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Province Provides More Detail on Stage 3 Reopening Strategy

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Yesterday, Premier Ford provided more detail about what Stage 3 of the Province’s gradual reopening strategy entails for Ontario. While Halton Region, including the City of Burlington, is not yet included in the progression to Stage 3, our continued testing, low case numbers and low hospitalizations indicate that we will not be far behind in this regional approach.

Twenty-four regions in Ontario will be able to enter Stage 3 on Friday, July 17. Those remaining in Stage 2 along with Halton Region include places like Toronto, York Region, Peel Region, Niagara Region, and Hamilton. The full list can be found in the Province’s newsroom. As Minister of Health Christine Elliott noted in yesterday’s press conference, they want to see at least four weeks of positive data before moving a region from Stage 2 to Stage 3, and next week will see Halton Region reach the four-week mark given we moved into Stage 2 on June 19th.

Stage 3 is an important part of restarting our economy and supporting businesses and workers. Almost all businesses will be able to reopen as part of Stage 3 as long as they follow the recommended health and safety guidelines. This will include dine-in restaurants, movie theatres, and sports and recreational activities. No business needs to reopen until they feel comfortable and prepared to do so. Establishments like buffet restaurants, amusement parks, and overnight camps will still not be permitted to open in Stage 3 due to the increased risk determined by health experts.

Stage 3 will also allow indoor gatherings of up to 50 people and outdoor gatherings of up to 100. Physical distancing will remain a requirement for all people who are not from the same household or established social circle. Full details of the reopening framework and health & safety guidelines can be found here. Local businesses can use this information to begin planning and preparations for Stage 3. I encourage the Province to continue to provide as much detail as possible on the measures businesses are expected to take through this process to ensure consistency across all communities.

The Honourable Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, indicated that the Province is working towards a plan to have all children in Ontario physically back to school full-time in September, but that their plans involve necessary flexibility as we wait and see what path this virus takes throughout the summer months.

Burlington has continued to see declining cases of COVID-19 in recent weeks as we progressed through Stage 2 thanks to the collective efforts of all our residents and businesses. Physical distancing, hand washing and wearing masks in public spaces where physical distancing is challenging are critical in stopping the spread of this virus. We must maintain our commitment to these measures. We have seen what can happen in other places when these guidelines are not followed and we do not want to experience new spikes or setbacks. This is one of the reasons we implemented a city-wide mask bylaw that was approved yesterday (Monday, July 13) at Council, and will take effect on July 20th. This added measure helps our community be better prepared and support safe reopening of more businesses once we get to Stage 3 and beyond.

I support the regional approach being taken by the Province and encourage our community to be patient and diligent as we wait for the right time to safely join other regions in Stage 3. With our continued efforts, we will get there soon.

— Mayor Marianne Meed Ward

PLEASE NOTE: To stay updated on what the City of Burlington is doing regarding COVID-19, please visit the dedicated pages burlington.ca/coronavirus (and subscribe) and bit.ly/mayormeedwardCOVID19updates, and our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page — bit.ly/COVID19BurlingtonFAQ that are updated as new information becomes available.

A Burlington COVID-19 Task Force has been created to help support our community through this unprecedented emergency — updates will be provided at burlington.ca/COVID19taskforce.

To report an incident of non-compliance with provincial emergency orders, please contact the Halton Regional Police Service COVID-19 Hotline: 905-825-4722.

We’ve also created a dedicated page to feature the local organizations and businesses that have inspired us during the COVID-19 pandemic by taking action to support our community in new and creative ways — head to bit.ly/covidwallofinspiration.

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Marianne Meed Ward

Marianne Meed Ward

A Better Burlington began in 2006 after my neighbours said they felt left out of city decisions, learning about them only after they’d been made. As journalist for 22 years, I thought “I can do something about that” and a website and newsletter were born. They’ve taken various forms and names over the years, but the intent remains: To let you know what’s happening at City Hall before decisions are made, so you can influence outcomes for A Better Burlington. The best decisions are made when elected representatives tap the wisdom of our community members, and welcome many different perspectives.This site allows residents to comment and debate with each other; our Commenting Guidelines established in 2016 aim to keep debate respectful. Got an idea or comment you want to share privately? Please, get in touch:

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