York Region placed in lockdown by Ontario government
York Region and Windsor-Essex County Health Unit will be joining Toronto and Peel region in the lockdown stage of the province's COVID-19 framework, according to an announcement made by the Ontario government Friday afternoon.
While public officials in these regions have been pleading with the province to give them just a little more time before putting them in the Grey-lockdown stage, Minister of Health Christine Elliott said the decision had to be made due to their worsening COVID-19 situations.
"Moving a region into Grey-Lockdown is not an easy decision, but it is one we needed to make in order to help stop the spread of the virus and safeguard the key services we rely on," said Elliott in a statement.
"As we enter the holiday season and as the province prepares to receive its first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines, it remains crucial for all Ontarians to continue adhering to public health advice and workplace safety measures to reduce the spread of the virus and keep each other safe."
Both Windsor-Essex County Health Unit and York Region Public Health will officially move into lockdown at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 14, and non-essential businesses including restaurants, gyms, retail stores and malls will be required to close for in-person service by that time.
The province also announced that several other Ontario regions would be moving into different stages starting Monday:
Public health units stay in one level for a minimum of 28 days, at which point the government assesses the impact of public health measures to determine if the region should stay where they are or be moved to a different level.
"Over the last week, public health indicators in the York and Windsor regions have continued to trend in the wrong direction and it is evident additional measures are needed to help limit the spread of the virus," said Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health.
"By making this difficult but necessary decision we can help to ensure that hospitals in these regions can work to provide patients with the care they need when they need it, including the performing of scheduled surgeries and other important procedures."
On Friday, Ontario reported 1,848 new cases of COVID-19, with 469 in Toronto, 386 in Peel, 205 in York Region and 106 in Windsor-Essex County.
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