Health unit asking province to extend COVID-19 gathering restrictions to Middlesex-London
LONDON, ONT. -- In the wake of rising COVID-19 cases in the area, the Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) is asking the province to include our region in new gathering restrictions implemented Thursday.
The MLHU has reported 47 new cases of COVID-19 in the past week, 30 of those since Wednesday. Three outbreaks have been declared this week in London.
Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Chris Mackie said in a news conference Friday that a decision from the province could come within a day or two and expects it will comply with the MLHU's request.
If the province chooses not to extend restrictions to Middlesex-London, the health unit can issue a Section 22 Order under the Health Protection and Promotion Act. But its implementation could be delayed for a minimum of a week.
On Thursday, Queen's Park rolled back social gathering limits in Toronto, Peel Region and Ottawa to 10 people indoors and 25 outdoors.
Premier Doug Ford said the new rules apply to “unmonitored social gatherings and organized public events” held on private property or in parks and not businesses.
“We've seen two days this week of over 300 new cases, within a 24-hour period,” Ford said. “As a province, we have to help them, all three regions, not just to stop the spread to other parts of Ontario, but to keep everyone safe and healthy.”
Ford says the government will be proposing fines of up to $10,000 for anyone who organizes a private gathering that exceeds the limits. This is in addition to the current $750 fine for those caught violating COVID-19 rules.
With files from CTV Toronto