The provincial government has lowered the thresholds for each level in Ontario’s COVID-19 response framework after new modelling revealed that the daily case count could reach 6,500 by mid-December. Projections also showed that the province will likely exceed its intensive care threshold of 150 beds, under any potential scenario in the next two weeks.

The updated framework will help limit the spread of COVID-19 while keeping schools open, maintaining health system capacity, protecting the province’s most vulnerable, and avoiding broader lockdowns, officials said in media statement released Friday.

“Our number one priority right now is getting the numbers down and keeping people safe. That’s why, on the recommendation of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, we’re updating the framework with new thresholds so we can slow the spread of this virus,” said Premier Ford. “These adjustments are necessary to respond to the latest evidence we’re seeing and we are prepared to make further adjustments as the health experts continue to review the current public health restrictions. We must do whatever it takes to stop our hospitals from being overwhelmed and protect our most vulnerable.”

Based on these new thresholds, the following public health unit regions would be moved to the following levels in the framework:

Red-Control:

  • Hamilton Public Health Services
  • Halton Region Public Health
  • Toronto Public Health
  • York Region Public Health

Peel Region was placed in the red zone last week and Toronto will be joining this control stage from tomorrow.

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
  • Huron Perth Public Health
  • Windsor-Essex County Health Unit

The framework changes are in response to the current data and trends, and will lower the threshold for each of the five levels for: weekly incidence rates, positivity rate, effective reproductive number (Rt), outbreak trends and the level of community transmission.

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