Toronto and the Peel region will be staying home for at least two more weeks, but some restrictions will be eased in the York region next week as they enter the red zone of the provincial reopening framework, the province said on Friday

At the request of health officials in the Peel Region and Toronto, according to the Ford government, until at least 8 Strict lockdown measures to be maintained at the two COVID-19 hotspots on March 1st

A stay at home order will also remain in effect for the North Bay-Parry Sound District Health Unit

While these three regions will not be reopened in the province’s color-coded reopening framework, the York region, where the novel coronavirus has been spreading slightly less in the community in recent weeks, will be in the red zone or “control zone” of the Frameworks offset

Last week, York Area Health Officer Dr Karim Kurji and the local mayors had repeatedly requested that the region enter the red zone, which allows indoor dining to resume and reduced capacity gyms and hair salons to reopen

Outdoor gatherings with no more than 25 people and indoor gatherings with no more than five people are also permitted in the red zone. Weddings and services can be resumed outdoors with an indoor capacity of 30 percent and no more than 100 people

“We really depend on the local people, the local doctors. They know their area better than anyone and then talk to the chief doctor (Dr David Williams) There has to be some trust in these relationships, ”Premier Doug Ford said Friday of the decision to lift some restrictions in York, despite the per capita infection rate in the region still exceeding the provincial red zone parameters

Most of the province’s regions have gotten back on track in the past two weeks after declining COVID-19 cases, deaths, and hospitalizations

However, in one region of the province, public health trends have led the province to introduce further restrictions

“Lambton Public Health will move from the Orange Restrict level to the Red Control level last week, worsening public health trends in the region,” the Ford government confirmed on Friday

The Niagara area medical health officer also asked last week that his area be kept in the gray or exclusion zone, which will keep most businesses closed except retail

In the gray area of ​​the province’s updated framework, all retail stores, including “non-essential” stores, can reopen to customers with only 25 percent of their regular indoor capacity. This now also applies to large stores that do not primarily sell groceries or other essentials. In the gray area, pharmacies and convenience stores can be utilized to 50 percent

Doctors in Toronto, Peel Region, and the North Bay Perry Sound District Health Unit have requested that stricter public health measures remain in place due to higher transmission rates in the regions and concerns about the portability of COVID-19 variants Congregation circulate

On Friday, Ontario reported an additional 39 confirmed cases of COVID-19 variants, bringing the total to at least 395. Officials have said hundreds of additional samples tested positive for a variant of concern and the variants are likely to circulate much further than is discovered / p>

On Friday, Ford admitted that the variants common in many municipalities were “scary” and stressed that the province “will not reopen if regions are brought back into the frame”

“The facts are that Toronto, Peel and North Bay will be completely closed for the next few weeks and when the mayors and health officials talk to Dr Williams and say we want to finish further, we will, “he said

Given the proximity of the regions in the GTA, many people have raised concerns about the possibility that residents of Toronto and the Peel Region could visit other cities with fewer restrictions

When asked about the possibility of “region hopping” earlier this week, Ontario’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr Barbara Yaffe said she hope this won’t happen

“I think the last time there was a concern before Christmas where, I remember, malls were still open in the York area and not in Toronto and Peel. I think people were shopping and looking forward to Christmas in a way it was understandable (but) unfortunate that they traveled, “she said

“I very much hope that this is not the holiday season People understand that all of these measures have had promising results, but if we let go we will now see another pandemic wave with the variants, and possibly even worse ”

The province has stated that its reopening strategy includes an “emergency brake” that would allow Williams to put a region back into lockdown immediately if falls start to rise

But Yaffe admitted earlier this week that the provincial public health measures table hadn’t yet given precise information on when to deploy the emergency brake

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Ontario Prime Minister Doug Ford speaks Tuesday, April 12 January 2021, at Queen’s Park in Toronto to announce the state of emergency and stay at home for the Province of Ontario THE CANADIAN PRESS / Frank Gunn

York Area Lockdown, York Area

World News – CA – The home-stay order remains in place for Toronto and Peel, but restaurants and gyms are reopening in the York Area