Local News News Walkerton Herald-Times

From green to yellow: GBHU region moving to COVID-19 alert level yellow on Nov. 23

GREY-BRUCE – The Grey Bruce Health Unit is no longer in the green when it comes to Ontario’s COVID-19 framework.

The province announced on Friday that the Grey Bruce Health Unit is one of six health units that will be moving to the yellow (protect) COVID-19 alert level effective Nov. 23.

The new restrictions are expected to be in effect for 28 days, though more stringent restrictions could be introduced within that time if deemed necessary by officials.

After seeing relatively few cases throughout the first eight months of the pandemic – 205 cases between March and Nov. 13 – the GBHU catchment area has reported 51 cases from Nov. 13-19. Dr. Ian Arra, Grey Bruce’s medical officer of health, believes that the increase in number is likely due to “COVID fatigue.”

“Some people say we are done with the virus. The truth of the matter, the virus is not done with us,” he said on Nov. 19.

The following restrictions – in addition to those currently in place – are in effect for level yellow:

  • restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments;
  • sports and recreational fitness facilities;
  • meeting and event spaces;
  • retail;
  • personal care services;
  • casinos, bingo halls and gaming establishments;
  • cinemas; and
  • performing arts facilities.

Gathering limits for private events, public events and religious services, weddings and funerals will remain the same as they did in the green (prevent) level. Requirements for face coverings and workplace screening requirements will also remain the same as they did in the green level.

A full list of the restriction is available on the government’s website.

Help stop the spread

Public Health officials are recommending all Ontarians continue to adhere to the following Public Health guidelines:

  • avoid social gatherings and limit close contacts to your household or the people you live with;
  • maintain two metres of physical distancing from everyone else;
  • wear a face covering indoors and wear one outdoors if physical distancing may not be maintained or if wearing one is required;
  • wash your hands thoroughly and regularly;
  • stay home if you have COVID-19 symptoms, even if mild;
  • “cover your cough”;
  • get tested if you have symptoms compatible with COVID-19, or if you’ve been advised of exposure;
  • people from higher transmission regions should avoid travel to lower transmission regions, except for essential reasons; and
  • download the COVID Alert mobile app.