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HPPH region moving to COVID-19 alert level orange on Nov. 23

HURON-PERTH — The Huron Perth Public Health (HPPH) region will move to the orange (restrict) COVID-19 alert level on Monday.

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.

There are currently 48 active cases of COVID-19 in the region, and 264 confirmed cases since the beginning of the pandemic. There have been 202 cases considered recovered, and 14 people have passed away due to the virus.

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

  • restaurants must limit indoor capacity to 50, stop serving liquor by 9pm and close at 10pm, screen patrons, and limit seating groups to maximum of four people;
  • gyms and sport/recreation facilities must limit capacity to 50 people per facility, screen patrons, and limit the duration of stays;
  • retail stores must screen all patrons; and
  • personal care services cannot provide services requiring the removal of face coverings, must screen patients, and close change rooms, showers, hot tubs, etc.

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

“With the numbers rising rapidly in certain regions, we have to make the tough, but necessary decisions now to protect our hospitals, long-term care and retirement homes, and every person in this province,” said Premier Doug Ford on Friday.

Visitor restrictions for long-term care homes will apply to homes in regions that are in the orange level or higher.

The provincial also announced on Friday that staff, essential caregivers and support workers who provide direct care to residents in these regions will be tested weekly for COVID-19 beginning Monday. These workers are currently tested bi-weekly.

In addition, support workers who provide direct care and caregivers in those regions will be asked to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result in the past week and verbally attest that they have not subsequently tested positive.

‘Hot spots’ moving to lockdown

Two hot spot regions – Toronto and Peel – are moving from red (control) to grey (lockdown) on Monday.

“We cannot afford a province-wide lockdown, so we are taking preventative action today by moving Toronto and Peel into lockdown level restrictions and other regions into higher levels of restrictions,” said Ford.

“We need to take decisive action to stop the spread of this deadly virus.”

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.With files from the Wellington Advertiser