TORONTO — On the advice of the Chief Medical Officer Health and the local medical officer of health, Windsor-Essex will be allowed to move into Stage 3 on Wednesday, August 12, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. The decision was based on positive local trends of key public health indicators, including lower transmission of COVID-19, ongoing hospital capacity, public health capacity to conduct rapid case and contact management, and a significant increase in testing.
The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit will join the rest of the province’s 33 public health regions that entered into Stage 3 on July 17, 24 and 31, 2020 respectively.
“Thanks to the collective efforts of our frontline health care workers, public health experts, and the people of Windsor-Essex, more businesses in the region can hang up their ‘Open for Business’ sign and more people can go back to work as of this Wednesday,” said Premier Doug Ford. “As all of Ontario now enters into Stage 3, I ask everyone to remain on their guard and keep following the public health measures to protect the tremendous progress we’ve made and keep this deadly virus at bay.”
“I want to take the time to thank each and every Ontarian for their efforts, sacrifice and hard work, the entire province will now be in Stage 3 effective this Wednesday,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “This is an important milestone for the province in our fight against COVID-19 and one we can all be proud of. However, it’s never been more important for each of us to remain vigilant in following all public health advice.”
The Chief Medical Officer of Health and public health experts will continue to closely monitor the evolving situation across the province to advise when public health restrictions can be further loosened or if they need to be tightened.
It remains critically important for everyone to continue following public health advice as more businesses and services reopen in Stage 3. This includes practising physical distancing with those outside your household or social circle, wearing a face-covering when physical distancing is a challenge or where it is mandatory to do so, staying home when ill, washing your hands frequently and thoroughly, and downloading the COVID Alert App.
- For regions in Stage 3, gathering limits increased to a maximum of 50 people indoors and a maximum of 100 people outdoors, with physical distancing in place. Gathering limits apply to all social gatherings and events, as well as some higher risk activities and venues.
- Some local municipalities may have enacted by-laws and local medical officers of health may have issued Section 22 orders under the Health Protection and Promotion Act, or instructions under emergency orders mandating additional restrictions such as the use of face coverings in some settings, and capacity limits in indoor restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments. Refer to local municipal or public health unit webpages for more information.
- For questions on restrictions that will remain in place during Stage 3, review the Stage 3 Emergency Order on the emergency information portal or call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659.
- Businesses that are unable to open or resume full activities due to Stage 3 restrictions, or businesses that have ideas to safely amend Stage 3 restrictions or requirements, can visit Ontario.ca/reopen to submit a reopening proposal for consideration.
- Over 180 guidance resources are available to businesses to help them safely reopen and keep customers and workers safe.
- The province has set up a Workplace PPE Supplier Directory, where employers can find suppliers who sell personal protective equipment (PPE) and other supplies to support a safe reopening of their workplaces.
- Testing is available at any of the province’s 144 assessment centres currently open. To find your closest assessment centre, please visit Ontario.ca/coronavirus.
- The province has developed a practical step-by-step guide to help Ontarians as they safely develop and join a social circle.
- COVID Alert is available for free use and download from the Apple and Google Play app stores. This new app lets users know if they may have been exposed to the virus.