Today, Dec.21, the Ontario Government announced the implementation of a provincewide shutdown, effective Saturday, December 26, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. The provincewide shutdown is divided by Northern Ontario and Southern Ontario; Renfrew County and District (RCD) is considered part of Southern Ontario.
The current COVID-19 Response Framework will be paused when the Provincewide Shutdown comes into effect. The impacts of these new measures will be evaluated over the 14 days in Northern Ontario and 28 days in Southern Ontario to determine if it is safe to lift any restrictions or if they need to be extended.
The provincewide shutdown measures include, but are not limited to:
- Restricting indoor organized public events and social gatherings, except with members of the same household (the people you live with). Individuals who live alone may consider having exclusive close contact with one other household.
- Prohibiting in-person shopping in most retail settings – curbside pickup and delivery can continue. Discount and big box retailers selling groceries will be limited to 25 per cent capacity for in-store shopping. Supermarkets, grocery stores and similar stores that primarily sell food, as well as pharmacies, will continue to operate at 50 per cent capacity for in-store shopping.
- Restricting indoor access to shopping malls – patrons may only go to a designated indoor pickup area (by appointment only), essential retail stores that are permitted to be open (e.g. pharmacy, grocery store), or, subject to physical distancing and face covering requirements, to the food court for takeout purchases. Shopping malls may also establish outdoor designated pickup areas.
- Prohibiting indoor and outdoor dining. Restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments will be permitted to operate by take out, drive-through, and delivery only.
- As RCD is considered part of Southern Ontario, elementary school students are planned to be able to return to in-person learning on January 11, 2021, and secondary school students can return to in-person learning January 25, 2021. During this period, child care centres, authorized recreational and skill building programs, and home-based child care services will remain open.
For full details regarding Businesses, Organizations, Facilities, Organized Public Events and Social Gatherings (including Religious Services, Rites or Ceremonies), Schools, Child Care, Post-Secondary Institutions and Day Camps, visit: https://files.ontario.ca/moh-provincewide-shutdown-en-2020-12-21.pdf.
In addition to these new public health measures, it is imperative that everyone do their part to stay home if they are sick, avoid contact with people who are ill, practice physical distancing (2 metres), wear a mask/face covering when physical distancing cannot be maintained, wash their hands, use the COVID Alert App, and complete the COVID-19 self-assessment tool or COVID-19 school and childcare screening tool daily if they go to work, school or daycare, to monitor for symptoms and proper guidance.
For more information, visit RCDHU’s website at https://www.rcdhu.com/novel-coronavirus-covid-19-2/ or call 613-732-3629 or 1-800-267-1097.
RCDHU(2020,Dec.21) RCDHU Update Regarding Provincewide Shutdown [media release]