More restrictions being lifted, more services reopening, as province marches towards Step Three

Public Health Ontario confirmed 153 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, and while that’s higher than the day before, we’re hearing more restrictions will be lifted by the end of the week.

Ontario health officials confirmed another seven deaths due to COVID-19 in its daily report, along with 216 more recoveries. There were 179,197 vaccines administered yesterday, and 29,085 tests were run.

Locally, there were five new cases of COVID-19 reported by the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, with 41 active cases throughout the region.

Wednesday represents the ninth day in a row the province’s per cent positivity rate was below the one per cent mark, meaning the pandemic is shrinking.

ONTARIO LIFTING TESTING RULES FOR FULLY-VACCINATED EMPLOYEES OR VISITORS TO LONG-TERM CARE HOMES

This came as the province announced it would no longer require testing of double-dosed long-term care staff or visitors, as of Friday. Long-term care residents will also be permitted to make day trips or overnight stays, while the cap on visitors to long-term care homes is being lifted as of the 16th.

BARRIE REOPENING RECREATION CENTRES WITH SAFETY RESTRICTIONS IN PLACE AS PART OF STEP 3 OF ONTARIO’S REOPENING PLAN

While the City of Barrie says it will be reopening its Service Barrie desk for regular, in-person services with no appointments, lifting restrictions on the number of vehicles at its landfill, and reverting patio hours back to the pre-pandemic standard, it will take some time in getting recreation centres available for in-person drop-ins. The facility is taking bookings for access to facilities as of Monday, but will require patrons to wait until July 23 for walk-ins.