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HomeNewsKawartha Lakes To Enter Orange Zone When Shutdown Ends Next Week

Kawartha Lakes To Enter Orange Zone When Shutdown Ends Next Week

KAWARTHA LAKES-More local businesses and services will be able to reopen next week with COVID-19 safety measures in place, as the provincial Stay-at-Home Order comes to an end.

Effective at 12:01 am on Tuesday, February 16, the provincial government will move the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit (HKPRDHU) region into the Orange COVID-19 colour category. Before the province-wide shutdown took effect in late December, the HKPRDHU region – Haliburton County, Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes – had been in the Yellow level.

Even though more local businesses can reopen and small social gatherings are allowed under the Orange level, HKPRDHU’s Acting Medical Officer of Health Dr. Ian Gemmill strongly urges caution.

“While our legal obligation to limit travel and gatherings will end when the Stay-at-Home Order is lifted, we still have a moral obligation to continue doing all we can to stop the spread of COVID-19,” Dr. Gemmill said. “I am pleading with people not to gather with others and to continue to stay home and only go out for essential reasons.”

While COVID-19 cases may be declining, the virus is still circulating in the area, he adds. New coronavirus variants that are more easily spread are also present locally and across Ontario, and these could also contribute to a sudden surge in COVID-19 infections.

“We may be open for business, but we can’t assume it’s business as usual,” Dr. Gemmill said. “Until more people are vaccinated and we can get COVID-19 under control, we must continue doing all we can to stop the spread. Otherwise, we will lose the momentum we’ve gained over the past six weeks of the shutdown.”

The HKPRDHU region’s move out of the provincial shutdown to the Orange COVID-19 level means:

  • Local restaurants/bars can reopen for in-person dining, while continuing to offer takeout, pick-up and delivery.
  • Worship services, weddings and funerals can resume with limitations.
  • Gyms and fitness clubs can again open their doors to members with limitations.
  • In-person shopping can resume at retail stores and malls.
  • Personal care services such as barbers, hairdressers, nail salons and tattoo studios can resume with restrictions. One is that services requiring the removal of face coverings cannot be offered.
  • Movie theatres and performing arts centres can reopen for performances, with limits in place.

All businesses and services that are reopening must follow COVID-19 restrictions. These include operating with reduced hours (in some cases), limiting the number of people inside at one time, ensuring physical distancing is maintained, and enhancing cleaning and disinfecting measures. Businesses must also screen customers for COVID-19, while ensuring they wear masks (unless exempt).

The move to Orange also means small social gatherings are once again allowed at private homes, backyards and parks between people from different households. Up to 10 people can gather indoors and up to 25 people outdoors. Masks must be worn, and people need to stay 2 metres apart from anyone who is outside of their household.

The Orange-Restrict level is midway in Ontario’s five-level COVID-19 Framework. Levels are based on rates of COVID-19 in an area. As well as Orange, there are also: Green-Prevent, Yellow-Protect, Red-Control and Grey-Lockdown. These public health measures can be adjusted, tightened, or loosened based on local COVID-19 trends and case counts. The colour code for each area is reviewed weekly by the Ontario Ministry of Health.

Here’s more on the restrictions for the Orange Zone:

Organized public events, social gatherings and wedding, funeral and religious services, rites and ceremonies

  • Limits for certain organized public events and social gatherings such as functions, parties, dinners, gatherings, barbeques or wedding receptions held in private residences, backyards, or parks, where physical distancing can be maintained:
    • 10 people indoors
    • 25 people outdoors
  • Limits for organized public events and gatherings in staffed businesses and facilities, where physical distancing can be maintained:
    • 50 people indoors
    • 100 people outdoors
  • Limits for religious services rites or ceremonies, including wedding services and funeral services, where physical distancing can be maintained (applied in any venue other than a private dwelling):
    • 30% capacity of the room indoors
    • 100 people outdoors

Restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments

  • Capacity limits, where physical distancing can be maintained:
    • 50 patrons seated indoors
  • Outdoor dining, takeout, drive-through and delivery permitted, including alcohol
  • No buffet style service
  • Line-ups and patrons congregating outside venues managed by venue; 2 metres distance and face-covering required
  • Screening of patrons is required, in accordance with instructions issued by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health
  • Require patrons to be seated; 2 metres minimum or impermeable barrier required between tables
  • Limit of 4 people may be seated together
  • Require contact information for all seated patrons
  • Face coverings required except when eating or drinking only
  • Personal protective equipment, including eye protection, required when is a worker must come within 2 metres of another person who is not wearing a face covering
  • Establishments must be closed from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
  • Liquor sold or served only between 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • No consumption of liquor permitted between 10 p.m. to 9 a.m.
  • Dancing, singing and performing music is permitted, with restrictions
  • Karaoke permitted, with restrictions (including no private rooms)
  • Limit volume of music (to be no louder than the volume of a normal conversation)
  • Night clubs and strip clubs only permitted to operate as a restaurant or bar
  • A safety plan is required to be prepared and made available upon request

Sports and recreational fitness facilities

  • Maintain 2 metres physical distancing, unless engaged in a sport
  • Increase spacing between patrons to 3 metres in areas where there are weights or exercise equipment and in exercise and fitness classes
  • Capacity limits, where physical distancing can be maintained:
    • Maximum of 50 people total in indoor areas with weights and exercise machines and all indoor classes, however, each indoor fitness or exercise class can only have a maximum of 10 people and must take place in a separate room, or
    • 100 people in outdoor classes, however, each outdoor fitness or exercise class can only have a maximum of 25 people
    • No spectators permitted, however, each person under 18 may be accompanied by one parent or guardian
  • Screening of patrons is required, in accordance with instructions issued by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health
  • Team or individual sports must be modified to avoid physical contact; 50 people per league
  • Exemptions for high-performance athletes and parasports
  • Patrons may only be in the facility for 90 minutes except if engaging in a sport
  • Limit volume of music to be low enough that a normal conversation is possible; measures to prevent shouting by both instructors and members of the public
  • Face coverings required except when exercising or playing sports
  • Require contact information for all members of the public that enter the facility
  • Require reservation for entry; one reservation for teams
  • A safety plan is required to be prepared and made available upon request

Meeting and event spaces

  • Capacity limit for the venue, where physical distancing can be maintained:
    • 50 people indoors or
    • 100 people outdoors
  • Limits for wedding, funeral and religious services, rites or ceremonies apply if held in meeting and event spaces:
    • 30% capacity of the room indoors
    • 100 people outdoors
  • Booking multiple rooms for the same event not permitted
  • Screening of patrons is required, in accordance with instructions issued by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health
  • Establishments must be closed from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
  • Liquor sold or served only between 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • No consumption of liquor permitted between 10 p.m. to 9 a.m.
  • Require contact information for all seated patrons
  • Limit of 4 people may be seated together
  • Limit volume of music to be low enough that a normal conversation is possible
  • A safety plan is required to be prepared and made available upon request
  • Exceptions for court and government services

Retail

New for Orange-Restrict as of February 2021:

  • Fitting rooms must be limited to non-adjacent stalls
  • Line-ups and patrons congregating outside venues managed by venue; 2 metres distance and face-covering required
  • Limit volume of music to be no low enough that a normal conversation is possible
  • Screening of patrons is required, in accordance with instructions issued by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health
  • For malls, a safety plan is required to be prepared and made available upon request

Personal care services

  • Oxygen bars, steam rooms, saunas, bathhouses and other adult venues, closed
  • Sensory deprivation pods closed (some exceptions)
  • Services requiring removal of face coverings prohibited
  • Require contact information from all patrons
  • Screening of patrons is required, in accordance with instructions issued by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health
  • A safety plan is required to be prepared and made available upon request

Casinos, bingo halls and gaming establishments

  • Maximum of 50 people per facility permitted, where physical distancing can be maintained
  • Table games are prohibited
  • Liquor sold or served only between 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • No consumption of liquor permitted between 10 p.m. to 9 a.m.
  • Require contact information from all patrons
  • Screening of patrons is required, in accordance with instructions issued by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health
  • A safety plan is required to be prepared and made available upon request

Cinemas

  • Capacity limits per venue, where physical distancing can be maintained:
    • 50 people indoors or
    • 100 outdoors
  • Face coverings required except when eating or drinking only
  • Liquor sold or served only between 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • No consumption of liquor permitted between 10 p.m. to 9 a.m.
  • Require contact information from all patrons
  • Screening of patrons is required, in accordance with instructions issued by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health
  • Drive-in cinemas permitted to operate, subject to restrictions
  • A safety plan is required to be prepared and made available upon request

Performing arts facilities

  • Capacity limits per venue, where physical distancing can be maintained:
    • 50 spectators indoors or
    • 100 spectators outdoors
  • Singers and players of wind or brass instruments must be separated from spectators by plexiglass or some other impermeable barrier
  • Performers and employees must maintain 2 metres physical distance except for purposes of the performance
  • Liquor sold or served only between 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • No consumption of liquor permitted between 10 p.m. to 9 a.m.
  • Require contact information from all patrons
  • Screening of patrons is required, in accordance with instructions issued by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health
  • Rehearsal or performing a recorded or broadcasted event permitted
  • Drive-in performances permitted
  • A safety plan is required to be prepared and made available upon request

 

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Pamela Vanmeer
Pamela Vanmeerhttps://www.kawartha411.ca/
Pamela VanMeer is a two time winner of the prestigious Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) Award. Her investigative reports on abuse in Long Term Care Homes garnered international attention for the issue and won the Ron Laidlaw Award. She is a former reporter and anchor at CHEX News, now Global Peterborough and helped launch the New CHEX Daily, a daily half hour talk show. While at CHCH News in Hamilton she covered some of the biggest news stories of the day.

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