Hamilton moving to lockdown level as Ontario loosens restrictions on outdoor fitness, events and grooming services in grey zones

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Ontario announced that the City of Hamilton public health region is moving to the Grey-Lockdown level while the Eastern Ontario Health Unit will move to the Red-Control level effective Monday, March 29, 2021 at 12:01 a.m. The decisions were made in consultation with the local medical officers of health and are based on the trends in public health indicators and local context and conditions, the province said.

From March 15 to 22, 2021, the Hamilton public health region’s case rate increased by 37.6 per cent, to 109.4 cases per 100,000 people. Over the past week, the positivity rate in the region is 4.6 per cent, above the high-alert threshold of 2.5 per cent.

“Over the last week, we have continued to see some concerning trends in key health indicators in regions across the province,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “As we cautiously make targeted adjustments to public health measures to support the wellbeing of individuals and small business owners, it is critical that everyone remains vigilant and continues to strictly follow all public health measures and advice to keep each other safe.”

To further support businesses and promote fitness during the pandemic, the government is making limited, targeted adjustments to public health and workplace safety measures in the Grey-Lockdown level of the Framework, allowing the safe resumption of select activities where the risk of COVID-19 transmission can be minimized.

This includes:

  • Effective Monday, March 29, 2021 at 12:01 a.m., permitting outdoor fitness classes, outdoor training for team and individual sports and outdoor personal training, subject to public health and workplace safety measures, including, but not limited to: a maximum of 10 patrons, every person maintaining a physical distance of at least three metres from another person, requiring a reservation and active patron screening.
  • Effective Monday, March 29, 2021 at 12:01 a.m., permitting marinas and boating clubs to operate clubhouses or any restaurant, bar and other food or drink establishment for outdoor dining, subject to public health and workplace safety measures.
  • Effective Monday, April 12, 2021 at 12:01 a.m., personal care service settings including but not limited to barber shops, hair and nail salons, and body art establishments, will be permitted to operate at 25 per cent capacity or five patrons (whichever is less) subject to physical distancing, including by appo intment only, and other public health and workplace safety measures.

The province is also modifying outdoor capacity limits for weddings, funerals, and religious services, rites or ceremonies held in regions in all levels of the Framework. Effective Monday, March 29, 2021 at 12:01 a.m., capacity limits for weddings, funerals, and religious services, rites or ceremonies, will be adjusted to allow for the number of individuals that can maintain two metres of physical distance. This change does not apply to social gatherings associated with these services, such as receptions.

Targeted enforcements are being applied, with an enhanced focus in public health regions identified in the Yellow-Protect, Orange-Restrict, Red-Control and Grey-Lockdown levels. This includes conducting field visits to check for compliance with the Reopening Ontario Act.

To ensure the continued health and safety of individuals and families, as public health measures are cautiously adjusted, the government is modifying the activation of an “emergency brake” which would allow the Chief Medical Officer of Health, in consultation with the local medical officer of health, to advise the immediate reimplementation of the previously lifted province-wide Shutdown measures if a public health region experiences a rapid acceleration in COVID-19 transmission or if its health system is at risk of becoming overwhelmed.

“Adjusting the emergency brake to allow for the recommendation to immediately implement shutdown measures in regions experiencing a rapid increase in transmission is important given the changes to the public health measures in the Grey-Lockdown level and will provide an extra layer of protection as we continue to fight this virus,” said Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health.

“While adjustments are being made to the emergency brake and certain public health measures, the latest data continues to show some worrying trends throughout the province, and variants of concern remain a significant threat to public health. That is why it is important that people remain cautious and vigilant in order to minimize the transmission of COVID-19 and protect themselves and their communities,” he added.

 

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