meanwhile Ontarians are urged to remain vigilant and continue following public health and workplace safety measures in place and to get vaccinated if they have not done so already. 

“Over the coming weeks and months, we need to stay the course on reaching those who have not yet been vaccinated, follow public health and workplace safety measures, and continue to remain vigilant in order to minimize the transmission of COVID-19 and keep our communities safe,” added Moore.

Responses will continue to be tailored to local context, with the ultimate goal of limiting disruption to people and businesses across the province.

 

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