Ontario is making changes to its colour-coded COVID-19 system and putting several regions into the red "control" zone which has more severe restrictions, the Province announced today.

The change comes after Premier Doug Ford's government came under fire in recent days for its zone system being too lenient, while case counts in Ontario surged to record levels.

Regions Moving into New Zones

Red Zone

Health Minister Christine Elliott announced the following cities and regions will move into the red zone of the province's framework:

  • Hamilton
  • Halton
  • Peel
  • Toronto
  • York

Elliott said anyone living in a red (or "control") region should only leave their home for essential purposes.

In the red zone, gatherings are confined to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors. Religious services, weddings and funerals are confined to 30 per cent capacity indoors and 100 people outdoors. The maximum number of patrons permitted to be seated at a bar or restaurant indoors is 10. Outdoor dining, take out, drive through, and delivery are all permitted.

Orange Zone

The minister also announced the following regions will move to the orange (or "restrict") zone:

  • Brant
  • Durham
  • Eastern Ontario
  • Niagara
  • Ottawa
  • Waterloo
  • Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph

Yellow Zone

The following regions are moving into the yellow (or "protect") zone:

  • Haldimand-Norfolk
  • Huron-Perth
  • Middlesex-London
  • Sudbury
  • Simcoe-Muskoka
  • Southwestern
  • Windsor-Essex

The changes come into effect on Monday Nov. 16 at 12:01 am, with the exception of Toronto, which moves to the red zone on Saturday at 12:01 a.m.

A New Threshold for the Red Zone

The province has made the thresholds of its plan more stringent. The following revisions were made to each zone with respect to their positivity rate threshold:

Prevent (green):

  • Weekly incidence rate is less than 10 per 100,000
  • % positivity is less than 0.5%

Protect (yellow):

  • Weekly incidence rate is 10 to 24.9 per 100,000
  • % positivity is 0.5-1.2%

Restrict (orange):

  • Weekly incidence rate is 25 to 39.9 per 100,000
  • % positivity is 1.3-2.4%

Control (red):

  • Weekly incidence rate is more than 40 per 100,000
  • % positivity is more than 2.5%

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