Ontario won’t return to colour-coded COVID-19 framework, government says

Click to play video: 'COVID-19: Ontario says reopening plan coming soon' COVID-19: Ontario says reopening plan coming soon
WATCH ABOVE: Ontario is feeling the pressure to reveal a reopening plan — after Quebec and Saskatchewan released theirs. The province has only said it will reveal a plan “very soon” and that it won’t be going back to the colour-coded framework. Kamil Karamali reports – May 18, 2021

Ontario won’t be returning to the colour-coded COVID-19 response framework once reopening begins, a spokesperson for the premier’s office says.

The framework, first introduced in the fall, placed regions in the province in different categories depending on local rates of COVID-19 transmission.

However, it was suspended twice — during both the second and third waves — as the province implemented stay-at-home orders and imposed restrictions stronger than what the framework entailed.

Read more: ‘It is safe to open up’: Toronto ICU doctor optimistic about Ontario’s 2nd pandemic summer

Meanwhile, Health Minister Christine Elliott said Tuesday that the province will be announcing a reopening plan “very soon.”

Ontario is currently under a stay-at-home order that was recently extended and is now set to expire on June 2.

Story continues below advertisement

“We have been working with the chief medical officer of health and the medical experts on a safe and careful reopening of Ontario because the last thing we want is to go into it too quickly and get into a fourth wave,” Elliott said.

“We have to do everything we can to avoid that, so we are working on that and we expect it will be available very soon.”

Click to play video: 'COVID-19: Ontario’s progress in avoiding a 4th wave' COVID-19: Ontario’s progress in avoiding a 4th wave
COVID-19: Ontario’s progress in avoiding a 4th wave – May 18, 2021

Elliott didn’t provide many additional details, but added that the plan will take into consideration vaccination rates, hospitalizations, ICU capacity, and the reproductive factor of the virus.

“So there are a number of indicators that have to be looked at together in order to make that determination about when we can move into the first stage of reopening,” she said.

Elliott also said the plan will be “sector-specific, looking at what different types of sectors could perhaps be reopened and what their specific needs and timelines are as well.”

Story continues below advertisement

Sponsored content