The Ontario government has extended the Stay at Home orders for Toronto and Peel Region for two more weeks, to help prevent COVID-19 transmission.
The Government of Ontario made the announcement on Friday, after Toronto and Peel’s top doctors wrote a letter to the Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams, asking to prolong the orders.
The Stay at Home measures were set to expire on February 22, but will now be in place across the regions until at least March 8. The orders have also been extended for the North Bay-Parry Sound public health unit, the province said.
“Our government’s number one priority is the safety of all individuals and families, and that’s why we are taking a gradual, cautious approach to returning regions to the [colour-coded] framework,” said Christine Elliott, the Deputy Premier and Minister of Health.
“These are difficult but necessary decisions, in order to protect against COVID-19 variants and maintain the progress we have all made together.”
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In a letter sent on February 13, de Villa wrote to Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams, to delay moving Toronto into the province’s reopening framework.
The reason being that a large percentage of the population is still not vaccinated. Based on other jurisdictions, the COVID-19 variants of concern are causing an increase in cases due to its higher transmissibility, school safety, and public perception — if parts of the economy reopen, it gives a false sense of security.
“Until vaccines are widely available, we continue to urge all Ontarians to follow public health advice and measures, and stay home, stay safe, and save lives,” Elliott said.