On February 16 at 12:01 AM, the Ontario Stay At Home Order will be lifted in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark, and we will move into the Ministry COVID-19 Response Framework in the Green-Prevent Zone.

The lifting of the Stay-at-Home order in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark recognizes that our residents, municipalities, workplaces, businesses, and services have followed public health precautions well to reduce COVID-19 transmission within our region.

“We are pleased to be returning to the Framework in the Green–Prevent zone,” said Dr. Paula Stewart, Medical Officer of Health for the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit. “Now is the time for everyone to be COVID-SMART, stay within our health unit region, and support our local businesses and services.  For organizations and businesses, a COVID Safety Plan that outlines adherence to all required COVID-19 precautions in the Green- Prevent Zone, will keep employees safe, as well as the public.”

To keep ourselves, our family, friends and neighbours protected, it is important to continue to only have close contact with members of our own household. While social gatherings are now allowed for up to 10 people inside and 25 outside, consider carefully if an in-person get-together is essential and, if it is, then ensure everyone keeps 2 metres apart and wears a well-fitted cloth mask.

The specific requirements for the Green-Prevent Zone of the Framework are outlined in O. Reg. 364/20: RULES FOR AREAS IN STAGE 3. You can check out the standard Ontario measures in this zone and also check the Ontario’s COVID-19 Response Framework webpage to see how the Province’s measures affect the Leeds, Grenville, Lanark area.

As we released earlier this week, the new requirements added to the Framework include:

  1. Posting clear and visible signage at all business entrances, with detailed COVID-19 screening questions to facilitate passive screening of patrons.
  2. Active symptom screening of employees; the tool can be accessed online or downloaded (PDF) from the Ontario government website.
  3. Preparation of a safety plan for organizations and businesses that is available upon request.

The Province has included an “emergency brake” in their plan to allow a public health region that is experiencing high levels of COVID-19 transmission to quickly contain the community spread by quickly moving the region into Grey-Lockdown to interrupt the transmission of COVID-19.

The government considers a range of criteria when determining a Health Unit’s zone in the Framework. The Chief Medical Officer of Health considers case rate over a number of weeks, confirmed presence of COVID-19 variants of concern (VOCs); as well as health system and public health capacity.

For local information about COVID-19 visit our website at www.healthunit.org.