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Colour system released for COVID-19: explained

COURTNEY McCLURE, for The Standard

The province, including Durham Region, has released a new response for the COVID-19 pandemic. This framework is called the colour system. The regions in Ontario are ranked following this five-coloured system: Green, Yellow, Orange, Red and Gray. Durham Region is currently in the Red (Control) stage and Kawartha Lakes is in the Green (Protect) stage. The first stage is the Green stage, which means prevention. Some restrictions apply for regions within this stage. Restrictions following the prevention stage mean still adhering by social distancing measures; keeping two metres apart from each other. Tables must be separated at restaurants and no more than 50 people in a gym or workout facility. Those are just to name a few of the business restrictions. The next stage is the Yellow stage. The Yellow stage stands for protection. During this stage, residents will notice more guidelines than the prevention level. Some restrictions for the Yellow stage include, but are not limited to, liquor can only be served between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m. at respective establishments and masks must be worn at gyms, except for while exercising. The third stage on the region colour system is the Orange stage, meaning restrict. As the name implies, COVID-19 restrictions will increase leading into the orange stage. Restrictions for regions entering this stage include limited capacity at events and meeting spaces. The capacity limited will be max 50 people. Local businesses will be expected to limit their hours of operation as well and enhance their COVID-19 screening measures. The fourth level on the colour-system is the Red stage. This is the control phase. Red is similar to a modified Stage 2. Restrictions will be increased, and some businesses will be closed. During this stage, regional residents should leave their home for essential matters, like work or to pick up groceries. Public gatherings (both indoor and outdoor) are limited; 5 people inside and 25 outside. The final level is the Gray, lockdown, level. During this level there will be no allowances for organized, public social gatherings outside of members from your household. People who live alone can have contact with one other household to reduce the negative effects of self-isolation. Outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people during this stage. The limit for weddings and funerals is 10 people both inside and outside. Most retail businesses are allowed to open for curbside pickup or delivery. Grocery stores, pharmacies and the like can be open for in-store shopping. For more information about the colour-system and the different levels, please visit Government of Ontario website. The information page is titled “COVID-19 response framework: keeping Ontario safe and open.”


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