On February 12, the Ontario government announced that twenty-seven of the province’s public health regions would transition out of the current shutdown and into a revised and strengthened COVID-19 Response Framework.
Region of Waterloo, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph and Southwestern Public Health (host to Conestoga's Skills Training Centre in Ingersoll) all move to the Red - Control zone of the provincial framework. Public health regions hosting Conestoga campuses in Brantford and Stratford will move to the Orange - Restrict zone.
While the lifting of the shutdown and Stay-at-Home order signal a general improvement in trends of key COVID-19 indicators, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health Christine Elliott cautioned that this change is not a reopening or a return to normal, particularly given the risks posed by new COVID-19 variants.
“The health and safety of Ontarians remains our number one priority,” said Elliott in a news release. “Until vaccines are widely available, it remains critical that all individuals and families continue to adhere to public health measures and stay home as much as possible to protect themselves, their loved ones and their communities.”
Conestoga programs and services delivered remotely for Winter 2021 will be unaffected by the February 12 announcement. Employees will continue to work remotely to the greatest extent possible, with on-campus work restricted to essential activities only.
Students in programs and courses that include on-campus labs, studios and shops will receive more details from their program areas regarding any scheduling changes resulting from the lifting of Ontario’s lockdown provisions.