Point Edward, ON – The Ontario Government, on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, activated the “emergency brake” for Lambton County. On Monday, March 15, 2021 at 12:01 a.m., Lambton County will move to Grey-Lockdown zone of the province’s COVID-19 response framework.
The Grey-Lockdown status is considered a declaration of emergency. Maximum measures are in place to implement wide-scale measures and restrictions, including closures, to halt or interrupt transmission of COVID-19.
“The local situation is concerning as it has the potential to spread rapidly in our community,” said Dr. Ranade, Medical Officer of Health for the County of Lambton. “Increased rates of COVID-19 cases including a growing proportion of variants of concern (VOCs), a number of active outbreaks and significant evidence of community spread are key indicators that support this decision.”
Local surveillance reports indicate adverse trends continue following entering the Red-Control status. The weekly case incidence rate has continued to increase for all age groups, but more dramatically for the under 50 year olds. The test positivity rate has also continued to increase. Outbreaks have continued in a variety settings with a notable increase recently for schools.
Ranade adds, “Outbreaks in schools are a reflection of transmission in the community. The added risk presented with VOCs circulating causes concern since globally we are only beginning to learn more about these variants. They become variants of concern when the mutations or changes have clinical or public health significance including increased transmissibility (spread) and virulence (severity of disease).”
A summary of changes and restrictions under the Grey-Lockdown zone:
- No indoor gatherings with individuals other than your household. Option to join a household if you live alone.
- Outdoor gatherings capped at 10.
- Weddings, funerals, and religious services, rites or ceremonies will be permitted to allow for up to 15 per cent total occupancy indoors, or up to 50 people outdoors – announced today by the Ontario Government.
- Take-out only. No sit-down service
- Sports and recreation
- Indoor sports and recreation facilities closed. Exemption for high-performance.
- Outdoor amenities open for personal use (no teams)
- Multi-use centres open for specific social services (not recreational)
- Meeting spaces
- Closed with exceptions. Open for specific social services.
- Further capacity limitations
- 50% primarily groceries/convenience/pharmacy
- 25% all other retail
- Mall must actively screen patrons before entry
- Further capacity limitations
- Other businesses
- Closed with some exceptions for drive-through and pick-up
Full details listed under the COVID-19 response framework and O. Reg. 82/20: Grey-Lockdown.
We recognize these developments will be difficult for many. Now is the time to support one another, commit to the requirements in the Lockdown zone and continue to be kind and patient. Please do your part and stay home as much as possible, limit close contacts to your household and follow public health measures so we can reduce cases, illness and spread in the community.
Together we can beat the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more at LambtonPublicHealth.ca.