lockdown ontario

Ontario won't lift lockdown restrictions in more venues as planned next week

The plan to lift lockdown restrictions in Ontario and open all venues to full capacity next week is being axed.

Just yesterday, the province admitted that as COVID-19 case numbers climb, Ontario may have to reintroduce some lockdown restrictions.

Today, one city in Ontario had to bring back Step 3 restrictions due to a spike in COVID cases.

Now the province has announced that it is pausing the lifting of capacity limits in remaining higher-risk settings as outlined in the plan to reopen Ontario.

After consulting with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the province has decided to cancel the plan to lift capacity limits in "high-risk settings" where there are dancing facilities such as night clubs, wedding receptions, and meeting or event spaces and also in bathhouses, strip clubs, and sex clubs.

Under the reopening plan, those venues were previously set to have capacity limits lifted by Nov. 15.

"While Ontario has continued to make progress as a result of its safe and cautious approach to reopening, it is necessary to make this deliberate pause as we approach the winter holidays where more people will begin gathering indoors and where students will be returning to in-class learning in January after celebrating with friends and family," said Dr. Kieran Moore, Chief Medical Officer of Health.

Ontario's hospital and intensive care capacity remains stable and the province continues to report one of the lowest rates of active cases in the country, but certain public health trends, including the effective reproduction number and percent positivity have increased slightly over the past week, according to a press release from the province.

This increase was expected but the province said it wants to understand any potential impact on hospitalizations and ICU admissions.

Ontario will continue to monitor the data for the next 28 days to determine when it is safe to lift capacity limits in further settings.

"Throughout the pandemic our government has taken a cautious approach to reopening, ensuring our hospital capacity remains stable and the province continues to report one of the lowest rates of active cases in the country," said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health.

Weekly cases incidence rates are below the national average and the province tracking below the lower range scenario for ICU projections outlined by the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table on October 22, 2021.

But the province suggests people remain vigilant and continue following public health and workplace safety measures in place and to get vaccinated if they have not done so already.

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez

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