With the occurrence of COVID-19 outbreaks related to high-risk gatherings and the on-going presence of the highly transmissible Delta variant in the community, Middlesex-London’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Chris Mackie, issued a pair of Section 22 Class Orders this afternoon. The Orders are issued under the Health Protection and Promotion Act and will come into effect at noon on Thursday, September 23rd.
The first Order re-iterates the limits placed on social gatherings in London and Middlesex County as set out in the Reopening Ontario Act, including capping indoor get-togethers at 25 people and limiting outdoor gatherings to 100. The Order goes on to apply to any organized or informal public event or social gathering, whether held on a street or private dwelling, including houses, apartment buildings, condos and post-secondary student residences. Exceptions to the Order are outlined in sections two through five of Schedule 3 of the Rules for Areas at Step 3 and the Roadmap Exit (O. Reg. 364/20).
The second Order applies to establishments that serve food and alcohol and are licensed by the Municipality and/or Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario. Under the Order any patron who attends such an establishment must wear a mask or face covering at all times, except when they are consuming food or beverages while seated in a designated area. Food and drink are only to be consumed at designated tables, which are separated by a distance of at least two metres or by an impermeable barrier, such as plexiglass.
“With ongoing COVID-19 transmission and the increasingly risky behaviours we continue to see in the community, it has become necessary to step up the efforts being made to prevent further illness and virus spread,” says Dr. Chris Mackie, Medical Officer of Health with the Middlesex-London Health Unit. “The recent outbreak and cases associated with bars and nightclubs, combined with the potential for large unsanctioned gatherings, like those seen over the last few weeks, show there is a clear need to put limits on this kind of activity.”
Failure to comply with these Section 22 Orders can result in a fine of $750.00 for individuals and $1,000.00 for a business or organization.
For more information about these Orders, please visit www.healthunit.com/section-22-orders-and-instructions. For more information about COVID-19, please visit www.healthunit.com/novel-coronavirus.
Dan Flaherty, Communications Manager, Middlesex-London Health Unit,
Dr. Chris Mackie, Medical Officer of Health, Middlesex-London Health Unit