Elgin and St. Thomas moving to “Orange-Restrict” Monday

Southwestern Public Health announced late Friday afternoon, Feb. 26, that as of Monday, March 1, Elgin, St. Thomas and Oxford would move to the “Orange-Restrict” zone from the current “Red-Control.”

That will result in the relaxation of some COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.

Medical Officer of Health Dr. Joyce Lock, in a statement, said “Following a very difficult December and January, with high case loads and many associated deaths, cases have decreased in all settings. Most of our cases can be traced to a specific source, meaning there is less community transmission.

“We are down to two active outbreaks in our institutions. However,we know that there are variants of concern circulating across the province, and we must exercise caution to ensure they do not get a foothold here.”

She urged everyone to stay at home if they had even one mild symptom that could be linked to COVID-19, and to continue to wear face masks and to maintain physical distancing from anyone you don’t reside with.

Under “Orange” rules, indoor social gatherings are limited to a maximum of 10 persons, and outdoors to 25.

Restaurants can have up to 50 customers inside at one time, but with no more than four sitting together at a table. Outdoors, that increases to 100.

Churches and other places of worship, weddings and funerals can be held at a maximum of 30 percent of the hall’s usual capacity indoors, or up to 100 outdoors.