Hirji behind Grey-lockdown rating recommendation for Niagara

Dr. Mustafa Hirji Niagara Region's acting medical officer Dr. Mustafa Hirji

The Ontario government has announced Niagara will be moving into the Grey tier of the province’s COVID-19 framework, in part due to a recommendation from Mustafa Hirji, the region’s acting medical officer.

On Tuesday all stores can reopen with capacity limits of 50% for supermarkets and other stores that primarily sell groceries, convenience stores, pharmacies. For all other retail they can open at 25%.

Forget it if you are planning to get your hair cut or want to work out. Hair salons, barber shops, gyms, yoga studios all must remain closed.

Restaurants and foodservice businesses can only sell take-out. They must otherwise remain shut for dine-in traffic.

Four health units, that include Toronto, remain in full lockdown. Niagara is the only community across Ontario to be placed in the Grey/lockdown tier. The region will remain in that lockdown for at least another two weeks before provincial health officials look at updated numbers.

The region’s acting medical officer Dr. Mustafa Hirji is behind the high level of continued lockdown relative to other regions that have been loosened. He provided input to the province on the Niagara region moving into Grey/lockdown.

He told CKTB he recommended the region move to Grey tier calling the COVID-19 situation is “pretty fragile.” Hirji said while case numbers have dropped over the past few days, Niagara still has 40 outbreaks.

Niagara Public Health reported 38 new COVID-19 cases in the region Friday and 21 on Thursday. The rolling average is 28.6 cases in the last 14 days.

Niagara Region is reporting 40 current outbreaks. That is where at least two cases are linked.

Niagara West MPP Sam Oosterhoff tweeted his disappointment Friday: “Disappointed to see Niagara the only Public Health Unit outside of GTA to remain in Grey. I understand this decision is based on advice of our local medical officer of health, Dr. Hirji. Hope to see us move to Red soon, based on positive trends here.”

Niagara Region COVID-19 new case stats
Niagara Region COVID-19 new case stats December January and February 2021
COVID by municipality
Active cases by municipality as of Feb 12 2021

See all Niagara stats on this page

Here is how Niagara compares to other regions in terms of it color-coded status:

Grey-Lockdown: ·        
Niagara Region Public Health 

Red-Control: ·        
Chatham-Kent Public Health;  ·        
City of Hamilton Public Health Services; ·        
Durham Region Health Department; ·        
Halton Region Public Health;  ·        
Middlesex-London Health Unit; ·        
Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services;  ·        
Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit; ·        
Southwestern Public Health; ·        
Thunder Bay District Health Unit; ·        
Wellington-Dufferin Guelph Public Health; and ·        
Windsor-Essex County Health Unit. 
Orange-Restrict: ·        
Brant County Health Unit       
Eastern Ontario Health Unit      
Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit      
Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit
Huron Perth Public Health
Lambton Public Health
Ottawa Public Health
Porcupine Health Unit·        
Public Health Sudbury and Districts

Yellow-Protect: ·        
Algoma Public Health
Grey Bruce Health Unit
Northwestern Health Unit
Peterborough Public Health.  

Green-Prevent: ·        
Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit
Timiskaming Health Unit. 

Lockdoww continues for
North Bay Parry Sound District,
Peel Public Health,
Toronto Public Health
York Region Public Health

Shutdown measures and the Stay-at-Home order will continue to apply until at least Monday, February 22, 2021. 

See Ontario.ca/covidresponse formore info