Kawartha’s top doctor pleas for people to stay home as Kawartha moves into Orange zone
DAN CEARNS, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, for The Standard
KAWARTHA LAKES: Despite the stay at home order expiring this week in Kawartha Lakes, and the health unit returning to the province’s colour coded framework, Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit’s (HKPR) Acting Medical Officer of Health Dr. Ian Gemmill is urging people to keep staying at home as much as possible, to keep cases as low as can be.
“Even though a stay at home order is not in place, I am still strongly encouraging people to stay at home, unless they have a reason not to be there. That means things like getting groceries,” Dr. Gemmill said, during a press conference on Wednesday, February 10th.
His reasoning for keeping this messaging is to make sure cases don’t start spiking in the health unit area again.
“This is the only way we will be able to keep this virus in check until we can get vaccines into arms over the next couple of months or so. I will say, we have seen a small uptick in the cases recently. I hope this does not mean we are going to have a continued increase with the relaxation of the control measures. Which is why I am asking people, even though the legal requirement is no longer there, to behave this way, and show respect for the rest of the community by taking measures to prevent ourselves from becoming ill,” Dr. Gemmill pleaded.
Last week, the province announced the provincial lockdown declaration would expire, and several local health units, including HKPR and Durham Region Health Department would return to a revised version of the province’s colour coded COVID-19 response framework, on Tuesday, February 16th. On Friday, February 12th, the province announced HKPR will move into the Orange-Restrict category, and the Durham Region Health Department will be placed back in the Red-Control section.
In the orange category, gatherings and events are limited to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors. Weddings and funerals can fill 30 percent of the capacity of the room indoors or host 100 people outdoors. Restaurants are allowed to provide: indoor dining of a maximum of 50 patrons inside; outdoor dining; takeout; drive through and delivery. But they must be closed from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., and can only serve liquor from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.. Casinos can reopen, but table games will not be allowed. Gyms and cinemas can also reopen, with some capacity restrictions in place.
For more information on the colour coding system, go online to www.ontario.ca.