COVID-19 Cases Continue to Stabilize as Reopening Expands

The Brant County Health Unit reported no new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday, leaving the number of positives unchanged at 120. There have been 108 recoveries and four deaths. There are a total of eight active cases, and none of the patients hospitalized.

The Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit is reporting four new cases of the novel coronavirus Wednesday, for a total number of 418 lab-confirmed cases, including 162 recoveries and 31 deaths.

The number of new COVID-19 cases in Ontario has again dipped below 200. The province has reported 190 new cases. Wednesday is the fourth day in a row there have been fewer than 200 new cases. The total number of lab-confirmed cases in Ontario is now 32,744, including deaths and recoveries.

Emergency orders, put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Ontario, are extended until June 30. The province made the announcement Wednesday. Premier Doug Ford says although decreasing infection rates combined with increased testing levels, the guard can not be let down just yet. Ford says the emergency measures are kept in place to support frontline heroes.

After being left off the initial approved list last week, Haldimand and Norfolk counties are now preparing to enter Stage 2 of Ontario’s reopening framework as of this Friday. The change means municipal beaches and piers in Haldimand and Norfolk will reopen this weekend. The change also includes personal care services such as hair salons, barbershops, spas, tattoo parlours.

Restaurants, bars, food trucks and other food and drink establishments such as wineries, breweries, and distilleries will be able to open for dining in outdoor areas only, such as patios, curbside, and parking lots.

Libraries and shopping malls may also reopen, with restrictions. The Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit says it is important to note that just because a service is permitted to open starting Friday does not mean it must resume operations. Businesses and service providers should only open when they are ready to do so and can meet provincial guidelines. It is also recommended all local companies, able to open under Stage 2, review and ensure their operations meet the minimum provincial guidelines.

The Brantford Farmers Market is preparing to welcome back shoppers. After three months of closure due to the COVId-19 pandemic, the downtown market will reopen this Saturday. Staff and vendors have been working on a plan to open the Icomm Drive market with the approval of local health officials.

The Grand River Conservation Authority has reopened more amenities, including gatehouses, beaches, as well as some washrooms in most conservation areas. The announcement currently applies to most conservation areas within the Grand River watershed, with Byng Island in Haldimand County an exception.