MIDDLESEX CENTRE, ONT. -- The Middlesex-London Health Unit is among the regions moving to a higher level of COVID-19 protection measures after the province lowered the thresholds for its colour-coded system.

Among the local regions moving from green ‘prevent’ to yellow ‘protect’ are:

  • Middlesex-London Health Unit
  • Southwestern Public Health
  • Huron Perth Public Health
  • Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit
  • Windsor-Essex County Health Unit

The new level will take effect Monday at 12:01 a.m.

When asked if moving to Code Yellow will be enough to curb transmission in the region, Associate Medical Officer of Health Dr. Alex Summers is blunt.

“Certainly if we continue to see case counts like we’ve seen over the last week, we would be in discussion with the province around further escalation,” says Dr. Summers.

“We’re also seeing increased restrictions across the province. We’re not an island, so those changes in other jurisdictions will be very helpful,” explains Dr Summers. “We know some of the lack of restrictions in other jurisdictions has probably led to our increasing cases here.”

While some restrictions in the yellow zone are already in place based on Section 22 orders issued by the Middlesex-London Health Unit, there will be some additional changes.

Among the new restrictions that come with moving from green to yellow are:

  • restaurants and bars must stop serving alcohol by 11 p.m. and close by midnight, and limit the volume of music
  • personal care service businesses must obtain contact information from all patrons
  • recreational programs limited to 10 people per room indoors, 25 outdoors

And as for loosening restrictions in time for the holiday season, Dr. Summers isn’t optimistic.

“There is nothing about this pandemic that is fair, and unfortunately there are going to be real impacts on our ability to celebrate the holidays like would would any other year.”

A full list of restrictions that are included in the yellow level can be found here.