Next Step of Re-opening will be Earlier

The Province originally said that Ontario would move into Step 3 of re-opening once 70 to 80% of adults had received one dose of vaccine and 25% had received two.  Now that 77% of people 12 and over have received one dose and 50% have received two doses – that threshold has been met already.  Also required were a lower ICU occupancy rate and generally a low new case rate and these have also happened. The numbers for our region (HKPR) are not quite that good but may well be soon.  Given the good results, the Province has announced that we will move into Step 3 five days earlier on July 16 (at 12:01 am) and has released detailed regulations – so let’s look at what we can now do (that is, starting July 16).


  • Larger indoor and outdoor gatherings will be allowed – e.g. Cinemas and Theatres can open at 50% capacity – e.g. the Loft will be allowed 30 people.
  • Gyms/fitness clubs can reopen for indoor use
  • Restaurants can provide in-person dining inside their premises – no limits on capacity other than 2 metre spacing.
  • Capacity limits for businesses and stores will be eased – it’s now whatever is required to maintain 2 metre spacing.
  • Physical distancing rules will still apply
  • Masks/face coverings must continue to be worn inside public places


Step Three focuses on the resumption of additional indoor services with larger numbers of people and restrictions in place. This includes, but is not limited to:

[Quoted from Press Release with my clarifications in square brackets]

  • Outdoor social gatherings and organized public events with up to 100 people with limited exceptions;
  • Indoor social gatherings and organized public events with up to 25 people;
  • Indoor religious services, rites or ceremonies, including wedding services and funeral services permitted with physical distancing; [with up to 25 people]
  • Indoor dining permitted with no limits on the number of patrons per table with physical distancing and other restrictions still in effect;  [masks except when seated; must record names and contact information except at places like McDonalds where you pay before getting food]
  • Indoor sports and recreational fitness facilities to open subject to a maximum 50 per cent capacity of the indoor space. Capacity for indoor spectators is 50 per cent of the usual seating capacity or 1,000 people, whichever is less. Capacity for outdoor spectators is 75 per cent of the usual seating capacity or 15,000 people, whichever is less;
  • Indoor meeting and event spaces permitted to operate with physical distancing and other restrictions still in effect and capacity limited to not exceed 50 per cent capacity or 1,000 people, (whichever is less);
  • Essential and non-essential retail with capacity limited to the number of people that can maintain a physical distance of two metres;
  • Personal care services, including services requiring the removal of a face covering, with capacity limited to the number of people that can maintain a physical distance of two metres; [Appointments still required]
  • Museums, galleries, historic sites, aquariums, zoos, landmarks, botanical gardens, science centres, casinos/bingo halls, amusement parks, fairs and rural exhibitions, festivals, with capacity limited to not exceed 50 per cent capacity indoors and 75 per cent capacity outdoors;
  • Concert venues, cinemas, and theatres permitted to operate at:
    • up to 50 per cent capacity indoors or a maximum limit of 1,000 people for seated events (whichever is less)  [Everyone with masks].
    • up to 75 per cent capacity outdoors or a maximum limit of 5,000 people for unseated events (whichever is less); and up to 75 per cent capacity outdoors or a maximum of 15,000 people for events with fixed seating (whichever is less).
  • Real estate open houses with capacity limited to the number of people that can maintain a physical distance of two metres; and
  • Indoor food or drink establishments where dance facilities are provided, including nightclubs and restobars, permitted up to 25 per cent capacity or up to a maximum limit of 250 people (whichever is less).

Fully Re-open (well almost)

The province will remain in Step Three for at least 21 days and until 80 per cent of the eligible population aged 12 and over has received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 75 per cent have received their second, with no public health unit having less than 70 per cent of their eligible population aged 12 and over fully vaccinated.

So if too many don’t want to be vaccinated, they are holding up the fully re-opening date.

Other key public health and health care indicators must also continue to remain stable. Upon meeting these thresholds, the vast majority of public health and workplace safety measures, including capacity limits for indoor and outdoor settings and limits for social gatherings, will be lifted. Only a small number of measures will remain in place, including the requirement for passive screening, such as posting a sign, and businesses requiring a safety plan.

This magic “wide-open” date will be July 16 plus 21 days – that is, August 6. Here’s hoping.

I see that already, Ken Prue has announced the Loft will reopen July 20.  Stay tuned for announcements of other venues or try this page for the latest on entertainment venues.


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26 July 2021 5:01 pm

Pretty disappointing vaccine numbers in Northumberland County 🤬
all the business should ask for proof of vaccines or a recent negative Covid test

John Draper
Reply to  Mark
26 July 2021 6:05 pm

No need for link – it’s already on Special Covid-19 Vaccine page on this site.

Wally Keeler
15 July 2021 8:53 am

More young Canadians died from ‘unintentional side effects’ of the pandemic, not COVID | Edmonton Sun

“For the 44 and under age group, the number of overdoses resulting in death rose from 1,605 in 2019 to 2,125 in 2020.”

Be afraid, be very very afraid. The side effects of thoughtless politicians and over zealous panic mongers.

Wally Keeler
15 July 2021 8:37 am

Majority of COVID-19 victims were very old and had serious health problems: StatsCan | True North (

“Of the 15,300 people who died of COVID-19 between March and December 2020, nearly 9 in 10 had at least one other health condition or complication or another cause listed on the death certificate.”


“The report does, however, suggest that the lockdown and resulting difficulties for working-aged Canadians were significantly worse than the disease itself.”

And that is why the vast majority of healthy people had to be locked down (aka house arrest) for months on end, undermining the economy, especially of small business.

13 July 2021 1:55 pm

For those who are looking at what level of progress Northumberland has made with first Covid shots (age 12+) yesterday’s stats are sobering. In one week we have moved the needle a mere .52% (going from 65.14% to 65.66%). We continue to trail the overall HKPR first shot participation by 12%. We trail Ontario by just under 12% and we trail all of Canada by 12%. Here, the trend is clearly not our friend. We may be seeing a peak in uptake and true hesitancy in the unvaccinated population that will leave Northumberland short of even 70% vaccinated. Now is the right time to consider new motivational options; and deploying them, if not immediately, very soon.

John Draper
Reply to  MCGA
13 July 2021 2:20 pm

I don’t know where you get your numbers from – this week’s numbers are here: – halfway down the page.

Reply to  John Draper
13 July 2021 8:37 pm

The numbers are provided to all volunteers serving with HKPR clinics. They are produced on a weekly basis with full comparatives between Northumberland, HKPR, Ontario and Canada, as at July 12th.
First shots (12 +) 65.66 (rounded to 65.7%) for Northumberland
77.7% for all of HKPR health unit
77.46% for all of Ontario
77.7% for all of Canada
Where is that wrong?

John Draper
Reply to  MCGA
13 July 2021 9:01 pm

I didn’t say it was wrong – I just asked where they came from. They differ somewhat from the official HKPR numbers which are on the page I referenced. The source link is given under the table. HKPR does not release dose numbers for just Northumberland, only the whole region. The whole region does not have quite the negative situation you imply. Also, a change over a period of just one week in just Northumberland means little. But overall, you are right. HKPR is behind the rest of Ontario and Canada. The official explanation is that we were short of vaccine since it was sent to hot spots like Brampton. But we are now catching up.

Reply to  John Draper
14 July 2021 7:37 am

Actually John, the Health department does release stats for all three sections of its catchment. If you go to their weekly report, and go to the bar chart for say the first shots by age and region, to the very right are two total section charts. Place your cursor on each of the bars and the pop-up will give you the individual percentages for Haliburton, Kawartha Lakes and Northumberland. We have consistently underperformed by over 10%.

Reply to  John Draper
14 July 2021 8:21 am

In candor John, the official explanation of vaccine shift to hot spots is hard to immediately accept. Most of the allocations of vaccine were done by health unit. If all three parts of our health unit had similar uptakes, as a percentage of each areas population, that would make sense. BUT, Northumberland has consistently lagged behind Haliburton and Kawartha Lakes, and significantly. Either we were limited/short changed by our health dept. in favor of the other two regions or we are not seeing the same level of enthusiasm for the shots that the other two regions are.

Reply to  MCGA
14 July 2021 11:49 am

Because I believe this local vaccine uptake question is so important I will add one other statistical anomaly. The age 70 to 79 cohort was a vaccine target through out Ontario, even before the reallocation to hot spots. That cohort had weeks of opportunity to get their first shot. In HKPR, after all that time, here is where each region stands on the first shot:
Kawartha Lakes 86.72%
Haliburton 81.93%
Northumberland 69.99%

Reply to  MCGA
14 July 2021 7:27 am

Just for the record: a change from 65.14% to 65.66% is an increase of .80%, not .52%. It’s like a change from 1.0% to 2.0% is not an increase of 1.0%, it’s an increase of 100%.

Just for the record.

Reply to  JimT
14 July 2021 8:15 am

Just for the record I was not showing the percentage change week-on-week (nor did I indicate same), just the basic mathematical growth of new shots in one week for the Northumberland population 12+. If the target is 80% and we are at 65.16% and we are growing at a rate of just .52% of the total population each week, how many weeks will it take to hit the target? And hoping that the weekly rate does not fall further.

Reply to  MCGA
14 July 2021 10:15 am

That doesn’t alter the fact that your calculation of .52% is simply wrong, as I explained. It’s actually .80%.

Reply to  JimT
14 July 2021 11:34 am

Really, when you subtract 65.14 from 65.66 to arrive at the week-on-week nominal change you get something different? I will make it simple: if I have 10 things one week and I have 12 things the next week I gained a nominal 2 things. Now if I gain 2 things every week, how many weeks will it take me to get to 20 things? Failing this example I suggest you consult Newton, Leibniz or Wally.

Reply to  MCGA
14 July 2021 12:04 pm

I don’t need to consult anybody and I’m not wrong. You can’t add and subtract percentages and get a meaningful answer. That much I know.

If you have 10 things and they go to 12 things, they have gone up 20%.

If 10% of my apples are rotten this week and 12% next week, the number of rotten apples has gone up by 20%. Not 2%.

They didn’t hire me as a systems analyst in the big shiny office towers in downtown Toronto just for my good looks alone, although I admit that didn’t hurt, either.

Last edited 1 year ago by JimT
Ken Strauss
Reply to  JimT
14 July 2021 1:19 pm

JimT., the objective of vaccinations is to reach 100% vaccinated (or as close to 100% as possible). If the percentage of those vaccinated were 70% and 2% of the TOTAL population gets vaccinated this week then 72% are now vaccinated. To report that 2.857% more have been vaccinated is useless. What matters is that 72% of the people have now been vaccinated and 28% have not yet received their shots.

Consider the case if we had just started vaccinations and nobody had had a shot last week but 100 people received a shot this week. What would you report? A reasonable person would report that 0.0001% were now vaccinated and 99.9999% were not. You would report that infinitely more were vaccinated this week than last week. Which report would be more useful?

Last edited 1 year ago by Ken Strauss
Reply to  MCGA
14 July 2021 8:21 am

Hi MCGA, I agree that communication and incentives are likely required to expedite vaccine uptake. An important point to consider is the HKPR may have not had the inventory to vaccinate relative to other units due to diversion of supply to hot spots. Another point, which is more in line with your analysis is that because HKPR region was not hit hard some people may be hesitant because it doesn’t feel like it’s a big deal because it hasn’t personally affected them. It is a true collective action problem, to achieve herd immunity whoever can be vaccinated should do so for protection at the population level.

Reply to  David
14 July 2021 9:50 am

Thanks David. The thing is I have been watching the health department stats for some time and we always seem to lag Haliburton and Kawartha lakes. Could not wrap my head around why: accessibility? demographic? cultural differential? nothing made sense. If HKPR diverted vaccine, or had supply reductions, why only Northumberlands? That hot-spot issue reduced a couple of weeks ago but we are still trailing the other two regions of HKPR in first shot uptake. With the delta variant we may be facing an endemic process…a slow steady burn as the unvaccinated 30% acquire infection. Look at the Missouri process for a worst case.
Whenever I am really stumped on this process I toss it to my son, ex-Navy doc, who has access to some very gifted epidemiologists in both the Navy and the US NIH. They couldn’t come up with a solid answer.

Bill Thompson
11 July 2021 10:48 am

Looking a little further into the future when the borders are reopened fully ,I wonder what provisions / regulations will be in place to deal with the “irregular” asylum seekers crossing at non official border locations.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Bill Thompson
11 July 2021 11:41 am

Based on experience, open arms will await “irregulars”!

Reply to  Bill Thompson
11 July 2021 10:41 pm

I would bet that there are absolutely none. In fact it will likely be encouraged.

Reply to  Wally Keeler
12 July 2021 8:41 am

That article was published almost 4 months ago. Any follow up on whether that policy was ever implemented?

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Frenchy
12 July 2021 9:43 am

Good question. But it won’t be asked of Biden. The msm won’t do their job of asking difficult questions of a so-called leader who no longer has a full deck to play with. The Biden admin does bus and fly the increasing number of migrants to a number of communities throughout the USA in order to relieve the inhumane overcrowding in detention centres at the border. I doubt that the Biden admin has any sensitivities to Canada’s puerile concerns.

Lemon Cake
11 July 2021 10:29 am

I follow the Northumberland News and a couple local groups on Facebook. Literally 80-90% of comments on COVID related stories are from anti-vax and wait and see people. And we’re talking 20-30 plus comments all different posters. I feel like this is going to be an uphill climb – otherwise the reopening will happen and unfortunately this will be a disease of the unvaccinated (and it won’t end). The question is do we hold back the reopening or keep
Locking down for those who simply won’t ever believe vaccines aren’t a global conspiracy? On a personal note, it’s hard not to feel angry about this – part of our business is events. We’ve survived thankfully but we’ve seen so many job losses and bankruptcies around us. There are thousands of Canadians like us waiting for better news and an end to this. None of them have the luxury of choice or waiting and seeing – it’s about staying solvent.

Reply to  Lemon Cake
11 July 2021 12:29 pm

There is a clear injustice with inflicting risk of disease and financial and social hardship on the community at large simply to entertain the selfish right to say no to a preventive measure like these vaccines. During the 1918 flu they were labeled “slackers,” an extremely harsh inditement in that WWI era. Back then governments did their best to understate the impact of the flu and the health risks it carried for fear of adversely impacting the war effort and public morale. With this plague we have seen it unfold, via every possible media mechanism, in excruciating detail. No one can claim ignorance of what it has inflicted unless they willfully blind themselves to the realities of the past 16 months. The community has the right to be protected, co-workers have the right to be protected, the sick and infirmed have a right to be protected. These Covidiots should be labeled for what they are and treated in the fashion “slackers” were in 1918. Harsh as it may sound, if the carrot doesn’t work perhaps the stick will.

Reply to  Lemon Cake
11 July 2021 2:25 pm

Yes I agree, its so easy for the Govt. at all levels to just step over and forget the self employed and smaller businesses that are damaged and newly unemployed as a result of these needed Lock downs
The Propaganda Machine that Prim minister is running will and has already buried many in its wake Lest we Forget ?

Reply to  Lemon Cake
14 July 2021 8:23 am

I am tempted to say that “…fortunately this will be a disease of the unvaccinated” who are welcome to risk suffering the consequences of their own recalcitrance while the rest of us get on with daily life, the way it used to be just a couple of years ago.

Why should we continue to shut down our economy and our lives to protect those who won’t do what’s obviously necessary to protect themselves from this virus?

Last edited 1 year ago by JimT
11 July 2021 9:58 am

And what are those people that had other medical issues that prevented them from getting the shot, or got 1 shot and became ill / had a reaction to the Vaccine what are they supposed to do Should they declare this on entry to any venue , Will Vaccine Pass ports or proof of shots be required ? Like in other Provinces

Lemon Cake
Reply to  Sandpiper
11 July 2021 10:35 am

We have a close friend who is unable to get the vaccine – due to an illness he is permanently immune compromised. It’s something we talk about a lot. Protecting people like him will mean we need to get everyone vaccinated – or enough where he can at least enjoy some normal activities like shopping for groceries or going to Home Hardware. He hasn’t been to a store in 2 years so honestly – baby steps welcome at this point!

Reply to  Lemon Cake
14 July 2021 7:38 am

That’s why they call if “herd immunity”. You are protected because everyone in the “herd” around you is immune as a result of their vaccinations.

11 July 2021 9:28 am

First Shot – 1. First Shot – Get the Word Out!!
copied from a CCC volunteer update as of July 5

Despite, and not due to, our efforts we are trailing most of Canada in getting “Jabs” into Northumberland resident arms. The HKPR Health Unit and Linda Davis from the Northumberland Hills Hospital recognize this and are now allowing those individuals who have not received their first vaccine to come to our Mobile and CCC Clinics to be fast tracked without an appointment to get their first “Jab”. We are trying to eliminate all barriers and excuses so that we can achieve a 90% vaccine rate.

We need your help. We need to spread this information to everyone so that the community is aware that it has never been easier and more convenient to get vaccinated in Northumberland.

Beginning this week those who have not received their first shot will be able to show up at our Clinics and move to the front of the line without an appointment. Note – the CCC Clinics will have allocated 100 extra doses for each Thursday and Friday for walk-ins.

Here are the dates and details:
CCC Clinic Every Thursday and Friday (July 8,9,15,16,18,19)
Mobile Clinics Every Tuesday and Wednesday

Please share this information with everyone you know.t the Word Out!!

11 July 2021 8:12 am

Trying to book vaccines for someone 12-17 is a disaster. Both grandkids had to be booked in Campbellford , we are in Cobourg , lucky we have the means to get them there , there are no openings for 12-17 years old at CCC listed, by the way on July 10 , they had listed the CCC dates July 2-4 listed 🙄
They are having a pop up clinic in Baltimore and Colbourne ,this week but if you cannot get there how can you get the vaccine ?
you think they could set a pop up at Northumberland Mall , there a lot of empty space and the public bus from Cobourg and Port Hope stop there

Lemon Cake
Reply to  Mark
11 July 2021 10:15 am

We booked our 13 YO son in Belleville – he went yesterday – we originally had a spot for next week in Lindsay. Spots pop up every day – keep checking online for somewhere closer if you can. It worked for us.

Reply to  Mark
11 July 2021 11:42 am

I agree! Those restricted to Cobourg have no options for their teenagers at the moment. It is these kids going to work every day at the grocery stores and garden centres who have kept the community going. Yet, they are the ones who the vaccine is unavailable to. Doesn’t make sense to me.

10 July 2021 10:31 pm

So council, does that mean we can expect our beach to finally be open on weekends and holidays?

Reply to  Anna
10 July 2021 10:54 pm

Certainly, either when 80% of Northumberland (12+) gets a first shot or your 88 becomes larger than 1400.

10 July 2021 4:56 pm

The one strange part of this is that Northumberland, as of July 5th, is sitting at 65.14% (12+ First Shot) vaccinated and thus is trailing the rest of the HKPR Health Unit by over 10% and Ontario, as a whole, by over 12%. Assume that we get our pro rata share of vaccine, why the negative variance? If it turns out to be vaccine hesitancy, and an examination of the vaccine curve points that way, our area will not hit 80%. A concerning example of hesitancy, elsewhere in the Province, was Etobicoke having 1,000 unfilled slot for a recent mass vaccination clinic. Maybe time to consider some additional motivators such as a lottery of some sort? Any other ideas?

John Draper
Reply to  MCGA
10 July 2021 5:02 pm

I think that the low numbers are due to poor supplies of vaccine to our district. This was because we were doing well and not considered a hot spot. That poor supply is now behind us so we should catch up in the next few weeks.

Reply to  John Draper
10 July 2021 7:36 pm

In speaking to a number of volunteers at the vaccine clinics there were serious lag times in the process plus candidates coming from as far as Hamilton to fill empty slots. The stats for 70 plus in Northumberland also raise statistical concerns…10% behind HKPR is also a concern.

Reply to  John Draper
11 July 2021 7:51 am

One more observation to add John: If you look at the HKPR vaccine stats, as at July 5, the weekly shots given to the whole health unit region was 1,423 while the average weekly shots for the preceding three weeks was 4,431. During that time we were getting increase weekly supplies of vaccine. An almost 3K drop in shots given is not the trend you want to see to get to 80%.

Greg H
Reply to  MCGA
10 July 2021 9:18 pm

I booked through the provincial site, but for my first vaccination I had to go to Belleville, due to lack of vaccine in Cobourg. I know of other Cobourgers who had to travel to Lindsay..

Perhaps the vaccination statistics are for people who got vaccinated in the HKPR, but they may not include people who live here and got their vaccines elsewhere.

Reply to  Greg H
10 July 2021 10:50 pm

Not sure how the health dept aggregates their counts, assuming from the health card data. Everyone from our group managed to get their two shots in either Cobourg or Port Hope. The volume of traffic at the CCC for our second shot was a fraction of the 600 they had expected. Possibly driven by people not cancelling after getting shots elsewhere. Thing is, within the HKPR you would estimate similar results for everyoneach area…a 10% negative variance from the HKPR average is significant. See what we see over the next week.

Old Sailor
10 July 2021 4:07 pm

Can a vaccine passport be far behind the “wide open” date of August 6th? Or would it be a possible Federal election deal breaker? Is the vaccine passport a Federal or Provincial decision?

Reply to  Old Sailor
11 July 2021 7:57 am

I have no problem with a vaccine passport,
children need to have vaccine to go to school
traveling to some countries you need proof of vaccine to enter areas so you don’t spread diseases to local people
no big deal

Reply to  Mark
12 July 2021 11:25 am

In and out of a foreign country is one thing but do you support the use of vaccination passport to allow or deny entry into your local supermarket, concert, amusement park, beach, restaurant or into a different province within your own Country? I think we need to understand the law of unexpected consequences … the potential of a very slippery slope as it relates to our rights going forward.

Reply to  Old Sailor
11 July 2021 8:18 am

Lots of people have started laminating proof of doses. I asked the clerk at Staples when we got ours done.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Kathleen
11 July 2021 9:20 am

Why would anyone consider a laminated computer printout to be authentic?

Reply to  Ken Strauss
11 July 2021 9:49 am

We shrunk ours before laminating and put them with our Passports. Not knowing when/if the govt will get around to creating travel passports and we plan to travel within the next few months.

Old Sailor
Reply to  Ken Strauss
11 July 2021 9:51 am

Ken: I ordered from Amazon a 10 pack or 4″ x 6″ name badge holders with lanyards and sent some to family members. Both of the CCC printed receipts fit in them perfectly. One on the front and one on the back.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Old Sailor
11 July 2021 11:26 am

My concern was not how to store a receipt but how anyone — event security person, restaurant hostess, airport clerk, etc — would verify its authenticity. The receipts from a pharmacy differ from the CCC ones. Some have been vaccinated in other provinces or in the US and their receipts are likely completely different from Ontario’s assuming receipts were even provided. The vaccination confirmation that can be downloaded from the Ontario Ministry of Health’s website is different again and, curiously, contains no security information to prevent alterations.

I suspect that there will be a huge market for fake receipts from the unvaccinated!

Reply to  Ken Strauss
12 July 2021 7:40 am

I doubt there is any way to set up a vaccine passport system, hard or electronic, that isn’t going to be vulnerable to forgery or hacking. The tricks to get around it will spread just as quickly and effectively as the missinfortation and conspiracy theories that are driving vaccine hesitancy in the first place.

Like so many other measures during the pandemic, it will be something that looks good, but doesn’t really do much at all.

Reply to  Old Sailor
14 July 2021 7:49 am

Both my confirmations came by email. They’re 8½ x 11.
Try hanging that around your neck.

Last edited 1 year ago by JimT
Reply to  Old Sailor
11 July 2021 9:47 am

As health care is administered in each province, a vaccine passport would need to be handled by the province. Quebec has already taken steps to administer a Vaccine Passport if they seem any uptick in the Covid numbers. On a Federal level, a vaccine passport can be administered for all persons travelling into Canada through all border crossings. I personally support vaccine passports being required AND mandatory vaccines for all essential workers (long term care workers, teachers, hospital staff…no exceptions…) these folks have had more than 6 months to be voluntarily vaccinated, if they have not done so as yet, they are “anti-vaxers” and don’t believe the science that will usher all of us out of this Covid pandemic. They are part of the problem.