Waterloo region likely to see red on Friday, more restrictions on COVID-19


Waterloo region’s rapid rotation cycle through the province’s color-coded COVID-19 pandemic response system looks likely to continue this Friday, according to its senior physician.Acting Medical Officer of Health Dr Hsiu-Li Wang told reporters on Monday that she advocated moving the region to the red zone when the next changes to the province are announced on November 20.

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“I continue to support the switch to red because that is where we are now,” she said.

She highlighted a number of parameters that are behind the move, including a tripling of case rates in the past two weeks, an increasing number of outbreaks and an increase in hospitalizations.

“We are fully accelerating into the red zone,” said Wang, “if we don’t make major changes now, and we will continue towards the lockdown zone. ”

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The region went from green to yellow two Fridays ago, then turned orange last Friday. These changes came into effect on Monday.

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If Waterloo is moved to the red zone on Friday, a number of businesses will be closed, including indoor gyms and fitness centers, casinos, while limiting the capacity of event spaces to just 10 people.

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“Starting today, we need to drastically reduce our social interactions,” she said, calling on area residents to make changes to avoid further restrictions.

“We need to stay home and only go out for essential purposes, like going to work, school, grocery shopping, keeping a doctor’s appointment, or exercising essential.”

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Wang also asked people “to avoid social interactions with friends, with co-workers outside of work and with extended family outside our households.”

The doctor says she could simply move the area to the red zone without provincial approval.

“If a medical officer of health imposed additional restrictions on an area in orange to reflect restrictions in a red zone, businesses that would be affected would not be eligible for financial compensation available to businesses in areas that were placed in the red zone by the province, ”Wang said.

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