As numbers of both new and current cases of COVID-19 in our region decline, the question is why we’re still in the orange stage of the province’s colour-coded restrictions.

Porcupine Health Unit medical officer of health Dr. Lianne Catton points out that the decision is the provincial government’s.

“Generally, it’s an every-two-week assessment unless there’s been something significant change, like we saw in Sudbury over the last week, to ensure that the pattern stays stable,” she explains.

The MOH adds also taken into account are the number and severity of outbreaks, the number of close contacts that could spread the virus, and the presence of the so-called “variants of concern”.

“So there’s many factors that come into it,” Catton remarks, “not just the specific numbers, and so we’ll have to see where we end up at the end of this week.”

Catton says regardless of which level we’re placed on, the general health measures of physical distancing, mask wearing and hand sanitization remain critically important.