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Toronto and Peel get green light to enter stage 3 of reopening

Wednesday, July 29, 2020 @ 2:02 PM | By John Schofield


The Ontario government and the province’s chief medical officer of health are allowing Toronto and Peel Region to enter stage 3 of reopening on July 31, while the Windsor region will remain in stage 2.

Toronto and Peel will join the 31 public health regions that entered stage 3 on July 17 and 24, according to a government news release. The decision was based on positive local public health indicators, said the release, including lower transmission of COVID-19, ongoing hospital capacity, an increase in testing and the public health capacity to conduct rapid case and contact management.

Ontario reported 76 new COVID-19 cases on July 29, the lowest single-day increase since March.

“We have made tremendous progress that allows us to return to something a little closer to our normal lives this summer, but we are not out of the woods yet,” Premier Doug Ford said in the news release. “This virus is still among us and we have to be extra cautious to avoid sparking a surge or an outbreak.”

A complete list of restrictions is available at Ontario.ca/reopen.

Under stage 3 rules, indoor gathering limits are restricted to 50 people, while outdoor gatherings are limited to 100 people. Physical distancing requirements apply in both cases, along with local public health requirements, such as mandatory face coverings in commercial establishments and all indoor public places. Windsor-Essex will maintain the stage 2 gathering limit of 10, and social circles in both stage 2 and 3 areas will be kept to a maximum of 10 people.

Public gathering limits apply to indoor and outdoor events, such as community events or gatherings, concerts, live shows, festivals, conferences, sports and recreational fitness activities, fundraisers, fairs, festivals or open houses. A two-metre distance must still be maintained at such events.

Establishments and activities in all areas deemed “high risk” due to the likelihood of large crowds and the difficulty of physical distancing are not allowed to open. These include amusement parks, water parks, buffet-style food services, public dancing at restaurants and bars, overnight camps for children, karaoke rooms, contact sports, bath houses and saunas, and table games at casinos and gaming centres.

Starting July 27, child care centres were allowed to operate with cohorts of 15 children instead of the previous limit of 10, which the government claimed would bring the sector to 90 per cent of its operating capacity, stated the release.

The government is also inviting businesses not yet able to reopen to visit the site to submit a reopening proposal. More information on continuing restrictions is available at the government’s emergency information portal or at its Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659.

The Ontario government has also launched a website to provide businesses with information on personal protective equipment (PPE) suppliers. The Workplace PPE Supplier Directory has an up-to-date list of Ontario companies and business associations that are ready to supply PPE.

The government is also offering free online workplace health and safety training through Employment Ontario for up to 100,000 job seekers, with topics such as infection control, conducting health and safety incident investigations, ladder safety, slips, trips and falls prevention.

If you have any information, story ideas or news tips for The Lawyer’s Daily please contact John Schofield at john.schofield@lexisnexis.ca or call (905) 415-5891.