grey zone ontario

This is what could happen if Ontario regions move into the grey zone

The Ontario government recently released a brand new colour-coded framework that outlines different stages of rules and regulations to protect regions against COVID-19, and it includes a green, yellow, orange, red and grey zone.

Toronto, along with the other hotspots in the province, are currently in the red zone, while the regions with less COVID-19 activity are in the orange, yellow and green zones. 

No regions have had to enter the Lockdown-Grey zone just yet, but it seems some Ontarians are wondering what would happen if they did — especially as case numbers continue to rise at alarming rates. 

The grey zone has been described by the provincial government as a "last resort," indicating that a region would only be placed in this level if absolutely necessary. 

According to the newly-released framework, the grey zone (also described as "maximum measures") would only be introduced if "trends continue to worsen after measures from Control level are implemented."

In other words, a region would only be placed in the grey zone if indicators and thresholds, such as case rates, per cent positivity, health system capacity and more continue to worsen despite protective measures introduced in the red zone. 

In the grey zone, which is the strictest and most extreme level included in the framework, a region would see "widescale measures and restrictions, including closures."

The government would also consider a declaration of emergency under this level, as they did in the early days of the pandemic

The province has also indicated that the grey zone would resemble a modified Stage 1 or even a pre-Stage 1, meaning most or all non-essential services and businesses would likely be forced to shutter and all residents would be told to stay in their homes as much as possible. 

But while they grey zone remains uncharted territory for all of Ontario's regions, Toronto is currently experiencing a modified red zone with stricter measures put in place by the city's medical officer of health. 

Still, it's safe to presume that the grey zone would mean even more widespread closures and rules than what is currently in effect for Toronto, but here's hoping the COVID-19 situation improves before any region is forced to find out for sure.

Lead photo by

Fareen Karim


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