Jenny MacNeil operates a hair salon in downtown Kenora, and she says aid programs have helped. So, money isn't the most important thing.

Jenny MacNeil operates Jennny from the Block

"I want to do it safely. I deal with a lot of elderly people, and I want to make sure I'm not making anything potentially worse," she said Monday. 

"I was actually able to qualify for some government programs, so this time around it's not as much of a panic as it was the last lockdown we were going through, where I wasn't sure how I was really going to make it through," she said.

The 28-day shutdown ends this week, but it was extended yesterday by the premier, due to ongoing case numbers. 

During his comments yesterday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford said he had listened to the voice of small business owners, who lobbied for some easing of restrictions. At the same time, he said the dire urgency of the situation hasn't gone away.

While the lockdown has eased the pressure on the medical system, Ford said the prospect of seeing their intensive care units overwhelmed still remained, and he didn't dismiss the modelling numbers discussed by public health officials before Christmas. 

In a compromise move, most of Ontario could see the stay-at-home orders apply until at least Feb. 16, including Kenora District.

According to the Northwestern Health Unit, nine new COVID-19 cases were reported in the Kenora Region yesterday, and there were a total of 17 active cases in the health unit's catchment area. 

Some areas with low cases numbers -- Kingston, Frontenac and Renfrew County -- will be allowed to open tomorrow.

However, other areas with higher numbers -- Toronto, Peel and York -- aren't expected to reopen before Feb. 22, as the province looks to avoid overloading their hospitals. 

For more information:

Shutdown, stay-at-home orders extended to Feb. 16