The Ontario government is allowing seven more regions to enter Stage 3 on Friday, increasing the number of businesses and public spaces that will reopen across the province. This decision was made in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and is based on positive local trends of key public health indicators, including lower or low transmission of COVID-19, ongoing hospital capacity, public health capacity to conduct rapid case and contact management, and a significant increase in testing.
The details were provided today by Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, and Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance.
"We're working with communities across the province to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and help more businesses safely and responsibly hang up their 'Open for Business' sign," said Premier Ford. "While we want as many people back to work and taking home a paycheque again as possible, it's important for everyone ― no matter what stage your community is in ― to remain on guard and keep following the public health advice. By working together, we can keep new case numbers down and ensure all of Ontario can enter Stage 3 when it's safe to do so."
The following public health units will be allowed to move into Stage 3 on Friday, July 24, 2020 at 12:01 a.m.:
- Durham Region Health Department;
- Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit;
- Halton Region Health Department;
- Hamilton Public Health Services;
- Lambton Health Unit;
- Niagara Region Public Health Department; and
- York Region Public Health Services.
These regions will join the 24 public health regions that entered into Stage 3 on Friday, July 17, 2020. For more information on the restrictions that will remain in place during Stage 3, as well as the public health and workplace safety restrictions necessary to keep people safe, visit Ontario.ca/reopen.
The following regions will remain in Stage 2 until local trends of key public health indicators demonstrate readiness to move into Stage 3:
- Peel Public Health;
- Toronto Public Health; and
- Windsor-Essex County Health Unit.
Ontario will continue to assess trends in the public health indicators to determine when these final public health unit regions can progress to Stage 3. The Chief Medical Officer of Health and public health experts also continue to closely monitor the evolving situation to advise when public health restrictions can be further loosened or if they need to be tightened.
"Building on the success of the regional approach in the previous two stages and based on the positive public health trends we are seeing, we are ready to move more regions across the province into Stage 3," said Minister Elliott. "Entering Stage 3 does not mean the fight against COVID-19 is over. We all must remain vigilant and continue following public health advice to ensure the progress we have made so far in stopping the spread will not be undone."