The regions that fall under the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit, the Porcupine Health Unit and the Timiskaming Health Unit will move into the yellow-protect zone of Ontario’s COVID-19 response framework on Monday, March 22.
The Ontario government said the decision to move the three regions to the yellow zone was made in consultation with local health officers, based on public health indicator trends, as well local context and conditions.
“With the significant and increasing risk of COVID-19 variants, the next few weeks will be critical in our fight against COVID-19,” Ontario health minister Christine Elliott said in a statement.
“Thanks to the tireless efforts of our front-line health-care workers, we continue to accelerate our vaccine rollout, but until all Ontarians can receive the vaccine, we must not let our guard down and continue following public health advice.”
Currently, the region under the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit falls under Ontario’s red-control zone of the COVID-19 response framework, while both Porcupine and Timiskaming districts fall under the orange-restrict designation.
Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. David Williams, said Ontarians must continue to adhere to all public health and workplace safety measures.
“We have entered the third wave of the pandemic and the rates of variants of concern continue to rise so it is important that people remain cautious and vigilant in order to minimize the transmission of COVID-19.”
Under the yellow-protect category, gatherings of 10 are permitted indoors, while gatherings of 25 are permitted outdoors.
Restaurants, gyms, retail stores, personal care services and movie theatres are allowed to open with restrictions.
For a full list of what’s open under the yellow-protect category, people can visit the Government of Ontario’s website.