Our government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, is moving nine public health regions to new levels in the Keeping Ontario Safe and Open Framework. This includes activating an “emergency brake” in Thunder Bay District Health Unit and Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit to move the regions to Grey-Lockdown to immediately interrupt transmission and contain community spread. Decisions were made in consultation with the local medical officers of health and are based on the trends in public health indicators and local context and conditions.
- The emergency brake is a key component of our government’s plan to safely and gradually return public health regions to the COVID-19 Response Framework.
- Thanks to the efforts of Ontarians, we continue to see the number of cases and other public health indicators lowering in many regions across the province, but recent modelling shows that we must be nimble and be able to put in place additional measures to keep people safe and stop the spread of COVID-19 and variants of concern.
- Based on trends in key public health indicators and in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and the local medical officers of health, we are moving nine public health regions to new levels in the COVID-19 Response Framework, effective Monday March 1 at 12:01 a.m.
- Based on the latest assessment of data, the emergency brake is being used to place Thunder Bay District Health Unit and Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit into Grey-Lockdown, helping to stop the spread of the virus and protect public health and health system capacity in the regions. This is due to a rapid worsening in key public health indicators, as well as a high presence of variants in the Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit that continue to increase – the highest in the province.
- Public health regions will remain in their level of the Framework for at least two weeks, at which time our government will assess the impact of public health and workplace safety measures to determine if the region should stay where they are or be moved to a different level.
- No matter what region you live in, it is critical that all Ontarians across the province continue to follow public health advice and measures, stay at home as much as possible, limit your contact to only those you live with, and only travel between regions for essential purposes. The actions of everyone over the coming weeks will be critical to maintaining the progress communities have made across the province to date.