Stricter COVID restrictions imposed on York as cases surge

Indoor service at restaurants here will be shut down for at least 28 days beginning Monday as the provincial government “reluctantly” places York Region under Modified Stage 2 COVID-19 restrictions.

“We’re seeing a rapid increase in the rate of infection, with the positivity rate of 2.77 per cent, above the high-alert threshold of 2.5 per cent,” Premier Doug Ford said of today’s decision to tighten restrictions in York, one of several hotspots in the province. “Most concerning of all, critical care admissions are reaching alarming levels.”

New restrictions also include the closure of gyms, fitness centres, cinemas, performing art and gaming venues. In addition, organized public gatherings will be reduced to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors. Also, beginning today, residents of long-term care homes here aren’t allowed to leave for social or personal reasons.

“While this is not the news any of us wanted to hear, it is a grim reminder the virus is still a threat to the 1.2 million people who call York Region home,” Chairman and CEO Wayne Emmerson and Medical Officer of Health Dr. Karim Kurji say in a joint statement. “It also serves as a signal we all must continue taking steps to keep each other, our families and our communities safe.”

Residents are urged to follow public health measures currently in place, which include staying at home when feeling ill, maintaining physical distancing, washing your hands frequently with soap and water, limiting gatherings to those in your immediate household, and wearing a face mask or covering when physical distancing is not possible.

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