Peterborough Region Moving into Red-CONTROL Level to Control Spread of COVID-19

Written by Communications, March 5, 2021

On Monday, March 8, 2021 at 12:01 a.m. Peterborough Public Health (PPH) will move into the Red—CONTROL level of the provincial COVID-19 Response Framework to prevent the possibility of further spread of COVID-19 cases and Variants of Concern (VOCs).

“As the number of variant cases spread, I am hoping that the Red zone measures will provide our community with the extra protection we need to contain COVID-19 and keep our most vulnerable residents safe,” said Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Medical Officer of Health. “There is a real risk that the variants linked to the local outbreaks could spread further out into the community, so I am urging everyone to continue doing their part to follow public health measures and help us avoid going into lockdown.”

Here are some highlights of the following measures that are now required under the Red-CONTROL level:

  • Gathering limits of 5 people indoors, and 25 people outdoors, AND physical distancing of 2 metres must be maintained;
  • 10 people maximum in restaurants, bars, dining with household members only, maximum of 4 per table;
  • Outdoor dining, take out, drive through, and delivery permitted, including alcohol;
  • Establishments must be closed from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.;
  • Food courts must close;
  • Capacity limits of 75% for supermarkets and other stores that primarily sell groceries, convenience stores, pharmacies;
  • Capacity limits of 50% for all other retail, including discount and big box retailers, liquor stores, hardware stores and garden centres. Does not apply to indoor malls, however malls are required to actively screen patrons for COVID-19 symptoms prior to entry;
  • For sports and recreational facilities, spacing increased between patrons to 3 metres in areas where there are weights or exercise equipment and in exercise and fitness classes. Also, capacity limits, where physical distancing can be maintained of 10 people in indoor areas with weights and exercise machines, 10 people in all indoor classes or 25 people in outdoor classes;
  • Indoor cinemas closed.

While there are some changes to certain business operations in the Red-CONTROL level, the regulations required for individuals remain the same, such as wearing a mask, and maintaining a physical distance of 2 metres from non-household members in any public business or facility.

“The onus is not only on businesses and organizations. Every individual is responsible for wearing their masks and maintaining 2-metres physical distance from non-household members when they visit businesses open to the public.  The only exception to this requirement is for personal caregivers,” stated Ms. Ingram. “Residents are also required to respect the additional measures local businesses will be implementing and continuing to follow good public health protocols, such as limiting shopping trips to one person per household, and staying home if COVID-19 symptoms appear and getting tested.”

All businesses and organizations are advised to review the requirements of the COVID-19 response framework and the governing regulation – O. Reg. 263/20: Rules for Areas in Stage 2 for their pertinent sector.  Many of the general public health measures applicable to all businesses and organizations remain the same, including completing COVID-19 safety plans, actively screening employees, passively screening all customers and members of the public, and ensuring compliance by staff and the public for mandatory masks and face coverings.

The key indicators that determine which level of the provincial framework public health units fit into include epidemiology of the virus (e.g., case incidence rate, % testing positivity), confirmed presence of COVID-19 variants of concern (VOCs), status of active outbreaks, health system capacity, public health system capacity, and local context and conditions.

Peterborough Public Health will be providing more education for the community related to these new guidelines and enforcement of regulations will be heightened to limit further transmission of COVID-19.

The new guidelines as they relate to our local area will be updated on www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca over the coming days. For an overview, please visit https://www.ontario.ca/page/covid-19-response-framework-keeping-ontario-safe-and-open#red.

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For further information, please contact:

Brittany Cadence

Communications Manager

705-743-1000, ext. 391