Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health moves to Orange

·2 min read

The Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health (WDGPH) region has officially made a move down on the COVID-19 response framework from red (control) to the orange (restrict) category.

The Ontario government announced the move for the region last Friday (March 19) with the changes to the restriction going in effect Monday (March 22) at 12:01 a.m.

With the move to the orange (restrict) category, public events and social gatherings will have limits of 10 people indoors and 25 outdoors. Religious services rites, ceremonies including wedding services and funerals will allow for 30 percent capacity for indoors and 100 people outdoors.

Restaurant and bars in the region are now permitted to have the lesser of approximately 50 per cent capacity for indoor dinning or 100 seated customers. Outdoor seating is limited to allow for 2 metres physical distancing to be maintained. Establishments must be closed from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. and liquor can only be sold and served between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.

Gyms and recreational fitness facilities can now have a maximum of 50 people indoors in total with weights and exercise machines, but classes will have a capacity of 10 people.

Other changes with the switch to orange (restrict) including cinemas and performing arts facilities to have limits of 50 indoors and 100 outdoors.

Stores must have passive screening, such as signage, for patrons. This does not apply to indoor malls, which are required to actively screen their customers before they enter the mall. Malls can use the patron screening tool to help meet this requirement.

With the shift to the orange-category, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Christine Elliot warned residents to not let their guard down.

“With the significant and increasing risk of COVID-19 variants, the next few week will be critical in our fight against COVID-19,” said Elliot.

For more information on the change to the orange (restrict) category, and the restrictions go to the province’s COVID-19 response website.

Paula Brown, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shelburne Free Press