London area could move to yellow COVID level by next week

Photo of the Middlesex-London Health Unit from healthunit.com

The Middlesex-London Health Unit says with how the numbers are going, COVID-19 restrictions could be eased by next Monday.

After nearly two months, the stay-at-home order was lifted on February 16, and London-Middlesex was placed into the red-control level of the COVID-19 response framework. During a media briefing on Monday, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Chris Mackie said the region is on track to move to the orange or yellow level on March 1.

“Looking at the numbers right now, according to the provincial framework, would likely put us in the yellow. Of course, things can change over the next couple of days.” Mackie said.

Mackie explained that the more contagious variants of the virus, such as one originating in the U.K., could prove troublesome in keeping local numbers low. He credits the vaccine campaign for part of the reason behind the downward trend in numbers.

Mayor Ed Holder added that even if the region shifts out of the red, the public should continue to follow public health guidelines.

“If our restrictions change, our commitment to public health guidelines must not,” Holder stated. “If we’re so fortunate as to open more of our economy, we want it to be sustainable and for the long term.”

London-Middlesex has reported fewer than 20 cases daily for over a week now with the last COVID-19 related death confirmed on February 12. The London Health Sciences Centre resolved its last outbreak on February 4.

The decision on if the area moves away from red-control lies with the Ontario government. Should a change be made, Londoners will likely hear by Friday afternoon with the outcome to take effect on the following Monday.