WINGHAM, ONT. -- The region governed by Huron Perth Public Health is moving into the yellow-protect zone come Monday.

After a record-breaking January, case numbers in February had suggested Huron-Perth would be moving into yellow.

Following the provincial lockdown on Feb. 16, Huron-Perth was immediately moved into orange-restrict.

The region saw 451 new cases of COVID-19 in January. That number has fallen below 75 in February and active case counts have fallen from 95 to less than 20.

“Many of our indicators would put us in yellow,” said Huron-Perth’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Miriam Klassen before Friday afternoon's announcement.

Klassen said she had spoken with Ontario’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams, earlier this week to discuss whether Huron-Perth should move from orange to yellow.

Still, come Monday, Klassen stresses that does not mean it’s time to start hanging out with your neighbours and friends again.

“Yes, it’s true that larger gatherings are permitted indoors and outdoors, but that doesn’t mean that you can be within that two-metre distance of people that are not in your household. You’re still to maintain that distance. You’re still to wear face coverings. And hopefully, we can maintain these positive trends and get more people vaccinated, and avoid a third wave,” says Klassen.

Huron-Perth has vaccinated all residents in nursing homes and high-risk retirement homes.

The rest of retirement home residents are being vaccinated this week, along with “pilot vaccination clinics” vaccinating high-risk health care workers, and others that fall within Phase 1 of the provincial vaccine rollout.

If vaccine supply allows, Klassen hopes to start vaccinating residents 80+ by mid-March. She says those eligible will be contacted directly to schedule an appointment.

The Haldimand Norfolk Health Unit is also moving to yellow, while Grey-Bruce moves to green and Chatham-Kent moves to orange. Lambton County will remain in red-control, along with Windsor-Essex.

Full details on the restrictions involved in each level are available here.