County expected to move to “Orange” zone

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Renfrew County’s acting medical officer of health says our region will “likely” be moving into the “Orange” COVID zone later today.

Dr. Robert Cushman told Renfrew County council Wednesday morning that the final decision will be made by the provincial cabinet, which meets this afternoon, but he expects the move from “Yellow” to “Orange” will be approved.

Cushman said he had even been pushing for a move to the “Red” zone based on the rising number of cases the county and district was seeing last week.

Renfrew County and District has also now seen cases of three COVID “variants of concern,” he added.

“I’m very concerned,” he said, adding once the announcement is made, he will be “out on the airwaves” with the message “don’t blow it.”

“This is in your hands, people.”

Cushman said with Renfrew County’s neighbouring districts in “red” zones and the city of Ottawa, “our major neighbour,” expected to go into the “Grey” lockdown zone, county residents should be “very careful.”

“Don’t travel, travel, travel, that’s what really gets us into trouble,” and also the “extended sizes of groups.”

Under the “Orange-Restrict” level of COVID rules, social gatherings remain limited to 10 people indoors or 25 outdoors, but bars and restaurants are restricted to 50 per cent capacity and must close by 10 pm.

Recreational facilities may remain open with a limit of 50 people as long as social distancing can be maintained, but no spectators are permitted at team events, except for one parent or guardian.

For a full list of the rules, visit the province’s page here.

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