TORONTO -- Ontario is moving three regions into new COVID-19 levels starting on Monday, forcing tougher restrictions on businesses and residents in parts of the province.

Middlesex-London Health Unit and Thunder Bay District Health Unit will move to Orange-Restrict while Halliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit are moving to Yellow-Protect on Dec. 7.

"Over the last seven days we have seen the trends in key public health indicators continue to go in the wrong direction in these three regions," Health Minister Christine Elliott said in a statement on Friday. “By taking proactive action and moving these regions to a higher level in the framework, we are helping them to reduce transmission in the community and avoid broader closures. The health and well-being of Ontarians remains our top priority."

York Region, which is teetering on the edge of being moved to lockdown, has avoided moving to that level this week. 

Medical Officer of Health Karim Kurji said Thursday he would not be in support of a lockdown for York Region.

He said that the additional restrictions that would accompany a formal lockdown designation, such as the outright closure of bars, restaurants, gyms and personal care services, may not have much effect in the region.

"We have just done some modelling and that modelling shows that the gain from going into lockdown would be minimal so we are hoping that coupled with mobility data, which shows 20 per cent reduction in mobility since we went to the red zone, will hopefully convince the province to keep us still in the red zone," he told CP24.

All other health units will remain in their current level, which includes Toronto and Peel Region in lockdown. 

Once a region is moved into a new level of the tiered framework they are generally kept there for at least 28 days.

With files from CP24's Chris Fox.