Grey Bruce moves to green zone of framework

·3 min read

On March 1, Grey Bruce became one of nine public health regions moved to a new level of the provincial framework to re-open. Previously housed in the yellow level since the lockdown was lifted, the region was moved to the green- prevent zone.

The province, in a release on Feb. 26, said this decision was 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.”

"While we continue to see the number of cases and other public health indicators lowering in many regions across the province, the recent modelling shows us that we must be nimble and put in place additional measures to protect Ontarians and stop the spread of COVID-19," said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. "With COVID-19 variants continuing to spread in our communities, it is critically important that everyone continues strictly adhering to all public health and workplace safety measures to help contain the virus and maintain the progress we have made to date."

According to Grey Bruce Public Health, “the green – prevent status includes standard measures that focus on education and awareness of public health and workplace safety measures; restrictions reflect a broader allowance of activities; and highest risk settings remain closed.”

In the green-prevent zone, gathering and close contact restrictions remain the same as in the yellow-protect zone, with private events and gatherings allowing 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors. Organized public events are allowing 50 people indoors and 100 outdoors. Religious, wedding and funeral services are allowed to operate at 30 per cent capacity and may have 100 people outside.

All businesses must adhere to screening all employees and limiting capacity of guests in order to maintain a two-metre distance. Everyone (with some exceptions), including staff and guests, must wear a mask or face covering. Workers are required to use PPE protecting their eyes, nose and mouth when coming within two-metres of anyone not wearing a face covering, mask or separated by plexiglass.

Continued disinfecting of often-touched surfaces is required.

Staff must manage line ups to make sure customers are at least two-metres apart and wearing face coverings or masks.

Businesses must create a safety plan, post it in a place where workers and patrons will see it and have it available upon request (for example, to inspectors or law enforcement officers).

Restaurants, bars and food and drink businesses must seat guests at tables at least two-metres apart. Guests (with some exceptions) are required to wear masks or face covering except when eating or drinking. Staff must keep guests two-metres apart when lining up and ensure everyone is wearing a mask. One person per party will be required to leave contact information. Buffets are still not allowed to open.

More information and restrictions are available at www.ontario.ca.

Even with eased restrictions, the province is urging residents to continue staying at home and limit trips outside their household and to other regions unless the trips are essential. Residents should continue to wear a face covering, keep a two-metre distance from people outside of their household and not gather with individuals outside their home. These precautions will help stop the spread of COVID-19 and safeguard the health system capacity.

Tammy Lindsay Schneider, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Kincardine Independent