No changes in Lambton after province increases restrictions to curb COVID-19

Premier Doug Ford

While more public health units in Ontario are facing tough restrictions as the province tries to put the breaks on the growing numbers of people contracting COVID-19, Lambton residents are still able to enjoy as much freedom as possible under pandemic restrictions.

Lambton is one of 15 health units still in the green zone after the province shifted goalposts of its COVID-19 framework.

Today, 1396 people tested positive for COVID-19 in the province – the majority of those cases are in the Greater Toronto Area.

So, the province changed its new framework for COVID-19 to lower the threshold of number of cases to trigger more restrictions. Large numbers of Ontario doctors voiced concern about the provincial guidelines would not control the spread of the virus. The Toronto Star reported Thursday while public health officials had advised the government on the new guidelines, the province ignored their advice.

Premier Doug Ford says the recent modeling which showed Ontario “facing down the barrel of another lock down” the projections of 6,500 cases per day by mid-December are the reason for the changes. “The modeling that I saw now is not the modeling I saw nine days ago,” Ford told reporters.

“Nine days, ten days ago, I was looking at 900 to 1,200 cases – what I saw a couple of days ago was 6,500.”

And Ford rejected the idea he’s stopped listening to the scientific community saying if Dr. David Williams – Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health – says to shut things down “I will lock down quicker than you can blink and eye. My number one priority is to protect the lives of the people in Ontario.”

While he talks about keeping Ontario’s economy strong and his heart breaking for small businesse people, Ford balked when reporters asked him why he had not spoken about his heart breaking for the families of the people who have died. “If for a second you don’t think this weighs on me you don’t know me very well,” he replied.

The province moved Hamilton, Halton, Toronto and York Region into the Red Zone. People in the areas are being told not to leave their homes except for essential trips like work, school, groceries and exercise. The province is also urging people not visit other people or invite others into their home.

Restaurants and bars will be open, but only 10 people can be inside and liquor service stops at 9pm. Gyms are also still open, with 10 people maximum in classes. Theaters are closed.

Brant, Durham, Eastern Ontario, Niagara, Wellington-Dufferin and Guelph and Waterloo are now in the orange zone.

And all around Lambton, regions are facing more restrictions. Middlesex London, Huron Perth, and Windsor-Essex are now in the yellow zone. While there are no limits on the number of people in a restaurant, people have to sit together in groups of six. The bar shuts down at 11 pm. Sports facilities are still allowed up to 50 spectators. Movie theatres can operate with up to 50 people as can theaters.

Lambton is just one of 15 of the province’s 34 health unit in the least restrictive green zone.

Today, Lambton Public Health reports eight people are ill with COVID-19. There have been a total of 382 cases since the virus was first detected in the region in March.