Premier Doug Ford said residents in Ontario don’t need a curfew as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Ontario, but noted that discussions for an extended lockdown are currently taking place.
During a press conference on Thursday, when asked about implementing a curfew, Ford said, “no I don’t think we’re there, to have a curfew. But if we stop with the socializing, having people over, meeting up with friends and family… we’re doing everything we can.”
The premier repeated that his government is throwing “everything” they can at the COVID-19 trend, which is seeing a drastic increase of cases.
Ford said the majority of virus spread is happening in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, although Halton Region isn’t as concerning as the other regions in the GTHA.
“Everything is on the table and we’re going to address it,” Ford said.
With Toronto and Peel Region’s 28-day lockdown expiring on December 21, it’s also unknown if the province will extend the lockdown and add enhanced restrictions.
“If we move forward and decide to do a further lockdown there’s a lot of things to take into consideration. There’s education, making sure we have daycare and the staff are ready, making sure we have hotels for people that have COVID so that we can put them into hotels instead of isolating at home, we have to make sure that we have something for the businesses,” Ford said.
“We just cant keep going on like this for these poor small business owners. We have to make sure there’s some help for the business owners as well. And, we have to make sure the healthcare system capacity has some alternatives like do we have interim hospitals out there?”
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Ford noted that if a lockdown does take place they will make sure daycare is open and he acknowledged that the Ministry of Education notified schools to ensure they have virtual learning materials if the winter break is extended.
Ford said his team has had discussions on all of these considerations for the last few days and that they will be ongoing.
He added that if there is an lockdown “the worst thing we could do is make a snap decision in a heartbeat, we have to make sure if we do make this decision is it going to be two weeks, three weeks, is it going to be 28 days for a full cycle? There are so many things to consider.”
To date, Ontario has seen 148,967 coronavirus cases and 4,058 deaths.