New safety measures issued for businesses, organization and indoor rec centres
Simcoe Muskoka public health is implementing new safety measures that were announced last week after a "dramatic increase" in COVID-19 cases.
Starting at 12:01 a.m. Friday, places of worship will be required to screen for symptoms, collect contact tracing and adhere to mask-wearing and physical distancing during services.
Individuals 12 and older will also have to show proof of vaccination to use sport and recreational facilities, including those 12 to 17 who were previously exempt.
Starting Jan. 1, those 12 and older will have a 12 week grace period from their 12th birthday to receive their COVID-19 vaccinations to enter indoor facilities.
The medical officer of health said the revised measures would improve protection in the community as the region posts the highest COVID-19 case counts in six months.
"A key factor contributing to transmission in businesses and organizations is close contact between individuals, which then leads to spread of the disease easily to individuals within households, particularly if individuals are not fully vaccinated," Dr. Charles Gardner noted.
On Tuesday, the health unit reported 27 active outbreaks across Simcoe Muskoka, including 21 schools.
The news comes on the same day bookings opened for children five to 11 to get their COVID-19 vaccinations.