Peterborough Public Health Urges Caution as Step 3 Public Health Measures Take Effect

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Peterborough Public Health is emphasizing how important it is for residents to continue following COVID-19 prevention measures so the provincial move to Step 3 of the Roadmap to Reopen holds.

“While the easing of some public health measures is welcome news, we can’t let our guard down completely or else any increase in COVID-19 transmission may lead to another step backwards,” said Dr. Thomas Piggott, Medical Officer of Health. “Our community is still grappling with the recent surge in infections caused by Omicron, causing the local death rate to increase substantially in recent weeks. This is compounded by the underlying vulnerability of our community with its higher proportion of elderly residents.”

Dr. Piggott reminded residents while COVID-19 hospitalizations and ICU admissions are showing modest signs of slowing down, these provincial numbers don’t take into account the staffing shortages many hospitals are facing, including Peterborough Regional Health Centre. In addition, he said local wastewater surveillance demonstrates continued transmission so prudence is required.

The team at Peterborough Public Health is working hard to ensure the new guidelines are easy to find on its website, and staff are reaching out to various sectors to help them understand the new public health guidance for their business and organizations. Highlights of the Step 3 measures that took effect today (January 31, 2022) include:

  • Proof of identification and vaccination (showing two doses) will continue to apply in existing settings; businesses must now use the Verify Ontario app and patrons must show enhanced vaccine certificates containing a QR Code.
  • Indoor public settings may open, increasing or maintaining capacity limits at 50 per cent, including indoor dining, meeting and event spaces, gyms, and cinemas.
  • Social gathering limits can increase up to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors.
  • Organized public events can increase capacity to 25 people indoors.
  • With very limited exceptions, masks must be worn by everyone while indoors.

Alongside the return to Step 3, Dr. Piggott has released a Letter of Recommendation today urging businesses and organizations to continue to have staff to work from home when possible. As Ontario’s reopening plan progresses, Peterborough Public Health will be monitoring the local situation closely and will escalate this to an enforceable Letter of Instruction under the Reopening Ontario Act, if needed.

Details about local Public Health Orders or Letters of Instruction issued by Dr. Piggott can be found here:

Step 3 will be in effect for a minimum of 21 days while public health indicators are monitored. Additional measures may be relaxed by the province if favourable trends continue on February 21, 2022.

To learn more about Step 3, and what comes next, please visit COVID-19 public health measures and advice | COVID-19 (coronavirus) in Ontario.

Those with questions about what will be open or impacts to your business or employment can call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659.


For further information, please contact:
Brittany Cadence
Communications Manager
705-743-1000, ext. 391