December 21, 2020
A provincewide shutdown will go into effect as of Saturday, December 26, 2020, at 12:01am.
The restrictions are in effect for all of Ontario from Saturday, December 26, 2020 to Saturday, January 9, 2021. The restrictions will remain in effect from Saturday, January 9, 2021 to Saturday, January 23, 2021 for all 27 public health unit regions in Southern Ontario. The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit is included in Southern Ontario.
The number of people in Ontario infected with COVID-19 has been increasing, people are moving from high transmission areas to low areas, and hospitals are reaching capacity across the province. The shutdown is designed to reverse this trend by reducing opportunities for the spread of COVID-19 through close contact with infected people.
Key elements of the provincewide shutdowninclude the following.
- Childcare centres will remain open to support working parents; no school aged children between January 4 and 8. Emergency child care possibly available.
- Elementary schools will be closed, and students will participate in remote learning for one week until January 11. For high school students, remote learning will continue until January 24.
- Outdoor recreational amenities are open with physical distancing required and lockers, change rooms closed – no team sports if physical distancing not possible. Ski hills are closed.
- No indoor organized social gatherings beyond the household (single people can join one other household).
- Outdoor events and gatherings are limited to 10 people with physical distancing.
- Wedding, funerals, and other religious services maximum 10 people indoors or outdoors – drive- in or virtual recommended.
- Restaurants and bars take out only.
- Stores selling food and pharmacies are open with 50% public area capacity and physical distancing required.
- Personal care services are closed.
- Select businesses open for curb side pick-up.
Check our COVID-19 and Business section for more detailed information.
“From March on, as a community we have committed to following public health precautions to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection. This has made a difference. Let’s continue with this same commitment during the next four weeks as we respond to the added restrictions. We have been here before in March and April, and managed by helping each other. Supporting our local business with on-line service and pick-up will help them survive this challenging time,” encourages Dr. Paula Stewart, Medical Officer of Health.
Being safe and protecting yourself means you are protecting your family, friends and co-workers.
- S – Self-isolate if you have symptoms of COVID-19. Consider getting tested
- M – Mask/face covering on properly when in enclosed public spaces and when physical distancing is a challenge outdoors.
- A – Avoid touching your face.
- R – Remain 2 metres/6 feet apart from people not part of your household – avoid play dates, and other close social contact. Social circles beyond the household are no longer encouraged.
- T – Twenty (20) seconds for regular hand hygiene. Cover your coughs and sneezes.