Ontario’s COVID-19 Response Framework: Public Health Measures and Restrictions for the EOHU Region

Based on the latest local COVID-19 data, the province has determined that the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) region will move to the ORANGE-RESTRICT level in the COVID-19 Response Framework, starting February 16, 2021 at 12:01 a.m.

The Ontario government developed its COVID-19 Response Framework: Keeping Ontario Safe and Open for targeted public health measures to limit the spread of COVID-19. The framework serves as an early warning system that allows for scaling up and scaling back public health restrictions on a regional or community basis in response to surges and waves of COVID-19.

The framework categorizes public health unit regions into five levels: Green-Prevent, Yellow-Protect, Orange-Restrict, Red-Control, and Lockdown being a measure of last and urgent resort. Each level outlines the types of public health and workplace safety measures required for businesses and organizations. These include targeted measures for specific sectors, institutions and other settings.

Each public health unit is classified according to the framework indicators. Final decisions on classification of public health unit regions are made by the government based on updated data and in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, local medical officers of health and other health experts, and will be reviewed weekly.

For more information on provincial regulations for reopening businesses, services and public spaces, see the Government of Ontario’s Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020, S.O. 2020, c. 17.

ORANGE - RESTRICT
Public Health Measures and Indicators

Effective as of February 16, 2021 at 12:01 AM

Public Health Measures

Regions in the Orange-Restrict zone will implement additional and enhanced measures, restrictions, and enforcement to avoid any closures.

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, individuals and families should also follow Public Health Advice.

General Public Health Measures for All Sectors

  • Businesses or organizations must operate in compliance with the advice, recommendations, and instructions of public health officials, including any advice, recommendations or instructions on physical distancing, cleaning/disinfecting, and screening individuals.
  • For additional public health measures that apply to the EOHU region, please see: Additional Public Health Measures for All Sectors
  • ALL open businesses must:
    • actively screen every person who works at the business or organization before they enter the premises of the business or organization (use the COVID-19 Worker and Employee Screening)
    • implement passive screening for patrons (for example, posting signs outside the store front that informs individuals on how to screen themselves for COVID-19 prior to entering the premises).
    • limit capacity so guests can stay at least 2 metres apart.
      • Some businesses or facilities have additional capacity restrictions. Where additional capacity restrictions are in place, it is noted in the sections below.
    • make sure anyone indoors wears a mask or face covering, including workers who have to come within 2 metres of anyone else (with limited exemptions)
    • make sure workers use personal protective equipment (PPE) that protects the eyes, nose and mouth when they must come within 2 metres of anyone who is not wearing a mask or face covering or separated by plexiglass
    • ensure that equipment, washrooms, locker rooms, change rooms, showers that are accessible to the public are cleaned and disinfected as frequently as is necessary to maintain a sanitary condition.
    • manage line ups to make sure customers do not line up or congregate indoors and, if outdoors,
      are at least two metres apart wearing face coverings or masks
    • create a safety plan, post it in a place where workers and patrons will see it and have it available upon request (for example, to inspectors or law enforcement officers).

Organized Public Events, Social Gatherings, and Religious Services, Rites and Ceremonies

  • Limit close contact to your household (the people you live with) and stay at least 2 metres apart from everyone else.
  • If you live alone, you can have close contact with only one other household.
  • Limits*, where physical distancing can be maintained:
    • For functions, parties, dinners, social gatherings, BBQs, or wedding receptions held in private residences, backyards, or parks:
      • 10 people indoors
      • 25 people outdoors
    • For organized public events and gatherings in staffed businesses and facilities:
      • 50 people indoors
      • 100 people outdoors
    • For weddings, funerals and other religious services, rites or ceremonies:
      • 30% capacity indoors
      • 100 people outdoors

     * Limits do not include staff or volunteers

Measures for Restaurants, Bars and Food or Drink Establishments

  • Capacity Limits, where physical distancing can be maintained (limits do not include staff/volunteers):
    • 50 person seated indoors
    • 4 people per table
  • Guests must:
    • give their name and contact information (unless temporarily entering the area to place, pick up or pay for a takeout order)
    • pass an active COVID-19 screening, in accordance with instructions by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health
    • sit with at least 2 metres between tables or impermeable barrier required between tables
    • wear masks or face coverings except when eating or drinking (with some exceptions)
    • wear a mask or face covering and keep 2 metres apart when lining up and gathering outside
    • not to wander around except for the reasons permitted under the regulations
    • sit while comsuming food
  • Time restrictions:
    • Establishments must be closed from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
    • Alcohol cannot be sold between 9 p.m. to 9 a.m.
    • No consumption of alcohol between 10 p.m. to 9 a.m.
  • Not permitted:
    • Buffet style service
    • Self-service (coffee, slush, etc.)
    • Other activities that could take place in a food premises, such as playing pool, etc.
  • Permitted, with restrictions
    • Dancing, singing and performing music is permitted, with restrictions
    • Karaoke permitted, with restrictions (including no private rooms)
  • Other restrictions:
    • Night clubs and strip clubs only permitted to operate as restaurant or bar.
    • Limit volume of music (e.g. to be no louder than the volume of a normal conversation)

Measures for Sports and Recreational Fitness Facilities

  • Capacity limits, where physical distancing can be maintained (limits do not include staff/volunteers):
    • 50 people indoors
    • 100 people outdoors
    • 25 people per area outdoors and 10 people per room indoors in fitness or exercise classes (applies to indoor facilities used for exercise or fitness activities, including gymnasiums, health clubs, community centers, multi-purpose facilities, exercise studios, yoga, dance studios, martial arts dojos, and other indoor fitness facilities)
    • Capacity limits on a per room basis
      • Exception:  Maximum of 50 people total in areas with weights and exercise machines in all classes.
    • No spectators permitted (exemption for parent/guardian supervision of children under the age of 18)
  • Everyone must:
    • wear a face covering, except while exercising
    • give their name and contact information
    • pass an active COVID-19 screening, in accordance with instructions by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health
    • stay 3 metres apart in classes or areas with weights or exercise equipment and 2 metres apart everywhere else, unless they are engaged in a sport
    • make reservations (one reservation per team)
  • Team or individual sports must
    • be modified to avoid physical contact
    • have a maximum of 50 people per league
  • Time restrictions:
    • 90-minute time limit for classes and working out (does not apply for sports)
  • Other restrictions:
    • Limit volume of music to conversation level and prevent shouting by both instructors and members of the public
    • Increase spacing between patrons to 3 metres in areas where there are weights or exercise equipment and in exercise and fitness classes
    • Outdoor ski, ice and snow recreational amenities open for recreational purposes.
  • For additional information and guidance that applies to sports and recreational fitness, consult the EOHU website section on Sport, Recreation and Fitness.

Measures for Meeting and Event Spaces

  • Capacity limits (limits do not include staff/volunteers):
    • Indoors: 50 people per facility
    • Outside: 100 people per facility
    • Per table: 4 people
    • For religious, wedding and funeral services held in meeting and event spaces:
      • 30% capacity of the room indoors
      • 100 people outdoors
    • Exceptions for court and government services
  • Guests must:
  • Time restrictions:
    • Establishments must be closed from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
    • Alcohol cannot be sold between 9 p.m. to 9 a.m.
    • No consumption of alcohol between 10 p.m. to 9 a.m.
  • Not permitted:
    • Booking multiple rooms for the same event
  • Other measures:
    • Limit volume of music to be low enough that a normal conversation is possible

Measures for Retail

  • 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 louder than the volume of a normal conversation)
  • Stores must have passive screening for patrons (for example, posting signs outside the store front about not entering if you have COVID-19 symptoms)

Measures for Personal Care Services

  • Persons who provide services must wear appropriate PPE.
  • Services requiring removal of mask prohibited
  • Closed:
    • Oxygen bars, steam rooms, saunas, bath houses, other adult venues
    • Sensory deprivation pods (except for therapeutic purposes)
  • Guests must
  • For additional measures that apply to personal service settings, please consult the guidance document for personal service settings
  • For additional public health measures that apply to the EOHU region, please see: Additional Public Health Measures for All Sectors

Measures for Casinos, Bingo Halls and Gaming Establishments

  • Capacity limits:
    • 50 people total (does not include staff/volunteers)
  • Not allowed:
    • Table games (for example, poker, blackjack, roulette)
  • Guests must:
  • Time restrictions:
    • Alcohol can only be sold or served between 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
    • No one can consume alcohol between 10 p.m. to 9 a.m.
  • Casinos, bingo halls, and gaming establishments operate in accordance with a plan approved by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health

Measures for Cinemas

  • Capacity limits, where physical distancing can be maintained (not including staff):
    • 50 people indoors
    • 100 people outdoors
  • Guests must:
  • Time restrictions:
    • Alcohol can only be sold or served between 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
    • No one can consume alcohol between 10 p.m. to 9 a.m.
  • Drive-in cinemas permitted to operate, subject to restrictions

Measures for Performing Arts Facilities

  • Capacity limits, where physical distancing can be maintained (not including staff) :
    • 50 spectators indoors
    • 100 spectators outdoors
  • Spectators must:
  • Singers and players of wind or brass instruments must be separated from audience by plexiglass or some other impermeable barrier
  • Performers and employees must maintain 2-metres physical distance except for purposes of the performance
  • Drive-in performances permitted
  • Rehearsal or performing a recorded or broadcasted event permitted
  • Time restrictions:
    • Alcohol can only be sold or served between 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
    • No one can consume alcohol between 10 p.m. to 9 a.m.

Requirements for Visits and Absences in Residential Care Settings

For additional requirements, please visit Long-Term Care, Retirement Homes, and Congregate Living Centers: Visits and Absences.

Long Term Care Homes
Effective December 11, 2020, the province has updated its visitor policy to address areas with higher community spread of COVID-19.

  • Visitor Restrictions:
    • General visitors are not permitted.
    • Only essential visitors may visit the home:
      • Any number of support workers may visit a home.
      • A maximum of 1 caregiver per resident may visit at a time
  • Testing Requirements for essential visitors
    • Essential visitors must provide proof that they have tested negative for COVID-19 within the last week and verbally attest to not subsequently testing positive unless the support worker or visitor requires immediate access in an emergency or palliative situation. Caregivers and support workers are responsible for getting tested. Visit a COVID-19 Assessment Centre to be tested.
  • Absences are not permitted except for medical or compassionate reasons.

Retirement Homes

  • Visitor restrictions, if the home is NOT in an outbreak and the resident is NOT self-isolating or symptomatic:
    • General visitors and Personal Care Service Providers are not permitted to visit. Exceptionally, Personal Care Service Providers that support only the retirement home generally (e.g., provide services on-site at one location) may continue to visit the home.
    • Only essential visitors may visit the home.
      • Any number of support workers may visit a home.
      • A maximum of 1 caregiver per resident may visit at a time. Exceptionally, if 2 caregivers live together, they may visit a resident at the same time.
  • Overnight and short-term absences (e.g. absences with friends or family) are not permitted.
    • Retirement home residents may be permitted to leave the home for walks or essentials (e.g., groceries, medical appointments, filling prescriptions), apart from also being permitted to leave for single-night emergency room visits. Residents are actively screened upon their return and monitored for symptoms but are not required to be tested or self-isolate.

Indicators Used to Establish Public Health Measures

Public health measures are based on specific indicators. Regions in the Orange-Restrict zone have the following indicators:

Epidemiology

  • Weekly incidence rate is 25 to 39.9 per 100,000
  • % positivity is 1.3-2.4%
  • Rt is approximately 1 to 1.1
  • Repeated outbreaks in multiple sectors/settings, increasing # of large outbreaks
  • Level of community transmission/non-epi linked cases stable or increasing

Health System Capacity

  • Hospital and ICU capacity adequate or occupancy increasing

PH System Capacity

  • Case and contact follow up within 24 hours adequate or at risk of becoming overwhelmed
Eastern Ontatio Health Unit / Bureau de santé de l'Ontario