COVID-19 updates, Feb. 17: Waterloo region in red zone

On Feb. 16, Waterloo region re-entered the province’s red ‘control’ zone. Wellington-Dufferin Guelph Public health has also moved into the red zone, Brant County Health Unit and Huron Public health are in the orange ‘restrict’ zone. 

The announcement was made on Feb. 12 and follows after the province’s previous stay-at-home order. 

As of this week, the region of Waterloo reports 345 active COVID-19 cases, 22 hospitalizations and 27 active outbreaks. 

The decision to move into the red ‘control’ zone was based on a general improvement in trends, including: lower transmission of COVID-19, improving hospital capacity and available public health capacity to conduct rapid case and contact management. 

Within the red zone framework, the gathering limit for all organized public events and social gatherings is five people indoors and 25 people outdoors. Religious services, weddings and funerals can only be at 30 per cent capacity indoors, and the indoor maximum is 100 people.

Indoor dining at restaurants is allowed, with a maximum of 10 patrons. Gyms and fitness studios can have classes with no more than 10 people indoors or 25 people outdoors. Retail stores can open with limited capacity.

Toronto, Peel and York Region are expected to move back to the tiered framework on Feb. 22.

After returning to the framework, public health regions will stay at their level for at least two weeks, at which time it will be determined if the regions should stay where they are or be moved to a different level.

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