The mayor of Toronto is optimistic that the city’s COVID-19 lockdown will be lifted on March 8.
At a press briefing on February 22, John Tory said that he had confidence in people’s ability to continue following public health measures for the next two weeks, at which point they can begin to be relaxed.
“My optimism is just rooted in the fact that I think people really want this to be over, the lockdown,” Tory said.
“That starts with business people, but I think close behind them are individual citizens who want to go to their gym, want to get a hair cut, want to be able to go shopping.”
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The mayor urged Torontonians to not socialize with those outside of their immediate household, and to continue wearing masks and staying home as much as possible.
If these measures are followed, Tory believes that the city can begin to safely reopen.
“It’s really going to depend on what people do in the next couple of weeks. And that’s where I’m optimistic,” he said.
“I am very determined to see that Toronto can start a transition at that time, and not later.”
Toronto has been under Stay at Home orders since January 14. The orders were set to expire on February 22. At the request of the city’s medical officer of health, Premier Doug Ford extended them until at least March 8.
Under the order, people must only go out for essential trips, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing healthcare services, for exercise, or for essential work.
With the exception of Peel Region and North Bay-Parry Sound, all other health regions across Ontario have now transitioned back into the province’s colour-coded framework.
To date, Toronto has seen 94,943 COVID-19 cases and 2,614 virus-related deaths.