Above, see Eastern Ontario Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis’s Nov. 20 media briefing, which includes information on the return to Yellow-Protect in the region — effective today — and other pandemic statistics.
EASTERN ONTARIO — ‘Yellow’ accompanied this morning’s snow as the Eastern Ontario Health Unit area officially reversed out of the pandemic’s Orange-Restrict designation effective 12:01 a.m.
“I think we were one of the only health units that went the other way,” observed Eastern Ontario Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis Friday on the then-impending easing of restrictions here. By contrast, the province has moved Toronto and Peel out of Red and into lockdown. Meanwhile, some other health units at the Orange level have been upped to Red,” the doctor pointed out.
Bucking the escalating trend is the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) jurisdiction, which had been slotted into the Orange-Restrict category last week, after barely falling outside the Yellow-Protect criteria, where the region started when the province debuted the new colour-coded system earlier this month.
Among other things, the change means that local restaurants can again allow six people per table (as long as they’re from the same household), up from four. It also means that local caregivers at nursing homes won’t be subject to a new twice-a-week negative test requirement that now applies in Orange.
Otherwise, “in terms of the measures, they’re virtually the same,” Roumeliotis also said of the downshift from Orange to Yellow. He acknowledged the change happening inside the span of a week “could be a source of confusion” to the public. “And that’s one of the reasons last week that I argued we should stay in Yellow because I knew we were going to be Yellow [the following week],” he remarked, adding the province opted against his advice at the time.
However, he doesn’t foresee the region continuing to swing between Yellow and Orange. “We would have to have a tremendous amount of cases over the next week or two to bring us up to the Orange range. I doubt it very much.”
“Unless we have a catastrophic increase, I don’t see us going into Orange next week.”