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Ontario Releases New, More Targeted, COVID-19 Municipality Category System

Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced a new classification system for local public health units beginning Saturday November 7, at 12:01am. Toronto will be the only region to remain in a “modified Stage 2” for an additional week.

In a document released today, “COVID-19 Response Framework: Keeping Ontario Safe and Open,” the government outlines its priorities and principles for the province as it deals with the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

The new and more targeted COVID-19 category system will allow some businesses that were previously mandated to close to remain open while under very strict measures.

All 34 local public health units were categorized into five different levels: Prevent (standard measures — green), protect (strengthened measures — yellow), restrict (intermediate measures — orange), control (stringent measures — red), and lockdown (maximum measures — grey).

Categories for each Region

What are the Requirements for each Category?

Regions move from different levels depending on positivity rates and case numbers, among other things. Under the new system, a region that moves up into a category with tighter restrictions will stay there for 28 days.

The proposed levels have their own measures in place for the different categories including:

  1. Restaurants and bars;
  2. Sports and recreational fitness;
  3. Meeting and event spaces;
  4. Retail;
  5. Personal care services;
  6. Casinos, Bingo halls and gaming establishments;
  7. Cinemas; and
  8. Performing arts facilities.

The following figures display the proposed requirements for each category: