York Region to enter lockdown zone in Ontario’s COVID-19 pandemic plan

York Region has been placed into lockdown under Ontario’s COVID-19 colour-coded system, moving from the red zone into the grey zone.

The Ontario government announced Friday that starting at 12:01 a.m. Monday, Dec. 14, York Region would enter lockdown amid rising coronavirus cases. Windsor-Essex is also moving to the lockdown zone on Monday as well, the government said.

York Region and Windsor-Essex join Toronto and Peel Region, which both entered lockdown on Nov. 23.

The lockdown runs for a minimum of 28 days. The government will then reassess if a region should move.

Read more: Coronavirus — York Region hospitals warn of ‘tipping point’ in COVID-19 admissions

“Moving a region into Grey-Lockdown is not an easy decision, but it is one we needed to make in order to help stop the spread of the virus and safeguard the key services we rely on,” said Christine Elliott, Ontario’s Deputy Premier and Minister of Health.

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“As we enter the holiday season and as the province prepares to receive its first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines, it remains crucial for all Ontarians to continue adhering to public health advice and workplace safety measures to reduce the spread of the virus and keep each other safe,” Elliott said.

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Over the last couple of weeks, daily case counts in York Region have hovered between about 150 and 250 and have shown an overall upward trend, according to the local public health unit. York Region’s incidence rate has also been well above the “red level” threshold of more than 40 cases per 100,000 people.

Hospitals across York Region have warned that their facilities have reached a “tipping point” due to a significant increase in COVID-19 admissions in recent weeks.

In early November, the provincial government released a tiered system for implementing restrictions, which classified each of the 34 local public health units in Ontario based on COVID-19 numbers such as cases, test positivity, outbreaks, level of transmission, etc.

Five levels were created — green level (prevent), yellow level (protect), orange level (restrict), red level (control) and grey level (lockdown).

Ontario’s revised thresholds for COVID-19 pandemic plan.
Ontario’s revised thresholds for COVID-19 pandemic plan. Government of Ontario

Other Ontario regions moving levels in the COVID-19 tiered system

The Ontario government also announced that Middlesex-London, Simcoe Muskoka and Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph will move into the red-control level on Monday.

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Eastern Ontario will move into the orange-restrict level on Monday.

Leeds, Greenville and Lanark will move into the yellow-protect level on Monday.

— With files from The Canadian Press.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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