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Ontario easing a few restrictions in Sarnia-Lambton

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Journal Staff

Ontario offered regions in grey-lockdown such as Sarnia-Lambton both a carrot and a stick Friday, easing some restrictions while warning of a tighter lockdown if cases continue to rise.

Starting Monday, March 29:

* Outdoor fitness classes will be allowed, as well as outdoor team and personal training, to a maximum of 10 people, provided participants remain three metres apart. Organized outdoor activities had been prohibited.

* Marinas and boat clubs can operate outdoor clubhouses, restaurants and bars.

* Capacity limits for weddings, funerals, and religious services in all regions will be adjusted to allow for the number of individuals that can maintain two metres of physical distance. This change does not apply to social gatherings, such as receptions.

* Indoor dining remains prohibited, but outdoor patio dining is allowed as long as people maintain a two-metre distance.

Starting April 12:

* Personal care services such as barber shops, hair and nail salons, and body art establishments, can operate at 25% capacity, or five patron, whichever is less, and by appointment only.

Targeted enforcements will be used, the province said.

Meanwhile, any region already in grey-lockdown will be hit immediately with stricter shutdown measures if COVID-19 case numbers increase rapidly or the health system is at risk of being overwhelmed, Ontario said Friday.

As of today, Sarnia-Lambton is one of only five regions in grey-lockdown, along with Toronto, Peel, Sudbury and Thunder Bay.

“Adjusting the emergency brake to allow for the recommendation to immediately implement shutdown measures in regions experiencing a rapid increase in transmission is important given the changes to the public health measures in the grey-lockdown level and will provide an extra layer of protection as we continue to fight this virus,” said Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health.

“The latest data continues to show some worrying trends throughout the province, and variants of concern remain a significant threat to public health. That is why it is important that people remain cautious and vigilant in order to minimize the transmission of COVID-19 and protect themselves and their communities.”

Sarnia-Lambton reported another 29 new cases Friday, marking the eighth straight day with more than 200 active cases.

Sarnia-Lambton continues to have one of the highest incident rates per 100,000 people.

Fifteen outbreaks are underway at senior homes, schools and workplaces, and 74 cases have involved a variant of concern, Lambton Public Health said.




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