Tougher pandemic restrictions coming to Sarnia-Lambton next week

Journal Staff

After just one week of being at the orange “restrict” level of Ontario’s pandemic framework, Sarnia-Lambton will move to a more restrictive red “control” level on Monday, Lambton Public Health said today.

Starting Feb. 22, the additional restrictions will apply to social gatherings, businesses and other facilities.

Dr. Sudit Ranade, Lambton’s medical officer of health, said the decision is a response to the incident rate of COVID-19 in Lambton County.

During the week of Feb. 7-13 it was 60 cases per 100,000 people, higher than the “red” level threshold of 40 per 100,000.

“It has doubled compared to our rate for the previous week (28 per 100k). While many recent cases have been linked to institutional outbreaks, these settings are a part of the community,” Ranade said.

The red “control” level requires more stringent measures. They include:

* Social gatherings limited to five people indoors, and 25 people outdoors. Currently at the orange level, social gatherings are allowed to have up to 10 people indoors and 25 outdoors.

* Starting Monday, restaurants, food courts, gyms and casino and gaming facilities can have no more than 10 people indoors and 25 outdoors.

* Cinemas and performing arts centre are to close.

* For retail businesses, the capacity limits will be 75% for supermarkets and other stores that primarily sell groceries, including pharmacies & convenience stores. And 50% for other retailers, including big box stores, liquor stores, hardware stores and garden centres.

For more details, visit the COVID-19 response framework