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North Bay Parry Sound going to yellow!

The region will move from red to yellow starting Monday. Timiskaming goes from orange to yellow.
covid colour code levels
COVID clour code levels

Great news on the COVID front this afternoon.

Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli tells BayToday the region will move from red to yellow starting Monday.

The Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams told the Ontario cabinet today that he intends to move several communities to new levels in the COVID-19 Response Framework: Keeping Ontario Safe and Open, including North Bay Parry Sound District from red to yellow-protect.

The change will be effective Monday at 12.01 a.m.

The move to yellow is in sharp contrast to indications from Dr. Jim Chirico during a Zoom meeting yesterday that this region would be remaining in red.

See: Looks like we're staying in the red

"All I can comment on is the Chief Medical Officer of Health's recommendations were to cabinet this morning and cabinet has moved on all of his recommendations," Fedeli said.

Chirico has been under a heavy barrage of criticism for keeping the district in red, when the case numbers indicate the restrictions should be relaxed according to the colour framework. He has also come under fire for the slow rollout of vaccinations in the district.

See: Most of the province offering pre-registration for 75+ COVID vaccinations but not North Bay Parry Sound

An email to the Health Unit requesting an interview with Dr. Chirico was not immediately returned.

Temiskaming Health Unit improves from orange to yellow. Sudbury will remain in grey and Simcoe-Muskoka will stay in red.

Fedeli cautioned that the move still doesn't mean business as usual.

"You should still stay home if you have symptoms, that you physically distance by staying two metres apart from people you don't live with. Always wear a mask indoors and quite frankly no unessential travel. This really isn't a call for back to normal. We still have COVID in our region and we still need people to respect that fact and to do everything as safely as they possibly can."

"With the significant and increasing risk of COVID-19 variants, the next few weeks will be critical in our fight against COVID-19," said Christine Elliott, Minister of Health. "Thanks to the tireless efforts of our frontline health care workers we continue to accelerate our vaccine rollout, but until all Ontarians can receive the vaccine we must not let our guard down and continue following public health advice. This remains our best defense."

Based on the latest data, the following eight public health regions will be moving from their current level in the Framework to the following levels effective Monday, March 22, 2021 at 12:01 a.m.:


  • Brant County Health Unit;
  • Chatham-Kent Public Health; and
  • Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit.


  • Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health.


  • North Bay Parry Sound District;
  • Timiskaming Health Unit.
  • Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Public Health;
  • Porcupine Health Unit

In addition, effective today the government moved Ottawa Public Health to the Red-Control level in the Framework. The decision was made at the request of the local medical officer of health due to the concerning trends in public health indicators in the region.

To support the province's economic recovery, the government is cautiously adjusting dining capacity limits at restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments, for regions in the Grey-Lockdown, Red-Control and Orange-Restrict levels of the Framework, effective Saturday, March 20, 2021 at 12:01 a.m. 

For regions in the Orange-Restrict and Red-Control levels, capacity limits for indoor dining will be adjusted and based on a standard, scalable calculation that will allow for up to approximately 50 per cent of the indoor dining area to be accessible to the public, subject to physical distancing rules. The total occupancy cannot exceed 50 patrons in Red-Control and 100 patrons in Orange-Restrict. 

In addition, while indoor dining continues to be prohibited for areas in the Grey-Lockdown level of the Framework, outdoor dining would be permitted for regions in Grey-Lockdown, subject to physical distancing rules and a number of other public health and workplace safety measures.

"While some regions are proceeding to levels with less restrictive measures and adjustments are being made to dining capacity, everyone must continue to adhere to all public health and workplace safety measures," said Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health. "We have entered the third wave of the pandemic and the rates of variants of concern continue to rise so it is important that people remain cautious and vigilant in order to minimize the transmission of COVID-19 and protect themselves and their communities."  

Find out what level and which public health and workplace safety measures are in place for your area.

Visit Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccine web page to view the latest provincial data and information on COVID-19 vaccines.

Jeff Turl

About the Author: Jeff Turl

Jeff is a veteran of the news biz. He's spent a lengthy career in TV, radio, print and online, covering both news and sports. He enjoys free time riding motorcycles and spoiling grandchildren.
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