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Here's What Ontario's New Colour-Coded COVID-19 Alert System Means For You

Ontario now has grey, red, orange, yellow and green zones.
Ontario's New Colour-Coded COVID-19 Alert System: Here's What It Means For You

On Tuesday, the province announced Ontario’s new COVID-19 alert system, which will sort regions into different colour zones, making it easy to decipher.

The colour-coding method will replace the Stage 1, Stage 2 and Stage 3 system we've used so far.

It uses a map to show which regions of the province have been hit hardest by COVID-19.

Here's everything you need to know about the new alert system, how it works, and what it means for you.

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How does Ontario's new colour-coded system work?

Ontario's new system breaks the public health regions down into different colours, depending on their positivity rates per 100,000 people.

The different colours — grey, red, orange, yellow, and green — all imply different measures that are currently being taken. Grey means that the maximum amount of restrictions able to be taken will be, with green indicating lowest amount.

This new tool will help increase transparency for Ontarians and aid in making safe decisions.

"You deserve to have access to the same information that we have, and that's why our government is enhancing online data and data visualization," said Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy on Tuesday.

What do Ontario's different colours mean?

Ontario has created five different colours, each of which has a different significance in terms of the measures being taken.

The first colour, grey, indicates the "lockdown" zone. No public health units are currently existing in this zone. This zone indicates the maximum amount of measures possible. Residents would likely be locked down inside their homes. Think Stage 1 restrictions.

Next is red. Red indicates the "control" zone. Again, no public health units are currently in this zone. Regions in this zone would face stringent measures and closures across sectors.

Ottawa, Peel, York, and Toronto are all currently in the orange, or "restrict" zone, where "enhanced" measures must be taken. This zone is meant to avoid closures where possible, while implementing restrictions.

The next zone is yellow. It stands for "protect" and involves strengthened COVID-19 prevention measures, including fines and targeted enforcement. Brant, Hamilton, Durham, and Halton are currently in the yellow zone.

And lastly, is green. Green stands for "prevent" and the rest of Ontario sits within this zone. In the green zone, standard COVID-19 measures will be taken. The focus is on public education and workplace safety measures while in the green zone.

[rebelmouse-image 26000171 photo_credit="Government of Ontario" expand=1 original_size="1191x485"] Government of Ontario

How will the new tracking system help Ontarians?

Ford says that Ontario's new tracking systems "will serve as an early warning system allowing us to scale up and scale back public health restrictions on a regional or community basis in response to surges and waves of COVID-19."

It will provide a live look into the current situations different regions across the province are facing.

The government hopes that this knowledge will better equip residents and business owners.

"By introducing public health measures sooner, we can keep this deadly virus at bay, bend the curve and reclaim a little more of our normal lives," said Ford.

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