Lambton will have least restrictions under new provincial guidelines

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Lambton County residents and businesses will be among the communities which have the least restrictions to fight COVID-19.

The gathering limits won’t change and some businesses will have to implement more safety measures under the new rules.

The province released its new COVID-19 Response Framework today. It’s aim is to clearly layout what happens as the number of cases rise in your community. The framework takes a gradual approach that includes introducing preventative measures earlier to help avoid broader closures and allow for additional public health and workplace safety measures to be introduced or removed incrementally.

Lambton will be in the prevent or green zone since it has fewer than 10 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people and the level of community transmission remains low. The measures will rise as the case numbers increase. The colour-coded restrictions include yellow-protect, orange-restrict (with immediate measures), red -control – the most stringent measures before lock down.

Areas like Toronto, Peel and York will be in the orange zone to begin.

See the full document here: https://www.ontario.ca/page/covid-19-response-framework-keeping-ontario-safe-and-open

Here is what the government is proposing for the green prevent zones, which includes Lambton County:

Gathering Limits

  Gathering limit for certain organized public events and social gatherings (e.g. barbeques):
•10 people indoors
•25 people outdoors    
Gathering limit for organized public events and gatherings:
•50 people indoors
•100 people outdoors    
Gathering limit for religious services, weddings and funerals:
•30% capacity indoors •100 people outdoors  
Requirement for workplace screening
Requirement for face coverings at indoor workplaces
Requirement for face coverings in indoor public spaces, with limited exemptions Worker protections such as eye protection where patrons without face coverings are within two metres of workers
Development and implementation of a communication/public education plan (highlighting risk)
Advice to restrict non-essential travel from areas of high-transmission to areas of low transmission

Sports

 •50 people indoors (classes)
•100 people outdoors (classes)
•50 people indoors (area with weights or exercise equipment)
•Spectators allowed (50 indoors and 100 outdoors)
•Limit of 50 people per room basis if operating in compliance with a plan approved by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health (Guidance for Facilities for Sport and Recreational Activities)
•Team or individual sports must be modified to avoid physical contact; 50 people per league
•Exemption for high performance athletes and parasports •Limit volume of music (e.g., conversation level)/require use of microphone for instructor where  

Restaurants

•Require patrons to be seated; 2m minimum between tables
•Dancing, singing and performing music is permitted, with restrictions
•Karaoke permitted, with restrictions (including no private rooms)
•Require patron contact info (one per group)
•No buffet style service
•Night clubs only permitted to operate as restaurant or bar
•Line-ups/patrons congregating outside venues managed by venue; 2m distance and face covering required
•Face coverings except when eating or drinking only
•Eye protection where patrons without face coverings are within two metresof workers  

Meetings and Event spaces

Limits: •50 people indoors •100 people outdoors   *exception for court/government services, weddings, funerals
•Booking multiple rooms for the same event not permitted •As of August 21, 2020, OCMOH plan:   50 persons per room, where physical distancing can be maintained, subject to conditions in the plan  

Retail   

•Fitting rooms must be limited to non-adjacent stalls

•Line-ups/patrons congregating outside venues managed by venue; 2m distance and face covering required  

Personal Care Services    

•Oxygen bars, steam rooms, saunas, and whirlpools closed  

Casinos Bingo Halls and Gaming Establishments    

•Capacity cannot exceed 50 persons.

•Table games are prohibited.

OR casinos, bingo halls, and gaming establishments operate in accordance with a plan approved by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health.  

Cinemas  

In facility/area •50 indoors •100 outdoors   OR •50 indoor per auditorium if cinema operates in accordance with the approved plan from the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health

•Face coverings except when eating or drinking only

•Drive-in cinemas permitted to operate, subject to restrictions  

Performing Arts Centres    

•50 spectators indoors and 100 spectators outdoors with 2m physical distance maintained

•Singers and players of wind or brass instruments must be separated from spectators by plexiglass or some other impermeable barrier

•Rehearsal or performing a recorded or broadcasted event permitted

•Performers and employees must maintain 2m physical distance except for purposes of the performance

•Drive-in performances permitted      

There will be more information available as well – the province will post COVID-19 cases from across each region. Officials say this information will better help businesses, organizations and local communities access key information to prepare in advance for any changes in their region.

Premier Doug Ford, introducing the new system Tuesday, was asked why there seemed to be fewer restrictions in areas where the number of cases were high. Ford says “the whole world is going to live with this for a while” and it is not good for people’s mental health to continue to restrict their businesses.

Ford he says he hears from restaurant owners all the time about how they can’t pay their loans and that’s leading to depression and mental health programs.

Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams, says that was something local medical officers of health were concerned about. He says there are indication the number of people contracting COVID-19 in the GTA is “going up but not as fast as before.”

He adds the MOH’s are worried about the “impacts on economics and indviduals, ongoing closure is not going to be helpful.”