The soaring COVID-19 pandemic has led to further restrictions being imposed in Espanola and Public Health Sudbury and Districts. Ontario Minister of Health Christine Elliott says our region, among several others, is moving from Green-Prevent to Yellow-Protect with strengthened measures against COVID-19. The new measures will see restrictions placed on when bars and restaurants are allowed to open and their music volume, as well as spacing between patrons at gyms, among others that were in place under the green level.

“Our case counts are at an all-time high with 42 (updated) of our 204 total cases reported in the last week alone. We are averaging about 12 high-risk contacts for each case so far. These numbers combined with how stretched our public health and health care systems are, mean that stronger protection measures are needed,” said Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, Medical Officer of Health with Public Health Sudbury & Districts. “The Yellow-Protect restrictions must be accompanied by a re-commitment of everyone to the basic public health prevention measures. How this surge in cases evolves and the measures and restrictions that will be necessary to control it are in our hands. Make no mistake, our everyday actions either allow the virus to spread or allow us to contain it. We can choose wisely and dig deep,” added Dr. Sutcliffe.

A sombre and oftentimes emotional Premier Doug Ford delivered the news Friday afternoon

In his briefing today Ford pleaded with Ontarians to follow public health advice saying “never has so much depended on our collective actions.” Ford said that yesterday’s projections of up to 6,500 new COVID-19 cases a day by mid-December has changed dramatically from when the province began putting its framework together and that we need to be flexible and be prepared to change course right before he delivered Friday’s news. He said that Thursday’s numbers could not have been more, clear that our hospitals will be overrun, “I can’t accept that and I won’t accept that.”

New threshold levels for Ontario’s reopening framework (Supplied by Ministry of Health)

Here are the areas being moved into different levels of the framework:

· Red-Control:

o Hamilton Public Health Services

o Halton Region Public Health

o Toronto Public Health

o York Region Public Health

· Orange-Restrict:

o Brant County Health Unit

o Durham Region Health Department

o Eastern Ontario Health Unit

o Niagara Region Public Health

o Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health

o Region of Waterloo Public Health

· Yellow-Protect:

o Huron Perth Public Health

o Middlesex-London Health Unit

o Public Health Sudbury & Districts

o Southwestern Public Health

o Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit

o Windsor-Essex County Health Unit

o Haltom-Norfolk

o Southwestern Public Health

 

For more information on how this affects us locally, click here.