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Peel Public Health imposes stricter coronavirus restrictions after province puts region in red zone – Global News

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Peel Region is implementing stricter coronavirus-related restrictions after some were eased by the province.

Most of Ontario’s hot spots had less stringent health measures on Saturday according to the terms of the tiered assessment system that classifies regions as red, orange, yellow or green.

Health restrictions in red zones include limiting indoor dining capacity and gyms to 10 patrons.

The top doctor in Peel Region, the only public health unit currently classified as red, said those limits would not go far enough to stop the virus’s spread.

Read more:
New coronavirus measures take effect as Ontario shifts to new tiered system

“It is time to shrink our lives to stop COVID-19 from growing completely out of control,” Dr. Lawrence Loh said in a written statement. “These directives are strict, but they are what is needed to keep people in Peel working and learning, and able to access food, medical care and the basics of everyday life.”

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Loh said the region’s indicators are heading in the wrong direction, and swift action is needed.

“Residents of Peel must restrict their contact to members of their household and essential supports only. Those that live alone may join one designated household,” the public health unit said.

Residents should not invite members of other households into their homes or yards, unless there’s an emergency.


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Coronavirus: Peel Region disappointed by restriction reversal as COVID-19 cases rise


Coronavirus: Peel Region disappointed by restriction reversal as COVID-19 cases rise

The region is barring wedding receptions “and associated gatherings” starting on Nov. 13 and lasting until at least Jan. 7, 2021.

“Social gatherings celebrating holidays and life events in business establishments” will be banned on the same day, while religious services and rites will be urged to go online if possible.

In-person religious events, including wedding ceremonies and funerals, must reduce indoor capacity to 30 per cent, with a maximum of 50 people per facility.

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Meeting and event spaces, such as banquet halls, must also close.

And workplaces have to prohibit all non-essential visitors and make work-from-home options available as much as possible.

Read more:
Decision to ease some restrictions in Peel Region ‘reckless,’ Ontario Hospital Association says

The orange level of the new provincial system limits bars and restaurants to 50 people indoors, with no more than four seated together.

Health officials in Peel had asked that the region remain under a modified Stage 2 — the restriction classification system previously used by the government — which involves more stringent rules such as a ban on indoor dining in restaurants and bars.

But the province rejected that request, instead classifying it as a red zone.

— With files from Ryan Rocca

© 2020 The Canadian Press

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BMO, CIBC extend work from home to April as Canada cases surge – BNN

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Signage is displayed outside the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) in the financial district of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on Friday, Feb. 14, 2020. Canadian stocks declined with global markets, as authorities struggled to keep the coronavirus from spreading more widely outside China. However, investors flocking to safe havens such as gold offset the sell-off in Canada's stock market.

A recent surge in COVID-19 cases is derailing Canadian banks’ plans to bring employees back to offices, with one lender even asking some workers who had already returned to go back home.

Canada is now facing about 5,000 new COVID-19 cases a day, prompting provinces and cities including Toronto — home to the country’s five biggest banks — to implement new restrictions to limit the virus spread. Even Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently returned to working from home in an attempt to set a national tone of caution.

Bank of Montreal and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce are extending work-from-home plans for some employees until at least April. Toronto-Dominion Bank hasn’t set a firm date for a return, but said in a memo last week that most people working from home won’t come back “until at least the spring.”

Royal Bank of Canada even encouraged employees who had gone back to offices to return to working from home as of Nov. 16, according to a memo from Chief Human Resources Officer Helena Gottschling. Canada’s second-largest lender by assets said it will continue pre-screening and requiring masks and distancing for those who can’t work remotely.

“For those in critical roles that cannot be done from home and who are working on premises today, please continue to work on site,” Gottschling said in the Nov. 12 memo. “Our ongoing protocols will continue to protect employees’ health and safety in the workplace.”

The bank hasn’t set a firm time for employees to return. Royal Bank also delayed plans to have employees retrieve personal items from work sites in and around Toronto until further notice.

Bank of Nova Scotia also hasn’t set a specific time for office employees to return because of “uncertainty around how the COVID-19 pandemic will unfold in the coming months,” according to a spokesman. Canada’s third-biggest bank said workers will receive at least four weeks notice before being asked to return.

Bank of Montreal doesn’t “foresee any broad-based changes for employees who are currently working from home any sooner than April 2021, unless a specific business need exists,” the company said in an emailed statement. The country’s fourth-largest lender previously said workers would remain out of the office until the end of this year. The bank will give employees 30 days notice before asking them to return.

Most CIBC employees who are already working off-site will continue to do so until at least April, Sandy Sharman, the executive who oversees human resources, said Wednesday in a memo to staff. The bank originally advised employees they’d be working from home until at least the end of the year.

CIBC, Canada’s fifth-largest lender, said it will give workers at least four-weeks’ notice before asking them back, Sharman said in the memo. The bank had planned to start relocating employees to its freshly built new headquarters at CIBC Square by the end of the year.

“With the majority of our team members working from home seamlessly, we have the flexibility to align our decisions and timing around our long-term real estate plans, including CIBC Square, and the guidance we receive from local governments and public health authorities,” she said.

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Ontario to release updated COVID-19 projections after locking down Toronto, Peel – CityNews Toronto

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Ontario health officials are expected to release new COVID-19 projections on Thursday.

It will be the first time they have released such data since sending the province’s two biggest virus hot spots — Toronto and Peel Region — into lockdown earlier this week.

Two weeks ago, the province unveiled modelling that showed Ontario could see as many as 6,500 new daily cases of COVID-19 by mid-December unless steps are taken to limit the spread of the virus.

It said the province would reach 2,500 new daily cases by that time if the growth rate was at three per cent, or 6,500 if the growth rate was at five per cent.

At the time, Dr. Adalsteinn Brown, one of the experts behind the projections, said a five per cent growth rate was “slightly optimistic.”

Premier Doug Ford announced he would lower thresholds for imposing stricter COVID-19 measures under the province’s colour-coded restrictions system the following day.

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Ontario to release updated COVID-19 projections after locking down Toronto, Peel – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

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The Canadian Press


Published Thursday, November 26, 2020 6:03AM EST


Last Updated Thursday, November 26, 2020 7:05AM EST

TORONTO – Ontario health officials are expected to release new COVID-19 projections today.

It will be the first time they have released such data since sending the province’s two biggest virus hot spots — Toronto and Peel Region — into lockdown earlier this week.

Two weeks ago, the province unveiled modelling that showed Ontario could see as many as 6,500 new daily cases of COVID-19 by mid-December unless steps are taken to limit the spread of the virus.

It said the province would reach 2,500 new daily cases by that time if the growth rate was at three per cent, or 6,500 if the growth rate was at five per cent.

At the time, Dr. Adalsteinn Brown, one of the experts behind the projections, said a five per cent growth rate was “slightly optimistic.”

Premier Doug Ford announced he would lower thresholds for imposing stricter COVID-19 measures under the province’s colour-coded restrictions system the following day.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 26, 2020.

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