27 April 2020 – Framework released outlining gradual reopening of Ontario

Type of Intervention: Regulation
Sectors Involved: Finance/Economy, Health, Private Sector and Businesses, Supply Chains
Intervention Categories: Planning and strategy; Creation of or release of plans
Level of Jurisdiction: Ontario
Lead People/Agency: Decision makers: Premier (Doug Ford), Minister of Finance (Rod Phillips), Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade (Vic Fedeli), and Deputy Premier and Minister of Health (Christine Elliott), Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts also provide criteria for reopening and movement between stages

Overview: The Ontario government has released “A Framework for Reopening our Province”, outlining the criteria that the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts will use to advise the government on the loosening of emergency restrictions, guiding principles for reopening of businesses, services, and public spaces, and the strategy to restart the provincial economy. The framework offers a staged approach for a safe reopening, which will be carefully monitored by public health officials for 2-4 weeks per stage. Stage 1 includes opening of select workplaces that can modify operations to meet public health standards, opening of some outdoor spaces, and allowing a greater number of individuals to gather. Additionally, hospitals would begin to offer non-urgent and scheduled surgeries and other health care services. Stage 2 describes opening of more workplaces, based on risk assessments, including some retail and office workplaces. This stage also includes the reopening of other outdoor spaces and allows some larger public gatherings. Stage 3 includes the reopening of all workplaces and further relaxing of public gathering restrictions. All stages require the continued practice of physical distancing, hand washing and respiratory hygiene, and mitigation plans to limit risks to health.
Full details here: https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/04/ontario-unveils-guiding-principles-to-reopen-the-province.html

Other links: 1
Type of Justification: Advice of INTERNAL government advisory committee or group
Source of Evidence or Justification: Sub-national, Chief Medical Officer of Health and supporting health experts
Evidence/Justification: This framework has been developed in preparation for the responsible restart of Ontario’s economy, providing a map of what must be achieved to help the province recover. Minister Phillips explained that recent public health indicators have shown that Ontario is “beginning to turn a corner in the COVID-19 outbreak”, and a careful plan is needed to ensure a sudden increase in cases and undoing of progress does not occur. The plan has been developed under the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts, using a set criteria, including: consistent 2-4 week decrease in number of new daily cases across the province, sufficient acute and critical care capacity, ~90% of new contacts being reached by local public health officials within one day, with guidance to contain spread, and ongoing testing of suspected cases, especially in vulnerable populations.