What Exiting Step 3 of Ontario’s Roadmap to Reopen Means for Local Residents
Written by Communications, October 28, 2021
COVID-19 Screening, Proof of Vaccination & Masking Requirements Remain Vital as Capacity Limits Ease
Peterborough Public Health is reminding local residents that continuing to follow public health measures is more important than ever as capacity limits ease in certain settings under the Plan to Safely Reopen Ontario and Manage COVID-19 for the Long-Term.
“By and large, our community has done a great job adhering to public health measures, and this commitment is a major reason why cases aren’t increasing,” said Donna Churipuy, Director of Public Health Programs. “If we keep up with these practices, such as screening for COVID-19 symptoms, providing proof of vaccination and wearing a mask, we can expect case counts to remain stable even with more social contacts.”
Ms. Churipuy noted however that the latest Ontario Science Table report included a warning based on the experience of Nordic countries in Europe: lifting public health measures can drive a new wave, even with strong vaccine coverage because there are still too many people who are unprotected, and the virus can still circulate. “We need to remember that this reopening plan has to be gradual. Even though many venues have increased capacity limits, which we all want, the entry requirements for clients and user groups remain the same.”
“The relaxation of capacity limits within certain settings is a development made possible by our community’s collective hard work,” stated Julie Ingram, Manager of Environmental Health. “Local businesses and organizations must remain highly compliant with other workplace and sector-specific public health measures such as COVID-19 screening, masking, recording contact information and confirming proof of vaccination, so that we can enjoy increased social interaction over time.”
Ms. Ingram added that the province recently updated its COVID-19 screening tools. “I think that it is important for people to listen to their bodies and if they are not feeling well, they must avoid eating out and participating in recreational activities especially.”
Dr. Ian Gemmill, Acting Medical Officer of Health, stressed the importance of continuing to wear masks, especially as the colder weather moves more people indoors. “Masks remain key to preventing the spread of COVID-19 both indoors and outdoors whenever physical distancing isn’t possible. It’s one of the measures that is going to help to keep us on the province’s proposed reopening timeline, and until we have a high vaccination rate among our five to 11-year olds, it will help protect them too.”
The province has made further amendments to O. Reg. 364/20 under the Reopening Ontario Act, 2020 to remove capacity limits for outdoor organized public events, such as parades, outdoor memorial services and other similar events. This amendment was published on Wednesday, October 27 and updates to appropriate sectors will be communicated over the next several days. The latest information is always available on Peterborough Public Health’s website www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca.
For further information, please contact:
705-743-1000, ext. 391