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The Government of Ontario has opted to tighten public health measures in response to the recent rise in cases of COVID-19.
In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts, the Ontario government has amended order O. Reg 364/20: Rules for Areas in Stage 3 under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020.
According to the Ontario government website, over the past five weeks, the province has experienced an increase in the rate of new COVID-19 cases. Private social gatherings continue to be a significant source of transmission in many local communities, along with outbreak clusters in restaurants, bars and other food and drink businesses, including strip clubs.
The amendments, which were made effective on September 26, saw a number of changes made to the order. Additional measures included: restrictions to restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments prohibiting the sale of alcohol after 11 p.m., requiring establishments to close by 12:00 a.m. and remain closed until 5:00 a.m. except for takeout or delivery, closure of all strip clubs across the province and requiring businesses or organizations to comply with any advice, recommendations and instructions issued by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health on screening for COVID-19.
“Last week our government took immediate action to respond to the recent rise in COVID-19 cases, by setting new limits for certain social gatherings and organized public events across Ontario. As the number of cases have continued to rise, it is evident that despite the tremendous efforts of Ontarians further action is required to prevent the spread of the virus,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “On the advice of Ontario’s public health officials, we are moving forward with these measures to help keep Ontarians safe by limiting the potential for exposure in locations where the current risk of transmission is higher and to avoid future lockdowns. Protecting the health and wellbeing of Ontarians will always remain our top priority.”
Additionally, the province will work with municipalities to encourage increased compliance with all public health and workplace safety measures and restrictions in the Stage 3 regulation from other businesses, facilities and workplaces.
The Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts continue to closely monitor the evolving situation to advise if public health measures may need to be tightened further.
Ontario residents are encouraged to continue following public health advice in order to stop the transmission of COVID-19 and to protect the communities across the province. This includes staying home when ill, keeping children home from school when ill, practising physical distancing, wearing a face covering when physical distancing is a challenge or where it is mandatory to do so, washing hands frequently and thoroughly and adhering to gathering limits and rules.
Individuals who desire to find out more information about the amendments to the order and other relevant news in the province are encouraged to visit www.ontario.ca.