DAN CEARNS,
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter,
for The Standard

KAWARTHA LAKES: Kawartha Lakes is moving into the yellow protect section of the Ontario government’s COVID-19 response framework.
On Friday, December 4th, the province announced the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit (HKPR) was moving from the green prevent section to the yellow protect section, as of Monday, December 7th. The province also moved the Middlesex-London Health Unit and the Thunder Bay District Health Unit into the Orange-Restrict section.


“Over the last seven days we have seen the trends in key public health indicators continue to go in the wrong direction in these three regions,” Minister of Health Christine Elliott said, in a statement. “By taking proactive action and moving these regions to a higher level in the framework, we are helping them to reduce transmission in the community and avoid broader closures. The health and well-being of Ontarians remains our top priority.”


The yellow section requires: restaurants and bars to close at midnight; for alcohol not to be served after 11 p.m.; a limit of 6 people per restaurant table; all seated patrons to provide contact information; and there must be “increase[d] spacing between patrons to 3 metres for areas of a sport or recreational facility, where there are weights or exercise equipment and in exercise and fitness classes.” Religious services will remain at 30 percent capacity indoors or 100 people outdoors.


In a video, posted on the HKPR website, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Lynn Noseworthy said the change didn’t surprise her, “We’ve been seeing an increased number of cases over the past couple of weeks, throughout our geographic area, but primarily within Northumberland County.”


The local medical officer added, this was a small step to try and slow the spread of the virus, “It’s not a big change at this point in time. We want to reiterate, people should continue to practice regular public health measures that have been implemented throughout this pandemic.”