Over the weekend, media reports suggested Queen's Park might lift the province-wide shutdown for regions in the green category, but Kenora Rainy River MPP and member of provincial cabinet -- Greg Rickford -- wasn't sure if the Kenora District would qualify.
"The problem is this weekend we picked up 10 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday alone. So, I doubt that puts us in green, but as I said the details are being worked out this morning," the minister said, before joining a virtual cabinet meeting with the premier on the issue.
With 11 new cases of COVID-19 over the last three days -- 10 on Saturday and one earlier today -- the minister didn't think the district would qualify for reopening.
"The chief medical officer had indicated, obviously as the newspapers had pointed out, I think most of them read that if he was going to go to a regional model, he was only prepared to let the green communities proceed," he said.
Earlier today, Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced three regions would be moving back to the green level of their COVID-19 framework on February 10. They were Kingston, Hastings and Renfrew County.
For the rest of the province, the stay-at-home order would continue to apply until Feb. 16, at the earliest. The areas with the highest case numbers -- Toronto, Peel and York -- had their orders extended until February 22.
The categories are set at the provincial level by the chief medical officer of health, rather than by the medical officer of health at the district level.
Green is the lowest level in Ontario, and it means:
- Focus on education and awareness of public health and workplace safety measures in place.
- Restrictions reflect broadest allowance of activities in Stage 3 absent a widely available vaccine or treatment.
- Highest risk settings remain closed.
Yellow is a level higher than green, and it means:
- Enhanced targeted enforcement, fines and enhanced education to limit further transmission.
- Application of public health measures in high risk settings.
As of this morning, the health unit web site said there were:
- 13 active cases in the Kenora Region and
- 4 in the Sioux Lookout Region for a total of
- 17 active cases in the health unit's catchment area.
For more information: