Lambton faces more restrictions Monday.


The Ontario Ministry of Health says Lambton is moving to the Red-Control Zone under the province’s COVID-19 Reopening Framework Monday.

The province announced the move Friday after the number of new cases of the virus surfaced in Lambton in the past week.

There are major changes in the more restrictive red zone including the number of people able to gather drops from 10 to five.

Restaurants and bars would only be able to have 10 people inside at one time with four to a table. Alcohol will be served until 9 pm and the restaurant or bar has to close by 10 pm.

Retail stores would also have to limit capacity to 50 per cent of the stores. Grocery stores would have 75 per cent capacity. Movie theaters and performing arts centers would also have to close.

Lambton’s medical officer of health anticipated the move earlier this week. Dr. Sudit Ranade says he did point out to the province that most of the cases took place within outbreaks which public health is monitoring.

But he said at the time the province seems to look mostly at the number of cases to make the decision.

Lambton currently has a case rate of 60 per 100,000. It was 23 per 100,000 when the province announced the county’s reopening in the Orange-Restrict level.

“It has doubled compared to our rate for the previous week. While many recent cases have been linked to institutional outbreaks, these settings are a part of the community,” said Ranade in a news release Friday.

Toronto and Peel are around 83.4 and 69 per 100,000 respectively.

The province keeping Toronto, Peel and North Bay-Parry Sound District, the shutdown measures and the Stay-at-Home order will continue to apply until at least March 8.

In a news release, provincial officials say the COVID-19 case number remain high in the Toronto and Peel regions and in the North Bay-Parry Sound region the COVID-19 variants remain a serious risk to community transmission and health system capacity.

Medical officers of health from both Toronto and Peel had asked for an extension of the lockdown. By March 8, Toronto and Peel will have been in lockdown for three and a half months.

Only one community was moved out of lockdown this week. The province lifted the stay at home order in York Region.