Renfrew County moves into yellow Monday

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A woman in a mask walks through downtown Arnprior, Ont., on Feb. 27, 2021. The Renfrew County and District Health Unit will be moving into the yellow level on the province's pandemic scale starting after midnight March 8. (Remi Authier/Radio-Canada - image credit)
A woman in a mask walks through downtown Arnprior, Ont., on Feb. 27, 2021. The Renfrew County and District Health Unit will be moving into the yellow level on the province's pandemic scale starting after midnight March 8. (Remi Authier/Radio-Canada - image credit)

Renfrew County and its surrounding towns are moving into the yellow zone starting Monday on Ontario's colour-coded pandemic scale, after three weeks of being one of the least restrictive regions in the province.

Renfrew County and District Health Unit was one of a handful of areas the province allowed to reopen in a green zone in early February, which has the least severe pandemic restrictions.

On Friday, the Ontario government announced the health unit will be moving into its yellow "protect" zone starting 12:01 a.m. on March 8, which limits six people per table at restaurants and caps 10 people for indoors and 25 outdoors for fitness classes, among other restrictions. The province said in a news release that its decision to shift the levels for several health units was made in consultation with local medical officers, based on latest COVID-19 trends and public health indicators in each region.

In the past week, the health unit's acting medical officer of health warned residents about the number of contacts traced per COVID-19 case. Dr. Robert Cushman also threatened targeted restrictions as it reported 15 cases in Arnprior, Ont., and McNab/Braeside, all tied to private gatherings

According to the health unit, those who were infected then worked at or visited seven local businesses while contagious. The health unit closed one business, Cushman said, while several other businesses chose to temporarily shut down on their own.

As of Thursday, Renfrew County and District Health Unit had 28 active cases with one of them in intensive care. The region has reported 359 confirmed COVID-19 cases, and two deaths, since the pandemic first began.

It reported four new cases Friday.