Eastern Ontario Health Unit moving to red zone next week

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OTTAWA —
The medical officer of health for the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) says the region will be moving to the “Red-Control” zone next week.

Dr. Paul Roumeliotis told CTV News at Five the region cannot remain in the “Orange-Restrict” level.

“Over the weekend, we had 72 cases in two days and we’re a quarter of the population of Ottawa. Today, we had another 16,” he said. “I spoke to the chief medical officer of health and I said if all goes well over the weekend we can remain in orange but unfortunately those numbers have gone the wrong way.”

According to the EOHU, there are currently 237 active cases of COVID-19 in the region, with 27 people in hospital and six in the ICU.

The region’s rolling seven-day average of COVID-19 cases is 61.8. The threshold for the red zone is 40. The region is also seeing more people testing positive for the virus.

Dr. Roumeliotis noted that half of all of the new cases reported recently in the EOHU were variants of concern.

“With all of these things put together, I think we have no choice to go into the red zone,” he said.

The provincial government’s daily epidemiologic summary for March 23 says the EOHU has seen 109 cases of COVID-19 with an identified mutation, though none have been officially confirmed as the B.1.1.7, B.1.351 or P.1 variants. One week ago, there were 40 cases with an identified mutation.

Dr. Roumeliotis urged residents to remain vigilant, even those who have their first vaccine doses.

“It won’t protect you for at least two weeks once you’ve got the shot,” he cautioned. “If it does, you’ll be protected up to 80 per cent, which is very good, however we still need to wear a mask and physically distance, particularly when we’re looking at these variants of concern.”¬†

Red-Control Restrictions

Organized public events, social gatherings and wedding, funeral and religious services, rites and ceremonies

Limits for all organized public events and social gatherings, where physical distancing can be maintained:

  • 5 people indoors
  • 25 people outdoors

Limits for religious services rites or ceremonies, including wedding services and funeral services, where physical distancing can be maintained (applies in any venue other than a private dwelling):

  • 30 per cent capacity of the room indoors
  • 100 people outdoors

Restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments

Capacity limits, where physical distancing can be maintained:

  • Approximately 50 per cent of the indoor dining area to be accessible to the public, subject to physical distancing rules
  • Total occupancy cannot exceed 50 patrons

Outdoor dining, take out, drive through, and delivery permitted, including alcohol

No buffet style service

Line-ups and patrons congregating outside venues managed by venue; 2 metres distance and face covering required

Screening of patrons is required, in accordance with instructions issued by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health

Require patrons to be seated; 2 metres minimum or impermeable barrier required between tables

For indoor dining, only be seated with members of their same households, with limited exceptions for caregivers and people who live alone

Require contact information for all seated patrons

Face coverings required except when eating or drinking only

Personal protective equipment, including eye protection required when is a worker must come within 2 metres of another person who is not wearing a face covering

Establishments must be closed from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Liquor sold or served only between 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

No consumption of liquor permitted between 10 p.m. to 9 a.m.

Dancing, singing and the live performance of music is prohibited

Limit volume of music to be low enough that a normal conversation is possible

Night clubs and strip clubs only permitted to operate as restaurant or bar

A safety plan is required to be prepared and made available upon request

Sports and recreational fitness facilities

Maintain 2 metres physical distancing at all times

Increase spacing between patrons to 3 metres in areas where there are weights or exercise equipment and in exercise and fitness classes

Capacity limits, where physical distancing can be maintained

  • 10 people in indoor areas with weights and exercise machines
  • 10 people in all indoor classes or
  • 25 people in outdoor classes

No spectators permitted, however each person under 18 may be accompanied by one parent or guardian

Team sports must not be practiced or played except for training (no games or scrimmage)

Activities that are likely to result in individuals coming within 2 metres of each other are not permitted; no contact permitted for team or individual sports

Exemptions for high performance athletes and parasport

Patrons may only be in the facility for 90 minutes except if engaging in a sport

Limit volume of music to be low enough that a normal conversation is possible; measures to prevent shouting by both instructors and members of the public

Face coverings required except when exercising

Require contact information for all members of the public that enter the facility

Require reservation for entry; one reservation for teams

Screening of patrons is required, in accordance with instructions issued by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health

A safety plan is required to be prepared and made available upon request

Meeting and event spaces

Capacity limit for the venue, where physical distancing can be maintained:

  • 10 people indoors or
  • 25 people outdoors

Establishments must be closed from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Liquor sold or served only between 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

No consumption of liquor permitted between 10 p.m. to 9 a.m.

Face coverings required except when eating or drinking only

Require contact information for all seated patrons

Limit of 4 people may be seated together

Limit volume of music to be low enough that a normal conversation is possible

Screening of patrons is required, in accordance with instructions issued by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health

A safety plan is required to be prepared and made available upon request

Retail

Capacity limits of:

  • 75% for supermarkets and other stores that primarily sell groceries, convenience stores, pharmacies
  • 50% for all other retail, including discount and big box retailers, liquor stores, cannabis stores, hardware stores and garden centres

Stores must post capacity limit publicly

Stores must have passive screening for patrons (for example, posting signs outside the store front about not entering if you have COVID-19 symptoms)

  • This does not apply to indoor malls, which are required to actively screen their customers before they enter the mall. Malls can use the patron screening tool to help meet this requirement.

Stores within the malls subject to appropriate retail measures

Fitting rooms must be limited to non-adjacent stalls

Line-ups and patrons congregating outside venues managed by venue; 2 metres distance required inside and outside; face covering also required while in line

Limit volume of music to be low enough that a normal conversation is possible

For malls:

  • Maximum number of patrons permitted to be seated indoors in mall food court is 10
  • A safety plan is required to be prepared and made available upon request

Personal care services

Oxygen bars, steam rooms, saunas, bath houses and other adult venues, closed

Sensory deprivation pods closed (some exceptions)

Services requiring removal of face coverings prohibited

Require contact information from all patrons

Screening of patrons is required, in accordance with instructions issued by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health

A safety plan is required to be prepared and made available upon request

Casinos, bingo halls and gaming establishments

Capacity limit for the venue, where physical distancing can be maintained:

  • 10 people indoors or
  • 25 people outdoors

Table games are prohibited

Face coverings required except when eating or drinking only

Liquor sold or served only between 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

No consumption of liquor permitted between 10 p.m. to 9 a.m.

Require contact information from all patrons

Screening of patrons is required, in accordance with instructions issued by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health

A safety plan is required to be prepared and made available upon request

Cinemas

Closed, except for:

  • drive-in cinemas
  • rehearsal or performing a recorded or broadcasted event, with restrictions, which include:
  1. Performers and employees must maintain 2 metres physical distance except for purposes of the performance
  2. Singers and players of brass or wind instruments must be separated from any other performers by plexiglass or other impermeable barrier

A safety plan is required to be prepared and made available upon request

Performing arts facilities

Closed to spectators

Rehearsal or performing a recorded or broadcasted event permitted, with restrictions, which include:

  • Performers and employees must maintain 2 metres physical distance except for purposes of the performance
  • Singers and players of brass or wind instruments must be separated from any other performers by plexiglass or other impermeable barrier

Drive-in performances permitted

A safety plan is required to be prepared and made available upon request

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