Windsor-Essex is affected by more COVID-19 restrictions put in place by the provincial government.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford made the announcement on Monday following a cabinet meeting on Sunday on new COVID-19 restrictions, including closing restaurants and indoor gyms, tighter gathering limits and new school closures.
Ford said the province would revert to the “amended” version of the second stage of the roadmap to reopen effective Wednesday, Jan.5, 2022 at 12:01 a.m. for at least 21 days (through Jan.26, 2022), subject trends in public health and health system indicators.
These measures include:
- Reduce social gathering limits to five people indoors and 10 people outdoors.
- Limit capacity at public events held to five people indoors.
- Require businesses and organizations to ensure that employees work remotely, unless the nature of their job requires them to be on-site.
- Limit the capacity of weddings, funerals and religious services, rites and ceremonies indoors to 50% of the capacity of the particular room. Outside services are limited to the number of people who can maintain 2 meters of physical distance. Social gatherings associated with these services must respect the boundaries of social gatherings.
- Retail businesses, including shopping centers, are licensed at 50% capacity. For shopping malls, physical distancing will be required in queues, strolling will not be allowed, and food courts will have to close.
- Personal care services allowed at 50% capacity and other restrictions. Closed saunas, hammams and oxygen bars.
- Closure of indoor meeting and event spaces with limited exceptions, but allowing outdoor spaces to remain open with restrictions.
- Public libraries limited to 50 percent of their capacity.
- Closure of indoor meals in restaurants, bars and other catering establishments. Restricted al fresco dining, take-out, drive-thru, and delivery are permitted.
- Restrict the sale of alcohol after 10 p.m. and on-site alcohol consumption in businesses or establishments after 11 p.m. with delivery and take-out, grocery / convenience stores and other exempt liquor stores.
- Closure of indoor concert halls, theaters, cinemas, rehearsals and recorded performances permitted with restrictions.
- Casinos, bingo halls and other gaming establishments will be closed.
- Closure of museums, galleries, zoos, science centers, monuments, historic sites, botanical gardens and similar attractions, amusement and water parks, tour and guide services and fairs, rural exhibitions and festivals.
- Outdoor establishments permitted to open with restrictions and with spectator occupancy, if applicable, limited to 50 percent of their capacity.
- Closure of indoor horse racing tracks, car racing tracks and other similar sites.
- Outdoor establishments are allowed to open with restrictions and with a spectator occupancy limited to 50% of their capacity.
- Boat trips are permitted at 50% of capacity.
- Closure of indoor sports and recreational facilities, including gymnasiums, with the exception of athletes training for the Olympic and Paralympic Games and certain professional and elite amateur sports leagues. Outdoor facilities are allowed to operate, but the number of spectators must not exceed 50% occupancy and other requirements.
- Businesses that provide in-person education or instruction (such as cooking classes, music lessons) must operate under the following conditions: Closed indoor areas, except organizations that provide health and safety training (with conditions). Outdoor spaces open up with restrictions in place, such as physical distancing.
SCHOOLS MOVE TO DISTANCE LEARNING
All public and private schools will switch to distance learning from January 5 until at least January 17, subject to public health trends and operational considerations.
School buildings would be allowed to open for childcare operations, including emergency childcare services, to provide in-person instruction to students with special needs who cannot be accommodated remotely and staff who are unable to provide quality home education.
During this distance learning period, free emergency child care will be provided to school-aged health care children and other eligible frontline workers.
Ford said the new measures respond to recent trends that show an alarming increase in hospitalizations related to COVID-19. He said the changes take into account the province’s vaccination efforts. Those
“As we continue our provincial vaccine booster efforts, we must examine all options to slow the spread of the highly contagious variant of Omicron,” said Ford. “Putting in place these targeted, time-bound measures will give us more opportunities to immunize all Ontarians and to ensure that everyone has maximum protection against this virus.” “
He said the restrictions and closures would help ease transmission and prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed as the province continues to ramp up the rollout of its booster doses.
On January 5, the Chief Medical Officer of Health will reinstate Directive 2 for hospitals and regulated healthcare professionals, directing hospitals to suspend all elective and elective surgeries and procedures to preserve intensive care and resource capacity human.
The Windsor Regional Hospital was reporting 29 people with COVID to the hospital on Sunday, 26 of them primarily being treated for the virus. There are 14 vaccinated and 12 unvaccinated COVID patients. There are four COVID patients in the ICU – three are unvaccinated patients and one fully vaccinated.
Windsor-Essex was also part of a province-wide lockdown around the same time last year. The Gray-Lockdown measures went into effect on December 16, 2020 and restrictions were relaxed on February 12, 2021, when the region returned to the red zone, with the reopening of indoor restaurants, gyms and lounges with restrictions and capacity limits.
CTV Windsor will have a local reaction.
With files from CTVNewsToronto.ca.