Not Quite Yet - Region of Waterloo will delay moving to Step 2 of the Provincial Reopening framework

By: Kw Now Local News
| Published 06/24/2021

Region Not Quite Ready for Step 2 Reopen say Health Officials
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Region of Waterloo delays moving to Step 2 Reopening framework

“To give our residents more time to be vaccinated, to avoid having to take a step back.” - Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang

Waterloo Region – Based on current data and the prevalence of the Delta variant locally, the Region of Waterloo will delay moving to Step 2 of the Provincial Reopening framework for now.

“To give our residents more time to be vaccinated, to avoid having to take a step back, and based on our situation at this time, I anticipate the Region of Waterloo will be able to move into Step 2 in mid-July,” said Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang, Medical Officer of Health. “This approach gives us the best chance to hold onto the gains we have made.”

Dr. Wang added that in the coming weeks, the Region of Waterloo will be in a better position to provide a more specific date for an expected move to Step 2.

I fully understand that pausing our move to Step 2 will greatly impact many in our community,” said Regional Chair Karen Redman. “We are in one of the most critical phases of the pandemic locally and this decision is made with the health and safety of all of our community at heart.”

Over 75% of residents 18 and over have at least one dose of the vaccine, and over 21% have a second dose. By mid-July, many more in the Region of Waterloo will have received first and second doses.

“Without the power of the vaccine and without thousands and thousands of our residents getting vaccinated at our clinics, in pharmacies and at family doctors’ offices – our COVID-19 numbers would have grown exponentially over the last few weeks due to the Delta variant,” continued Dr. Wang.

“Maximizing the number of our residents who get a first and then second dose is our way out, and I urge all residents to get their first and second doses as soon as they are available to them. In addition to the Regional clinics, we have over 123 pharmacies in our region giving out vaccine and many family medicine practices doing the same.”

THIS IS WHAT WE'RE MISSING FOR NOW :-(

This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Outdoor social gatherings and organized public events with up to 25 people;
  • Indoor social gatherings and organized public events with up to 5 people;
  • Essential and other select retail permitted at 50 per cent capacity;
  • Non-essential retail permitted at 25 per cent capacity;
  • Personal care services where face coverings can be worn at all times, and at 25 per cent capacity and other restrictions;
  • Outdoor dining with up to 6 people per table, with exceptions for larger households and other restrictions;
  • Indoor religious services, rites, or ceremonies, including wedding services and funeral services permitted at up to 25 per cent capacity of the particular room;
  • Outdoor fitness classes limited to the number of people who can maintain 3 metres of physical distance;
  • Outdoor sports without contact or modified to avoid contact, with no specified limit on number of people or teams participating, with restrictions;
  • Overnight camps for children operating in a manner consistent with the safety guidelines produced by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health;
  • Outdoor sport facilities with spectators permitted at 25 per cent capacity;
  • Outdoor concert venues, theatres and cinemas, with spectators permitted at 25 per cent capacity;
  • Outdoor horse racing and motor speedways, with spectators permitted at 25 per cent capacity;
  • Outdoor fairs, rural exhibitions, festivals, permitted at 25 per cent capacity and with other restrictions.