Guelph stuck in red zone of Ontario’s pandemic response system for another week

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The Ontario government announced Friday that Guelph will continue in the red-control level of the province’s colour-coded COVID-19 pandemic response system for at least another week.

Wellington and Dufferin counties will also remain in the red-control level.

Read more: North Bay, Parry Sound to move to red-control zone of Ontario’s COVID-19 response framework March 8

The province also announced that the Toronto-Peel region will finally move out of the stay-at-home order and into the grey zone while Haldimand-Norfolk drops to orange.

The government uses several epidemiological factors to decide on where to place a public health unit as well as the number of outbreaks and level of community transmission.

Over the past seven days, those numbers have worsened across the area covered by the Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health Unit.

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A week ago, the area’s weekly incidence rate of around 32.7 per 100,000 and 1.4 per cent positivity landed the area squarely in the orange category, while an effective reproduction number of 1.09 puts the area in the yellow range.

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On Friday, the dashboard showed the area’s weekly incidence rate had risen to around 46.8 per 100,000, lifting that number into the red control category. In addition, the per cent positivity rate rose to 2.0 which left it on the cusp of orange and red while a lower effective reproduction number of 1.05 remained in yellow.

There remain 11 active coronavirus outbreaks across the area.

Read more: ‘When will it end?’: New data suggests COVID-19 could become endemic

Remaining at the red-control level leaves residents dealing with the most restrictive measures which can be placed on an area shy of a grey-lockdown.

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For supermarkets, that means a limit of 75 per cent capacity, with a 50-per cent capacity limit for all other retail. Stores are required to post those capacity limits in addition to having signs outside noting mandatory masks.

There are limits on public events and social gatherings to five people indoors and 25 people outdoors, excluding weddings and funerals which will be limited to 30 per cent of capacity indoors or 100 people outdoors.

At restaurants, casinos, bingo halls, event spaces, and fitness facilities there are limits of 10 people in indoor areas.

Sports teams are allowed to practice again although they cannot play games.

Movie theatres, performing arts venues, oxygen bars, steam rooms, saunas, bathhouses and other adult venues will all remain closed while the region is under the red status.

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