Process and stages for restarting the economy: Ontario

On April 27, 2020, the Province of Ontario released a statement outlining the province’s expectations for the required criteria and measures that would need to be in place to restart the economy.

Conditions for re-launch

To reopen the economy, the Province will consider factors such as the risk of the spread of COVID‑19 and the ability to implement protective and preventative measures in the workplace. The Chief Medical Officer of Health and health experts will advise the government on when it may begin to ease public health measures using a range of criteria, including:

  • virus spread and containment: a consistent two-to-four week decrease in the number of new daily COVID‑19 cases
  • acute health system capacity: sufficient acute and critical care capacity, including access to ventilators and ongoing availability of personal protective equipment
  • public health system capacity: approximately 90% of new COVID‑19 contacts are being reached by local public health officials within one day, with guidance and direction to contain community spread
  • incidence tracking capacity: ongoing testing of suspected COVID‑19 cases, especially of vulnerable populations, to detect new outbreaks quickly

Stages for re-launch

Restrictions will be lifted in stages, with consideration given to socioeconomic factors and the risk of transmission. They will be implemented via public health orders and the timing will be dictated by evidence of transmission.

Each stage will last approximately 2 to 4 weeks in length.

Stage 1

In the first stage, we will consider:

  • opening select workplaces that can meet current public health guidelines
  • allowing essential gatherings of a limited number of people
  • opening some outdoor spaces
  • continued protections for vulnerable populations

Stage 2

In the second stage, we will consider:

  • opening more workplaces with significant mitigation plans
  • opening more public spaces
  • allowing some larger public gatherings
  • continued protections for vulnerable populations

Phase Three

In the final stage, we will consider:

  • opening all workplaces responsibly
  • relaxing restrictions on public gatherings
  • continued protections for vulnerable populations

Additional information

The full guide released by the Province of Ontario can be found here.

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