Premier Doug Ford said that Ontario has entered the second wave of COVID-19.
In his daily address, the premier said that “we know that this will be worse than the first wave, but what we don’t know yet is how bad the second wave will be.”
Ford said that our actions will decide if this is “a wave or a tsunami.”
Minister of Health Christine Elliott said they are watching this “very closely” after being asked about reinstating restrictions in COVID-19 hotspots like Toronto.
The Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) called for Toronto, all GTA regions, and Ottawa to return to Stage 2 following the announcement of Monday’s 700 new COVID-19 cases.
“A return to Stage 2, with restrictions on indoor dining and bars, places of worship, weddings, gyms, movie theatres, and other non-essential businesses, is needed now to keep schools open and prevent a further acceleration of infections,” said Anthony Dale, President and CEO, Ontario Hospital Association.
But Elliott said they don’t want to go back to Stage 2 unless absolutely necessary.
“Please follow the health guidance, please download the COVID-19 alert app, please get your flu shot this year,” said Ford.
The premier, along with Minister Elliott, also announced that the Ontario government is investing $52.5 million to recruit, retain, and support over 3,700 more frontline healthcare workers and caregivers to ensure our healthcare system can meet any surge in demand.
“Retaining and increasing the number of frontline healthcare workers in our continuous fight against COVID-19 is critical,” said Elliott. “We are taking further action to ensure our frontline healthcare workers are supported and the healthcare sector has the staff to provide timely, high-quality care.”
The investment will support additional personal support workers (PSWs), nurses, as well as frontline workers, families and caregivers, according to the province.
The Government of Ontario reported 700 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, with Toronto reporting the most across the region.
Monday has the highest new daily case numbers to date. Locally, there were 344 new cases in Toronto.
On Friday, the province announced that as of September 26, an amended order would see additional measures and restrictions to restaurants, bars, and other food establishments, including nightclubs, by prohibiting the sale of alcohol after 11 pm.
Drinking alcohol at these establishments after 12 am is prohibited until 9 am. This regulation also falls on employees and requires all establishments to close by midnight and stay closed until 5 am.
In an effort to reduce the risk of transmission and possible future outbreaks, strip clubs across the province also closed.