The Ontario government developed its COVID-19 Response Framework: Keeping Ontario Safe and Open for targeted public health measures to limit the spread of COVID-19. The framework serves as an early warning system that allows for scaling up and scaling back public health restrictions on a regional or community basis in response to surges and waves of COVID-19.
The framework categorizes public health unit regions into five levels: Green-Prevent, Yellow-Protect, Orange-Restrict, Red-Control, and Lockdown being a measure of last and urgent resort. Each level outlines the types of public health and workplace safety measures required for businesses and organizations. These include targeted measures for specific sectors, institutions and other settings.
Each public health unit is classified according to the framework indicators. Final decisions on classification of public health unit regions are made by the government based on updated data and in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, local medical officers of health and other health experts, and will be reviewed weekly.