Province introduces colour-coded framework to respond to rising or falling COVID caseload, local health unit listed as green

Several in Orange or Yellow state, none in the more severe Red or Lockdown

The Ontario Government has developed a new framework to guide response to the ebbs and flows of local COVID-19 caseloads.

Called the Keeping Ontario Safe and Open Framework, the plan is expected to ensure public health measures are targeted, incremental, and responsive to the spread of COVID in a community, while keeping schools and businesses open. It includes introducing reactive and preventative measures earlier to help avoid broader closures.

The Framework categorizes public health unit regions into five levels: Green-Prevent, Yellow-Protect, Orange-Restrict, Red-Control, and Lockdown. Each outlines the types of public health measures required for businesses and organizations, and include targeted measures for specific sectors such as healthcare. The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit has been classified as Green.

“This framework, informed by public health experts, data and the experiences of other jurisdictions, is focused on introducing less invasive measures earlier to stop the spread of COVID-19,” said Health Minister Christine Elliott. “We are committed to being transparent with Ontarians, businesses and local communities as we work together to keep Ontarians safe, while keeping our economy open.”

As of Friday, November 6, several health units will be classified as orange or yellow, while the remainder of the province remains in green. They are as follows:


  • No public health unit regions


  • No public health unit regions


  • Eastern Ontario Health Unit;
  • Ottawa Public Health;
  • Peel Public Health;
  • Toronto Public Health (may be delayed in entering Orange-Restrict level until November 14, 2020); and
  • York Region Public Health.


  • Brant County Health Unit;
  • City of Hamilton Public Health Services;
  • Durham Region Health Department; and
  • Halton Region Public Health.


  • Algoma Public Health;
  • Chatham-Kent Public Health;
  • Grey Bruce Health Unit;
  • Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Public Health;
  • Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit;
  • Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit;
  • Hastings Prince Edward Public Health;
  • Huron Perth Public Health;
  • Lambton Public Health;
  • Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit;
  • Middlesex-London Health Unit;
  • Niagara Region Public Health;
  • North Bay Parry Sound District;
  • Northwestern Health Unit;
  • Peterborough Public Health;
  • Porcupine Health Unit;
  • Public Health Sudbury & Districts;
  • Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services;
  • Renfrew County and District Health Unit;
  • Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit;
  • Southwestern Public Health;
  • Thunder Bay District Health Unit;
  • Timiskaming Health Unit;
  • Wellington-Duf ferin-Guelph Public Health; and
  • Windsor-Essex County Health Unit.