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Province Encourages “Social Circles”

MEDIA RELEASE:

Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit

June 12, 2020

The Province has announced that as of today, people of Ontario can expand their household “bubbles” and establish a “social circle” of no more than 10 people. These 10 people can come into close contact with each other without having to practice physical distancing measures. It’s a chance to reconnect with loved ones; something many of us have been craving.

“Social circles will support the mental health and well-being of people in our communities and help reduce social isolation,” says Dr. Paula Stewart, Medical Officer of Health. “However, it is important that we make a contract to only be in close contact with those in our circle to reduce the risk of exposure to the virus.” Restricting close contact to one circle of 10 people will help keep the number of contacts low in the event a member of the “circle” becomes infected with COVID-19. If anyone in the social circle develops COVID-19 all members of the social circle will be required to self-isolate and get tested.

To form a safe social circle these steps should be followed:

  • Start with the people you live with or who regularly come into your household. Large households may not be able to add additional people to their circle, as it would exceed ten people.
  • If your current circle is under 10 people, you can add members to your circle, including another household, family members or friends.
  • Get agreement from everyone that they will join the circle and no other one.
  • Keep your social circle safe. Maintain physical distancing with anyone outside of your circle.
  • Be true to your social circle. No one should be part of more than one circle.

Find out more from the Ontario website: https://www.ontario.ca/page/create-social-circle-during-covid-19?_ga=2.171083104.1307259032.1591985207-1302784084.1591985207

It is important to clarify that these “social circles” are different than social gatherings. Visits with non-circle people would be considered a social gathering and must use the same rules as before including being outside, keeping a physical distancing of at least 2m/6ft, staying home if sick, practicing good hand hygiene, covering your cough or sneeze, and cleaning & disinfecting commonly touched surfaces.

The Health Unit has staff answering COVID-19 related questions and concerns for the public from 8:30am to 4:30pm every day at 1-800-660-5853 extension 2499. Public Health Inspectors are also available to discuss environmental health concerns. You can also get more information about COVID-19 by visiting www.healthunit.org/coronavirus or by connecting with LGLHealthUnit on Facebook and Twitter.

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Westport and Leeds & Grenville move forward to Stage 2 of reopening of province on Friday June 12!!!

Ontario Permits More Businesses and Services to Reopen in the Coming Days

Restrictions Being Eased in Communities Where It Is Safe to Do So

 

Office of the Premier

 

\TORONTO — Today, the Ontario government announced that it is getting more people back to work and more recreational activities open by moving forward with a regional approach to Stage 2 of reopening the province.

In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and local health officials, the government is easing restrictions in communities where it is safe to do so, based on trends of key public health indicators such as lower rates of transmission, increased capacity in hospitals, and progress made in testing.

Effective Friday, June 12, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., the province will increase the limit on social gatherings from five to 10 people across the province, regardless of whether a region has moved to Stage 2. Additionally, all places of worship in Ontario will also be permitted to open with physical distancing in place and attendance limited to no more than 30 per cent of the building capacity to ensure the safety of worshippers.

Public health unit regions allowed to move into Stage 2 on Friday, June 12 at 12:01 a.m. include:

  • Algoma Public Health
  • Brant County Health Unit
  • Chatham-Kent Public Health
  • Eastern Ontario Health Unit
  • Grey Bruce Health Unit
  • Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit
  • Hastings Prince Edward Public Health
  • Huron Perth Public Health
  • Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Public Health
  • Leeds Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit
  • Middlesex-London Health Unit
  • North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit
  • Northwestern Health Unit
  • Ottawa Public Health
  • Peterborough Public Health
  • Porcupine Health Unit
  • Public Health Sudbury & Districts
  • Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services
  • Renfrew County and District Health Unit
  • Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit
  • Southwestern Public Health
  • Thunder Bay District Health Unit
  • Timiskaming Health Unit
  • Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health

Details of the Stage 2 reopening were provided by Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance, Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, and Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development.

“We are able to make this announcement today because of the extraordinary effort of our frontline workers and every other person in the province who helped to stop the spread of this deadly virus,” said Premier Ford. “Entering Stage 2 means parts of the province will see more people back on the job and an opportunity to get back together with friends and family. Although this is extremely encouraging, I urge everyone to exercise caution and continue to follow public health advice as we are not out of the woods yet.”

Businesses and services permitted to reopen with proper health and safety measures in place in regions entering Stage 2 include:

  • Outdoor dine-in services at restaurants, bars and other establishments, including patios, curbside, parking lots and adjacent properties;
  • Select personal and personal care services with the proper health and safety measures in place, including tattoo parlours, barber shops, hair salons and beauty salons;
  • Shopping malls under existing restrictions, including food services reopening for take-out and outdoor dining only;
  • Tour and guide services, such as bike and walking, bus and boat tours, as well as tasting and tours for wineries, breweries and distilleries;
  • Water recreational facilities such as outdoor splash pads and wading pools, and all swimming pools;
  • Beach access and additional camping at Ontario Parks;
  • Camping at private campgrounds;
  • Outdoor-only recreational facilities and training for outdoor team sports, with limits to enable physical distancing;
  • Drive-in and drive-through venues for theatres, concerts, animal attractions and cultural appreciation, such as art installations;
  • Film and television production activities, with limits to enable physical distancing; and
  • Weddings and funerals, with limits on social gatherings to 10 people.

As more people return to work, the services they rely on will need to be available regardless of the stage a region is in. The province will soon release more details on:

  • Child care;
  • Summer camps;
  • Post-secondary education pilots to help people graduate;
  • Training centres; and
  • Public transit.

“The health and long-term economic well-being of the people of Ontario has guided every decision we have made in response to COVID-19,” said Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance and Chair of the Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee. “The people and employers of Ontario have demonstrated responsible behaviour throughout the global pandemic. I’m confident that will continue in Stage 2 and beyond. Our collective health and the economic recovery of the province depend on it.”

At the beginning of each week, the government will provide an update on the ongoing assessment of these regions, and whether they are ready to move into Stage 2 at the end of the week.

Everyone, regardless of where they live in the province, must continue to follow public health advice, including to practise physical distancing, wear a face covering if physical distancing is a challenge, wash hands frequently and thoroughly, and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. The Chief Medical Officer of Health and health experts will continue to closely monitor the evolving situation to advise when public health restrictions can be gradually loosened or if they need to be tightened.

“As a result of efforts of all Ontarians to stop the spread of COVID-19, many regions have met the criteria to move into the next stage of our reopening plan, including a decrease in new daily cases and sufficient hospital capacity in the event of any spikes in cases or outbreaks,” said Minister Elliott. “Our regional approach recognizes that different regions in the province are experiencing COVID-19 differently and can safely and gradually ease restrictions and reopen local businesses. We will continue to monitor any shifts in the spread and take decisive action to contain any outbreaks.”

The government, in partnership with health and safety associations, has released more than 100 health and safety guidance documents at Ontario.ca/COVIDsafety to help employers in multiple sectors ― including retail, restaurant and food services and child care ― keep spaces safe for workers and customers. As they prepare to reopen, employers are strongly advised to review these guidance documents and implement appropriate measures to help protect their workers and customers.

“Ontario employers have the information and the tools they need to keep workers safe,” said Minister McNaughton. “That includes safety guidelines, posters and tip sheets to promote safe workplaces and help stop the spread of COVID-19. I strongly advise everyone to visit Ontario.ca/COVIDsafety to read, download, print and post them, for your sake and the sake of those around you.”

“Since the beginning of this pandemic, our government has worked together with Ontario’s business community to mobilize our manufacturing and innovation might to develop made-in-Ontario solutions,” said Minister Fedeli. “As we proceed into Phase 2 of the reopening process, we will continue to support both businesses and workers as we move forward on the path to economic recovery together.”

Quick Facts

  • For questions about what is currently able to open during Stage 1, or what will be open or impacts to your business or employment when we enter Stage 2, call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659.
  • The Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee wants to hear directly from people and organizations from all regions and sectors to help inform the next steps in Ontario’s Action Plan in response to COVID-19. You can provide your input here.
  • Visit Ontario.ca/reopen to learn how you can provide your feedback on the impacts of COVID-19 on personal finances, business supports and government relief measures.
  • On April 1, 2020, the government launched the $50 million Ontario Together Fund to support the development of proposals submitted by businesses and individuals through the Ontario Together web portal and help businesses retool their operations.
  • The government has launched the Workplace PPE Supplier Directory to provide businesses with information on personal protective equipment (PPE) suppliers. The directory can be accessed here.

Additional Resources

Province Extends Emergency Orders until June 30, 2020

Most of the Province’s existing Emergency Orders will remain in place until at least June 30, 2020.  This includes the maximum number of people who can congregate remains at 5, unless they reside in the same household.  The number of COVID-19 cases is not going down enough for the province to initiate Phase Two of the Recovery.

A couple of changes though.  Chiropractors (yeah Sean!) and massage therapists can reopen.  Sadly, very sadly, hair stylists have not been given the green light.  COVID-19 hair styles will continue to be the rage for the next while.