London-Middlesex rated ‘red’ in return to Ontario COVID framework

Red Restrict Ontario COVID-19 Framework. Image courtesy of Government of Ontario.

London-Middlesex will be rated at the red “control” level in the province’s COVID-19 response framework as of Tuesday.

On Friday, the province announced details of its reopening plan, which includes transitioning 27 of the provinces 31 public health regions out of the shutdown and stay-at-home order.

“The health and safety of Ontarians remains our number one priority,” said Deputy Premier and Minister of Health Christine Elliott. “While we are cautiously and gradually transitioning some regions out of shutdown, with the risk of new variants this is not a reopening or a return to normal. Until vaccines are widely available, it remains critical that all individuals and families continue to adhere to public health measures and stay home as much as possible to protect themselves, their loved ones and their communities.”

The Southwestern Public Health Unit, which is made up of Oxford County, Elgin County, and the City of St. Thomas, will also be rated at the red “control” level come Tuesday.

Under the red level, indoor gatherings are limited to five people, and outdoor gatherings are capped at 25.

Restaurants and bars are allowed to reopen for in-person dining, but capacity is limited to 10 people at a time, including no more than four people at a table.

Retail stores such as supermarkets, pharmacies and convenience stores may operate at 75 per cent capacity, while other retail outlets are limited to 50 per cent.

For religious services, weddings, and funerals, capacity is limited to 30 per cent capacity indoors and 100 people outdoors.

Full details on the public health and workplace safety measures for each zone under the colour-coded response framework can be found here.

The Middlesex-London Health Unit reported 13 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, along with zero deaths. The community’s weekly case rate per 100,000 people is at 17.5.

Southwestern Public Health reported two new infections Friday, bringing the total case count to 2,418.