Ontario bringing back colour coded health system this month

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DURHAM/KAWARTHA: The Ontario provincial government is letting the provincial emergency declaration expire, on Tuesday, February 9th, and will gradually transition health units into a revised colour coded system.

Between February 10th and February 22nd, local health units will be placed back into one of five sections of the province’s response framework: Green-prevent, Yellow-protect, Orange-restrict, Red-control and Grey-lockdown.

“Today we are seeing some sunlight break through the clouds. Daily case numbers are down, transmission rates are down, less people are being hospitalized,” Premier Doug Ford observed, during a press conference, on Monday, February 8th.

Both the Durham Region Health Department and the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit will return to the framework, on Tuesday, February 16th. Health minister Christine Elliott explained why the province is waiting a week or more before declaring where each health unit will be in the framework.

“We know many areas are wanting to know where they are going to be, whether they are going to go back to green, or where they [were] in the framework. But we need to watch it very carefully, and we need to get the numbers down in our hospitals, and in some parts of the province the numbers are still very high,” she said.

The health minister also stated the province wants to take this time to observe and learn more about how quickly the known COVID-19 variants spread.

For more information on the framework, and the rules under each section, go online to www.ontario.ca.

Dan Cearns, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Standard Newspaper