Ontario’s new colour-coded COVID response protocol kicked in today. Within this framework, the City of Hamilton has been assigned to the “protect” – yellow category.
This framework has been implemented across the Province today in order to take preventative measures to help avoid broader closures and allow for additional public health and workplace safety measures to be introduced or removed incrementally. It categorizes public health unit regions into five levels and outlines the types of public health and workplace safety measures for businesses and organizations for each level. These include targeted measures for specific sectors, institutions and other settings.
The objectives of the “protect” category in the framework are enhanced targeted enforcement, fines, and enhanced education to limit further transmission, and the tactics are to apply public health measures in high risk settings.
According to the Framework, adjustments to public health measures and category criteria will be addressed by the Provincial government using indicators to assess the previous two weeks of information, or sooner if there is a rapidly worsening trend and by looking at local context and conditions will inform movement, including potential regional application of measures. Thresholds within a region may not all be met at the same time; decisions about moving to new measures will require overall risk assessment by government.
Locally, the Reopening Ontario Act will continue to be assertively enforced by the City’s Municipal Law Enforcement, COVID Enforcement Team. As the City enters the “protect” yellow category, the COVID Enforcement team will be responding to complaints as well as proactively enforcing throughout the City.
To get details of what is allowed under the “protect” category check out the Keeping Ontario Safe and Open Framework. Changes impacting local public places will be updated on our website shortly at http://www.hamilton.ca/publicplaces.