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Ontario moves into Roadmap’s Step 3 on Friday

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COVID-19 cases are slowly coming down in the Southwestern Public Health Region as Ontario moves into Step Three of the Roadmap to Reopen on Friday, July 16.

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“This is great news for Oxford,” said Oxford MPP Ernie Hardeman in a media release. “Everyone has worked so hard to maintain the public health guidelines, and more and more people are getting their vaccination. We can see the positive results of these efforts. Let’s keep up the good work.”

Step Three of the Roadmap focuses on the return of additional indoor services with larger numbers, and it includes indoor social gatherings and organized public events with up to 25 people; outdoor social gatherings and organized public events with up to 100 people with limited exceptions; indoor religious services, rites or ceremonies with physical distancing; indoor dining with no limits on the number of patrons per table with physical distancing and other restrictions still in effect;

indoor sports and recreational fitness facilities open subject to a maximum 50 per cent capacity of the indoor space.

In Step 3, essential and non-essential retail can open with capacity limited to the number of people that can maintain a two-metre physical distance; and concert venues, cinemas, and theatres are permitted to operate with limits.

Face coverings in indoor public settings and physical distancing remains in place throughout Step 3. Face coverings will also be required in some outdoor public settings as well.

According to the government, the province will remain in Step 3 for at least 21 days and until 80 per cent of the eligible population aged 12 and over has received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 75 per cent have received their second, with no public health unit having less than 70 per cent of their population fully vaccinated.

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Other key public health and health care indicators must also continue to remain stable. When the thresholds have been met, the vast majority of public health and workplace safety measures, including capacity limits for indoor and outdoor settings and limits for social gatherings, will be lifted.

On Monday, Southwestern Public Health reported nine new COVID-19 cases over the weekend, with a total of 13 ongoing cases in Oxford-Elgin including six in the Municipality of Bayham. One case was reported in hospital (not in the intensive care unit).

Tillsonburg, which tested 118 individuals at its 17 Bear Street Assessment Centre last week, did not have any active COVID-19 cases as of Monday.

As of July 11, 77.9 per cent of Ontario residents (age 12 and older) have had at least one dose, and 53.4 per cent two doses. In Southwestern Public Health (Oxford-Elgin) 75.5 per cent of the 12 and older population have had at least one dose and 43.4 per cent had two doses.

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