Beginning in February 16th, most regions in Ontario will be moving away from stay at home order and transitioning into the provinces color coded reopening framework. However Toronto, Peel Region, York Region and North Bay Parry Sound district are not included in this and the stay at home order will likely remain till February 22nd.
Though Niagara Falls has allowed businesses to open at 25% capacity they’re still the only region in the grey lockdown zone and although the tiered system is what the entire province had been using since the official lockdown on December 26th and the green, yellow, orange, red, and grey levels that came different restrictions; it is still crucial to stay at home unless necessary to go outside.
Health Minister Christine Elliott had mentioned in a statement on Friday “while we are cautiously and gradually transitioning some of the regions out of the shutdown, with the risk of new variants this is not a reopening or a return to normal”. “Until vaccines are widely available, it remains critical that all individuals and families continue to adhere to public health measures and stay home as much as possible to protect themselves, their loved ones and their communities”.
Unfortunately, infectious disease experts have are not so sure if we can avoid a third wave in the midst of reopening the economy and the Government had also mentioned on Monday that any sudden spike in cases will either delay or force parts of the province to shutdown. Though we all have to pitch in and try our best to follow all the rules and protocols provided to us; wearing our masks and washing/sanitizing our hand regularly we also need to make sure to stay at home and only go out when it is a necessity: according to an expert in infectious diseases epidemiology from the University of Toronto, Collin Furness; ” the third wave is inevitable” and “variant or not, we should be prepared for a third wave”.