Updating COVID-19 Response FrameworkPublished on November 16, 2020
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, the government’s response must evolve with it.
In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and the Public Health Measures Table, the province is taking immediate action to respond to the rapid rise in COVID-19 cases by lowering the thresholds for each of the five levels in the Keeping Ontario Safe and Open Framework.
These necessary updates will help limit the spread of COVID-19 while keeping schools open, maintaining health system capacity, protecting the province’s most vulnerable, and avoiding broader lockdowns.
The proposed framework changes are in response to the current data and trends, and will lower the threshold for each of the five levels for: weekly incident rates, positivity rate, rate of transmission (Rt), outbreak trends and the level of community transmission.
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.
The framework categorizes public health regions into five levels: Green-Prevent, Yellow-Protect, Orange-Restrict, Red-Control, and Lockdown being a measure of last and urgent resort.
Public health measures required for each level can be found in the Keeping Ontario Safe and Open Framework that will come into effect as of Monday, November 16, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. Toronto Public Health.
For long-term care homes, visitor restrictions will apply to public health regions within the Orange-Restrict and Red-Control levels in the framework. This will go into effect on Monday, November 16, 2020 at 12:01 a.m.
Public Health Advice
It remains critical that everyone continue to strictly follow public health advice to protect yourself and your community.
We bent the curve during the first wave and we can do it again through the collective actions of all Ontarians.
The following recommendations apply to all public health unit regions in the province:
- Avoid social gatherings and limit close contacts to your household or the people you live with;
- Adhere to the restrictions in your region on public and private gatherings;
- 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 they are mild;
- Cover your cough;
- Get tested if you have symptoms compatible with COVID-19, or if you’ve been advised of exposure by your local public health unit or through the COVID Alert mobile app;
- Individuals and families from higher transmission regions should avoid travel to lower transmission regions, except for essential reasons; and
- Download the COVID Alert mobile app.
Trends in public health data will continue to be reviewed weekly. At the same time, the government will continually assess the impact of public health measures for 28 days, or two COVID-19 incubation periods to determine if public health units should stay where they are or be moved into a different zone.
For news release, click here
To find out which level your region is in, click here
For updates to the framework and revised thresholds, click here