ONTARIO UPDATING COVID-19 RESPONSE FRAMEWORK TO HELP STOP THE SPREAD OF COVID-19
Modelling Shows New Thresholds Needed to Bend the Curve and Keep People Safe
November 13, 2020
TORONTO — In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and the Public Health Measures Table, the Ontario government is taking immediate action to respond to the rapid increase in COVID-19 cases and is updating the Keeping Ontario Safe and Open Framework, by lowering the thresholds for each level in the framework. These necessary updates will help limit the spread of COVID-19 while keeping schools open, maintaining health system capacity, protecting the province’s most vulnerable, and avoiding broader lockdowns.
Details were provided today by Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, and Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health.
“Our number one priority right now is getting the numbers down and keeping people safe. That’s why, on the recommendation of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, we’re updating the framework with new thresholds so we can slow the spread of this virus,” said Premier Ford. “These adjustments are necessary to respond to the latest evidence we’re seeing and we are prepared to make further adjustments as the health experts continue to review the current public health restrictions. We must do whatever it takes to stop our hospitals from being overwhelmed and protect our most vulnerable.”
The latest modelling shows that if the number of new cases continues to grow at its current rate, the province could register up to 6,500 new cases per day by mid-December. Within the next two weeks the province will likely exceed its intensive care threshold of 150 beds, under any potential scenario.
The framework changes are in response to the current data and trends, and will lower the threshold for each of the five levels for: weekly incidence rates, positivity rate, effective reproductive number (Rt), outbreak trends and the level of community transmission. Based on these new thresholds, the following public health unit regions would be moved to the following levels in the framework:
Hamilton Public Health Services
Halton Region Public Health
Toronto Public Health
York Region Public Health
Brant County Health Unit
Durham Region Health Department
Eastern Ontario Health Unit
Niagara Region Public Health
Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health
Region of Waterloo Public Health
Huron Perth Public Health
Middlesex-London Health Unit
Public Health Sudbury & Districts
Southwestern Public Health
Windsor-Essex County Health Unit
The 4th level in the threshold is Green – Prevent. The statistics for Leeds, Grenville & Lanark Health Unit place it in this level. You will note that much of Ontario to our east is in the Orange – Restrict level. This should be considered when you are considering travel and extra precautions should be taken if visiting with residents from those areas.
We know how to prevent community transmission of COVID-19 in our Village. Please continue to practice the public health routines that have worked for us since March. Thank you for your continued efforts.