Eight small towns and municipalities in southwestern Ontario where the vaccination rate is the lowest in the province will be subjected to new COVID-19 restrictions starting Thursday.
Southwestern Public Health says the following locations will see restaurants, event and sporting facilities, and personal care services limit their capacity to 50 per cent:
- South-West Oxford
- West Elgin
Religious services, funerals and weddings, where public health officials have tracked outbreaks in the past are also being reduced to 50 per cent capacity.
It comes as the region logged another new death this past weekend, and is tracking 211 active cases.
Lowest vaccination rate
The health unit says the weekly incidence rate is upwards of 80 cases per 100,000 people or greater. As well, the fewer than 80 per cent of the population over the age of 12 is fully vaccinated.
According to provincial data updated Monday, Southwestern Public Health had the lowest vaccination rate with 70 per cent of the population having received two doses. St. Thomas and Woodstock are covered by the health unit but will not be subjected to new restrictions.
“These high case counts are taxing local health care providers and disrupting both workplaces and schools,” said Dr. Joyce Lock, the regions medical officer of health in a statement.
The health unit says the rules will be in place for at least six weeks across the holiday period. It plans to provide more information Tuesday.