Greater Sudbury moves into COVID red zone Monday, North Bay lockdown ends
Greater Sudbury will move into the red-control COVID framework on Monday, the province announced Friday afternoon. (File)
SUDBURY -- Greater Sudbury will move into the red-control COVID framework on Monday, the province announced Friday afternoon.
The lockdown in North Bay/Parry Sound will also end Monday, when the area will also move into the red zone. And the Timiskaming Health Unit is moving to orange after a recent increase in cases.
"From the period of Feb. 23 to March 2, case rates in North Bay Parry Sound District have decreased by 84.6 per cent to 3.1 cases per 100,000 people and the number of hospitalizations has shrunk from 1 to 0," the province said in a news release.
Greater Sudbury had been in the orange designation, but a recent surge in cases – including a record 32 new cases on Monday alone – prompted the move into the more restrictive designation.
The change had been expected since Tuesday, when Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, medical officer of health for Public Health Sudbury & Districts, told reporters that the number of new cases would place the area in the red.
Similar to North Bay, where the more contagious COVID-19 variants have become an issue, Greater Sudbury is seeing more suspected variants in their new cases, prompting concerns.
Joining the North Bay-Parry Sound District Health Unit moving out of lockdown are health units in Toronto and Peel, which move into the grey zone.
In addition to Sudbury, six other public health regions are being moved to new levels in the framework, the province said Friday.
Those areas include Peterborough Public Health and Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit (moving to red); Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit (orange); Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit and Renfrew County and District Health Unit (yellow).
All changes will be effective Monday at 12:01 a.m. Visit Ontario.ca/covidresponse for the full list of public health region classifications.
"While all regions have returned to the framework, everyone must remain vigilant to help prevent any further increases in transmission," Dr. David Williams, chief medical officer of health, said in the release.
"The best defense against the virus and all of its variants of concern remains continuing to stay at home, avoiding social gatherings, only travelling outside of your community for essential purposes, and limiting close contacts to your household or those you live with."