Coronavirus: Kingston-area braces for category yellow

Click to play video 'Kingston-area braces for category yellow' Kingston-area braces for category yellow
The Kingston-area will move to category 'Yellow' on Monday bringing with it additional restrictions. – Nov 22, 2020

As COVID-19 cases continue to surge across Ontario, several regions are moving into lockdowns and/or further restrictions.

On Friday, the provincial government announced that the Toronto and Peel regions will enter lockdowns on Monday morning and that the Kingston-area will move into category “Yellow.”

Click to play video 'Kingston area ready to go from green to yellow COVID-19 response framework status' Kingston area ready to go from green to yellow COVID-19 response framework status
Kingston area ready to go from green to yellow COVID-19 response framework status – Nov 21, 2020

KFL&A was previously “Green,” which meant standard measures. According to the province, the upgrade to “Yellow” means enhanced targeted enforcement, fines and enhanced education to limit further transmission in the region.

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Here is a list of a few differences between Green and Yellow:

  • Limit operating hours; establishments must close at midnight.
  • Liquor sold or served only between 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Limit of six people may be seated together
  • Capacity limits will be 10 people indoors for classes and 25 people outdoors.

Read more: KFL&A Public Health enters ‘yellow’ COVID-19 response framework status

Kingston Mayor Bryan Paterson told Global News on Sunday afternoon that the transition to stricter guidelines will hopefully send a message to the community that each member needs to do their part to stop the spread of the virus.

“We don’t want what’s happening in the GTA to be happening here in Kingston. We are doing everything we can to avoid a lockdown.”

Neighbouring Mayor Steve Ferguson, in Prince Edward County, released a statement on Saturday urging all residents to avoid travelling to red zones and for visitors to stay away.

“I am joining Dr. Oglaza in asking Prince Edward County residents to avoid travel to higher transmission areas unless absolutely necessary,” said Ferguson.

“While we pride ourselves as being a welcoming community to all, it is my hope that people living in high-transmission areas reconsider visiting Prince Edward County at this time.”

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Read more: Waterloo Region moves to yellow in Ontario’s new COVID-19 category system

The Hastings Prince Edward region is currently in the “Green” category. Ferguson fears that with the holidays approaching, people from provincial COVID-19 hotspots will come to their vacation homes in the County and potentially spread the virus.

“In the Spring, people came and stayed throughout the pandemic,” said Ferguson. “If you want to come and stay, that’s one thing, but coming and going is another thing.”

In the meantime, public health units across eastern Ontario are asking everyone to do their part to keep the community safe as we enter the second wave of COVID-19.

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