London, ONT. – Ontario will raise COVID-19 limits to several areas on Friday, with Middlesex-London likely to be among them.
Dr Chris Mackie, medical officer for the Middlesex-London Health Unit, said during a daily COVID-19 briefing on Thursday that the increased number of cases would lead to stricter sanctions.
The news came as the health unit reported Record-setting number of new cases – 52 – Second day in a row.
Mackie says this is a milestone and that means we are once again entering a new level of danger in our society.
“We’re in red at the moment. From a case – count point of view, when you take 100,000 to 40 cases a week – and see what this means in our population per day – we’ll be in Ball Park twice. Case-count is required to enter the red zone.”
In addition to case counts, other indicators that go red are more than 2.5 percent positive, recurrent and / or large outbreaks, hospital capacity and contact tracing capacity.
Finally, the decision to go to the red-control level of the province’s COVID-19 response draft comes from the regional government.
The transition from the current orange-restricted zone to red control will further limit social gatherings, limit the size of religious service, reduce restaurant capacity, change personal care services and close movie theaters.
The record case number also comes a day later Multiple new school cases Added.
Although five area schools are dealing with the outbreak, Mackie said closing schools before the Christmas break is not something they are currently considering.
“We have not seen excessive coverage in schools – schools are safe and they are safer than the alternative.”
As for what drives the spread, Mackie says it’s not a topic, but a combination of outreach, close family contacts, community outreach and some travel.
London Mayor Ed Holder said the sanctions would work if everyone cooperated.
“I’ve said it before. I’ll say it again. It’s up to us whether we follow the rules or not.”
There are some strict limits when going from orange to red:
Restrictions on organized public meetings fall from 10 to five people from home
Restaurants, bars and event venues without dancing, singing or live music can have a maximum of 10 people indoors
Fitness studios can have up to 10 people in exercise areas or classes and 25 people outdoors
No team sports except training (no screams)
No athletic activity with people coming within two meters of each other
A maximum of 10 people sat in the mall food courts
Retail stores must maintain a distance of two meters between those in line
All movie theaters and performing arts facilities will be closed except drive-ins
Full details Available here.