UPDATE – New COVID-19 Public Health Measures in Effect in Ontario

Dickinson Wright

Dickinson Wright

On March 1, 2021, new public health measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 went into effect in Ontario. These measures represent the Government of Ontario moving multiple public health regions to new levels of its COVID-19 Response Framework.

  • Simcoe Muskoka District and Thunder Bay District move back to the grey zone (lockdown) due to a “rapid worsening” in key local public health indicators.
  • Niagara Region moves to the red (control) zone.
  • Chatham-Kent, Middlesex-London, and Southwestern move to the orange (restrict) zone.
  • Haldimand-Norfolk and Huron Perth District move to the yellow (protect) zone.
  • Grey-Bruce moves to the green (prevent) zone.

The Government of Ontario confirmed that Toronto, Peel, and North Bay Parry Sound District will remain under shutdown measures and a stay-at-home order until at least March 8.

You can track your municipality’s public health unit here.

You can view an interactive map and complete list of every Ontario region’s designated colour zone here.

Ontario’s COVID-19 Response Framework

In November 2020, the Government of Ontario released a colour-coded framework to help Ontarians navigate the next phase of the pandemic. The colours/measures apply to regional public health units, and are as follows:

  • Grey (Lockdown): Widescale measures and restrictions, including closures, to halt or interrupt transmission.
  • Red (Control): Broader-scale measures and restrictions, across multiple sectors, to control transmission.
  • Orange (Restrict): Enhanced measures, restrictions, and enforcement avoiding any closures.
  • Yellow (Protect): Enhanced targeted enforcement, fines, and enhanced education to limit further transmission.
  • Green (Prevent): Focus on education and awareness of public health and workplace safety measures in place.

You can find more information regarding Ontario’s COVID-19 Response Framework here.

Ontario’s COVID-19 Vaccination Program

According to the head of the Government of Ontario’s immunization task force, the Ontario COVID-19 vaccine appointment call centre is expected to start operation shortly and will begin accepting appointment bookings for residents 80 years and older.

In the coming weeks, an online portal will be launched for Ontario residents to book appointments with the following schedule, assuming the supplies of vaccines stays steady:

  • April 15: Vaccinations begin for people 75 years old and over.
  • May 1: Vaccinations begin for people 70 years old and over.
  • June 1: Vaccinations begin for people 65 years and over.
  • July 1: Vaccinations begin for people 60 years and over.

You can keep up to date on the status of vaccines administered in Ontario and consult Ontario’s three-phased approach to vaccine programming here.  

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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