Barrie is in lockdown…again

Barrie latest city placed under lockdown as province invokes emergency brake in Simcoe-Muskoka and Thunder Bay health units

The Ontario government is invoking its so-called “emergency brake” and placing both the Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit and the Thunder Bay District Health Unit under the grey lockdown category in its tiered framework for COVID-19 restrictions.

The move means that the vast majority of non-essential businesses in both Simcoe-Muskoka and Thunder Bay will have to close as of 12:01 a.m. on Monday.

Social gatherings will also be prohibited, except among members of the same household

Retail establishments are still permitted to operate but are limited to 25 per cent capacity unless they predominantly sell groceries, in which case they can have 50 per cent of their regular capacity.

The additional restrictions come amid a recent rise in cases in both health units.

Thunder Bay’s rolling seven-day average of new cases has more than doubled since this time last week to 38.8 and local officials are recommending that all schools move to remote-only instruction for the next two weeks.

Meanwhile, in Simcoe-Muskoka the rolling seven-day average of new cases is up 40 per cent from this time last week and now stands at 43.

The Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit is also reporting a total of 184 confirmed cases of the B.1.1.7 variant, accounting for more than a third of all confirmed cases involving a variant of concern across Ontario.

Patricia Dent

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