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Highlights of Ontario’s new system for determining COVID-19 measures

The Ontario government has announced a new tiered system to evaluate when and to what extent COVID-19 restrictions are placed on regions across the province. Here are some key facts about each level of the system:

Level: Green – Prevent

Criteria include:

-Weekly incidence rate of less than 10 per 100,000 people

-Fewer than one per cent of tests coming back positive

Restrictions include:

-At least two metres of space between tables in restaurants and bars

-Singing and performing allowed in bars and restaurants, as well as karaoke, but with restrictions

-Maximum of 50 people in indoor exercise classes or workout areas

-Retail fitting rooms must be limited to non-adjacent stalls

-Steam rooms and saunas remain closed

Level: Yellow – Protect 

Criteria include:

-Weekly incidence rate between 10 and 39.9 per 100,000 people 

-Percentage of tests coming back positive between one and 2.5 

-Repeated outbreaks in multiple sectors or increasing number of large outbreaks

Restrictions include:

-All restrictions imposed under green level, plus additional measures

-Bars and restaurants can only stay open until midnight, can only sell or serve alcohol between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m.

-Volume of music must be limited in bars and restaurants, event spaces and retail locations

-Spacing between patrons in exercise classes or weight rooms must increase to three metres

Level: Orange – Restrict 

Criteria include:

-Weekly incidence rate between 40 and 99.9 per 100,000 people

-Percentage of tests coming back positive between 2.5 and 9.9

 -Repeated outbreaks in multiple sectors or increasing number of large outbreaks

Restrictions include:

-All restrictions imposed under yellow level, plus additional measures

-50-person indoor capacity limit for restaurants and bars, with no more than four seated together

-Bars and restaurants must close by 10 p.m.; strip clubs must close altogether

-Fitness facilities must screen patrons and limit the duration of their stay

-No personal care services requiring the removal of face coverings

Level: Red – Control

Criteria include:

-Weekly incidence rate equal to or greater than 100 per 100,000 people

-Ten per cent or more of tests coming back positive

-Repeated outbreaks in multiple sectors or an increasing number of large outbreaks

Restrictions include:

-All restrictions imposed under orange level, with additional measures

-Maximum indoor capacity of 10 people in restaurants and bars

-No dancing, singing or performing with brass or wind instruments in restaurants and bars

-No more than 10 people allowed inside gyms or exercise classes, and no more than 25 for outdoor classes

-Closure of food courts in malls 

Level: Grey – Lockdown

Criteria include:

-Trends continue to worsen after red level rules imposed

Restrictions include:

-Return to widespread closures as laid out in Stage 1 of Ontario’s reopening plan

-Consider declaration of emergency

Source: Government of Ontario

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 3, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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