WINDSOR, ONT. -- Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent entered the ‘Red-Control’ phase of the province’s reopening plan on Tuesday and the region’s top doctor says it will probably last at least a few weeks.

The medical officer of health for the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit Dr. Wajid Ahmed says we will likely have to wait until March 1 to find out when we can move into ‘Orange-Restrict’.

Ahmed says “it typically takes two weeks to see any easing of restrictions.”

Under red, indoor gatherings are limited to five people, dining in restaurants is restricted to 10 people and places of worship are limited to just 30 per cent capacity, to name just a few of the restrictions. Here's the full list of what's allowed in red under the provincial framework.

According to the province’s guidelines, they and the WECHU will also be looking at hospitalizations, the positivity rate and track where outbreaks are occurring and if they can be contained.Ontario restriction thresholds

“Is it leading to stabilization of cases or reduction of cases or increasing in the number of cases?” says Ahmed.

The province announced on Friday Feb. 12, the regions that would go into the red zone five days later.

The Chief of Staff for Windsor Regional Hospital supports the move into red, but cautions residents from relaxing personal COVID protocols.

“I don’t want people to get a false sense of security, (thinking) ‘oh great there’s lots of beds in the hospital, we can go about our business and do whatever we want,’ and not follow public health measures because we then are going to end up in a situation where we’re going to end up, back in grey,” says Dr Wassim Saad

He says between the discovery of COVID variants in Windsor-Essex and the ongoing rollout of vaccines, we are still “vulnerable”.

“If we relax too much because the numbers look great, it will give the virus an opportunity to replicate in the community and that will lead to more cases,” Saad says.