As of today, nine public health regions have moved to new levels in the Keeping Ontario Safe and Open Framework. This includes activating an “emergency brake” in Thunder Bay District Health Unit and Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit to move the regions to Grey-Lockdown to immediately interrupt transmission and contain community spread. 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 provincial government said in a statement.
“While we continue to see the number of cases and other public health indicators lowering in many regions across the province, the recent modelling shows us that we must be nimble and put in place additional measures to protect Ontarians and stop the spread of COVID-19,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “With COVID-19 variants continuing to spread in our communities, it is critically important that everyone continues strictly adhering to all public health and workplace safety measures to help contain the virus and maintain the progress we have made to date.”
The “emergency brake” in Thunder Bay District Health Unit and Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit into Grey-Lockdown will help to stop the spread of the virus and protect public health and health system capacity in the regions, the government said. This is due to a rapid worsening in key public health indicators, as well as a high presence of variants in the Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit that continue to increase – the highest in the province. As of February 23, 2021, there has been a total of 170 confirmed cases of a variant of concern in this region.
Based on the latest data, Niagara Region will move to the Red-Control level, Chatham-Kent, Middlesex-London and Southwestern Public Health to Orange-Restrict, Haldimand-Norfolk and Huron Perth to Yellow-Protect and Grey Bruce to Green-Prevent.
In Peel Public Health, Toronto Public Health, and North Bay Parry Sound District, the Shutdown measures and the Stay-at-Home order will continue to apply until at least Monday, March 8, 2021, with final decisions to be based on key public health indicators and consultation with the local medical officers of health.
All other public health regions will remain at their current level. Visit Ontario.ca/covidresponse for the full list of public health region classifications.