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Stay-at-home order lifted as Hasting Prince Edward returns to ‘green’ Wednesday

Wildlife at Wellington harbour hunkering down while snow moves through the County again, Monday. As of Wednesday, the Hastings Prince Edward region is back to movement as the stay-at-home order ends and we move to the ‘green’ framework zone. – Dale Miller photo

Hastings Prince Edward Public Health region will move to the least stringent ‘green’ phase of re-opening businesses on Wednesday, Feb. 10.

It is one of three public health units with few cases of COVID-19 no longer subject to the stay-at-home order, along with Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington and the Renfrew County and District Health Unit. There was one new COVID-19 case in Hastings Prince Edward recorded Monday, and now six active cases.

Premier Doug Ford announced Monday the province’s current state of emergency will end as scheduled Tuesday, but the stay-at-home order remains in effect for others, as public health regions gradually transition back to updated colour-coded restriction system (see below).

It is proposed that the Stay-at-Home order will continue to apply to 28 public health regions until Tuesday, Feb. 16. For Toronto, Peel and York regions, it is proposed that the Stay-at-Home order will continue to apply until Monday, Feb. 22. Final decisions will be subject to review of the trends in public health indicators at that time.

Individuals are still required to wear a face covering and maintain physical distance when indoors in a business, with limited exceptions. Click here for more on in-person shopping in the various ‘framework zones’. 

The government has also introduced an ’emergency brake’ that allows immediately moving a region back into lockdown if COVID-19 cases spike.

“While we have seen some progress in our fight against COVID-19, the situation in our hospitals remains precarious and the new variants pose a considerable threat to all of us,” said Minister Christine Elliott. “As we cautiously and gradually transition out of the provincewide shutdown, we have developed an emergency brake system giving us the flexibility to contain community spread quickly in a specific region, providing an extra layer of protection.”

Province-wide shutdown measures went into effect Dec. 26, 2020 to help stop the rapid spread of COVID-19 across the province. The government declared its second provincial emergency on Jan. 12, 2021 and issued a Stay-at-Home order to reduce mobility and address hospital capacity concerns.

In January, Ontario’s provincial offences officers visited 1,147 big-box stores and other essential retail businesses to ensure businesses are following the public health guidelines and properly protecting workers and customers from COVID-19. 112 tickets were issued to businesses and individuals during three inspection campaigns.

Prevent (Green)
The region must focus on education and awareness about public health safety measures. It also requires people to maintain at least two metres of physical distance and wear a face covering in indoor settings.

All retailers are also asked to have and post a safety plan. Restrictions reflect those of Stage 3 until there is a widely available vaccine or treatment.

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 below 0.5 per cent.

Protect (Yellow)
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 and gyms.

Regions placed in the protect category will have a weekly incidence rate between 10 and 24.9 cases per 100,000 people. The test positivity rate must be between 0.5 and 1.2 per cent.

Restrict (Orange)
When a region moves to this level, enhanced measure and restrictions are applied to slow the spread and prevent closures. Active screening would take place of people entering indoor malls.
The weekly incidence rate in these regions must be between 25 and 39.9 cases per 100,000 people. The test positivity rate must be between 1.3 and 2.4 per cent. At this level, hospital and ICU occupancy are increasing.

Control (Red)
In the control phase, regions will implement broader measures and restrictions across multiple sectors. This phase is similar to a modified Stage 2. Restrictions are the most severe before moving to a lockdown. In-person shopping is permitted for retail services with capacity limits, including a 75 per cent capacity limit for essential stores and a 50 per cent capacity for all other retail stores. Active screening of patrons and workers at indoor malls would continue at this stage.

The weekly incident rate is more than 40 cases per 100,000 people. The positivity rate must increase above 2.5 per cent.

In this stage, hospital and ICU capacity are at risk of being overwhelmed.

Lockdown (Grey)
While the grey-lockdown phase initially meant the closure of all non-essential businesses, the province announced on Monday that this last category would become more lenient.

The province reported that in-person shopping would now be permitted for retail stores with even more stringent capacity limits in this stage. Essential stores like supermarkets and pharmacies would have a 50 per cent capacity limit in this stage, while all other stores would have a 25 per cent capacity limit.

In this stage, 10 people are allowed to gather outdoors but two metres distance needs to be maintained. Masks are strongly recommended when outside. Outdoor recreational amenities, including ice rinks and snow trails are open with restrictions.

All other restrictions from the four other stages will continue in the grey-lockdown phase.

Full details here: https://www.ontario.ca/page/covid-19-response-framework-keeping-ontario-safe-and-open

 

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  1. angela says:

    The best interests of the locals no longer matter. We are now the playground of Ontario. It’s all about tourism and appeasing the STA and B and B operators even in a pandemic.

  2. JennyD says:

    Many of Picton STA’s are filled up this weekend and the stores and streets are full of visitors – many license plates from Quebec. Some visitors from Toronto. I know this because I live near several, with vehicles parked outside, and even chatted with a couple.
    Why are owners allowed to rent their STA’s to people outside of our region?

  3. SM says:

    The end of the lockdown does not mean life as normal. New covid variants seem to be appearing daily. We still need to social distance, wear masks, wash our hands, avoid large groups and not travel unnecessarily. We also cannot expect people from outside our green zone to respect their stay at home order. We cannot keep them out, but we can continue to keep ourselves safe.

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